Entrepreneurial Engines of Economic Growth around the World
Edited by Jerome S. Engel
Moving to Silicon Valley mid-career in 1980, I was struck by the contrast in the business environment with my previous milieu in the northeastern US corridor. Instead of being dominated by mature corporations with 100+ year legacies, Silicon Valley was, by comparison, a tumultuous ecosystem of large and small companies with a common bond; whether big or small, they shared a hunger to create new products and services that would dominate new and growing markets. Rather than competing over a fixed market, in a win-lose contest, they tended to vigorously compete in growing markets which, in spite of the fierce competition, contributed to a sense of shared community and shared destiny. Experiencing this through the fresh eyes of an emigrant made me keenly aware of the unique role of the community and its various participants. My career also gave me a privileged vantage point from which to observe and engage with the entrepreneurs that drove this ecosystem and the extensive support network that provided the lattice. For the decade of the 1980s I created and led a branch of a leading professional services firm to provide specialized support for entrepreneurs and the new ventures they created. This put me in daily professional contact with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investment bankers, lawyers, engineers, scientists, government regulators–indeed the entire ecosystem. The nature of our services led to long-term relationships stretching over many years, with intermittent and intense engagement.