Archive for August, 2008

Hayek, capitalism and morality

Friday, August 29th, 2008

At Creative Capitalism: A Conversation, economists Paul Ormerod and Richard Easterly are engaged in a thoughtful discussion about Hayek’s view on markets in relation to capitalism and morality. According to Easterly, Hayek saw “the chaos and unpredictability of free individuals interacting, yet realized that very chaotic freedom was the nursery of a material abundance unlike anything the world had ever seen.” Ormerod responds by pointing out that “[t]he Hayekian view of the world is completely at odds with the view that we should never do anything which might interfere with the Platonic idea of markets found in economic theory.”

Stifling young entrepreneurs

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

In Clayton, CA two young girls’ fruit stand was shut down by local police on account of violating the town’s zoning laws. Tim Kane offers a thoughtful response to the incident: “The larger tragedy for those who care about economic prosperity is this case exemplifies a loss of America’s entrepreneurial culture. The younger a person learns the ‘hard lessons’ of real life, the stronger the odds are that they will become an entrepreneur and create jobs. When the bureaucratic impulse overwhelms the entrepreneurial impulse, meaning that a majority of the people thinks some kind of orderly system should be (or is!) in place to give everybody a job, then a [society] begins its great and subtle collapse.”

Modeling computers after the brain

Monday, August 25th, 2008

At TED Talks, researcher Kwabena Boahen gives a fascinating presentation of how the brain works compared to a computer and how its speed and efficiency could be mimicked in computer technology.

The cost of regulation

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Last month’s testimony of Thomas Sullivan, the chief counsel for advocacy at the Small Business Administration, before the House Committee on Small Business includes some interesting data about the cost of regulation for small businesses. Sullivan reported the results of a 2005 study, The Impact of Regulatory Costs on Small Firms (PDF), which “found that, in general, small businesses are disproportionately impacted by the total federal regulatory burden. The overall regulatory burden was estimated … to exceed $1.1 trillion in 2004. For small firms, employing fewer than 20 employees, the annual regulatory burden in 2004 was estimated to be $7,647 per employee – which is 45 percent greater than the $5,282 per employee burden estimated for firms with more than 500 employees.”

If the pants don’t fit

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Entrepreneur Magazine tells the story of two young college friends who turned their frustration over finding pants that actually fit into a business. Key quote: “We really are trying to innovate for the sake of solving a problem we see in the world much more so than for the sake of creating a company that’s worth a lot of money.”

Creative capitalism

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Creative Capitalism: A Conversation hosts a series of responses by famous individuals, including Warren Buffet, Gary Becker, and Robert Reich, to a speech Bill Gates gave before the World Economic Forum in January 2008 in Davos, Switzerland. In that speech, Gates argued for a “new system [of] creative capitalism – an approach where governments, businesses, and nonprofits work together to stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or gain recognition, doing work that eases the world’s inequities.”

Fall 2008 Speakers

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

The Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship is pleased to announce its Fall 2008 guest speakers:

September 3rd: Dr. Terry Noel
September 29th: Anil Singh-Molares
November 5th: Dr. Emily Chamlee-Wright

Dr. Terry Noel (Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder) is Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. He teaches classes in Entrepreneurship and Management. Dr. Noel’s research has been published in journals including The Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Business Ethics, and the Journal of Entrepreneurship Education. He studies the process of entrepreneurial learning and how entrepreneurial thinking can benefit both start ups and established organizations. He also does research in the field of employee reactions to computer monitoring. Professor Noel will speak on The Virtuous Entrepreneur, in Scarborough 4 at 3 PM.

Anil Singh-Molares is CEO of EchoMundi, an international consulting, research and product development company based in Bellevue, Washington. Prior to founding EchoMundi, he worked for twelve years at the Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, where he was Senior Director of Vendor Relations and a recipient of the Microsoft Achievement Award. He is also currently a member of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Mr. Singh-Molares will speak on Entrepreneurship and the Liberal Arts. Further details will be announced as they arise, and will also be posted at our website.

Dr. Emily Chamlee-Wright (Ph.D., George Mason University) is a Mercatus senior research scholar and Professor of Economics at Beloit College. Her research interests include development economics and cultural economics. She writes and teaches about indigenous markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Chamlee-Wright is the author of The Cultural Foundations of Economic Development (Routledge 1997) and Culture and Enterprise, co-authored with Don Lavoie (Routledge 2000). Professor Chamlee-Wright will speak on Entrepreneurship in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, in Scarborough 4 at 3 PM.

The flyer for this announcement is available here (PDF). Please contact us at if you have any questions or would like more information.

Hiring for success

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

A nice selection of resources for hiring the right talent from Small Business Trends, including how you can make the most of an interview and why you should offer a “quit now” bonus to new employees.

Virtual entrepreneurship

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Online virtual worlds like Entropia and Second Life are offering young people a way to learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneur Magazine gives two examples of teenagers who utilized their passion for online role playing games to build successful businesses.

What motivates entrepreneurs?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

Jeff Bussgang at Staying Entrepreneurial asks, What motivates entrepreneurs? This question is particularly interesting when one considers the many open source projects for which developers receive no financial reward. Bussgang posits: “The reward for the entrepreneur is not just about the money – although, sure, they are motivated by the money — but what really drives great entrepreneurs is the ego, pride and feeling of recognition and respect.”