Dueling Bloggers

So, tonight, I check out Pete’s blog, and I see he’s debating social value and entrepreneurial success with Greg Narain. So, how do we measure social value? Does wealth count? Does recognition count? How do we know that Bill Gates made a contribution to society? Because he a gubillionaire? Or because of all the good stuff that we can do now because of Microsoft? How about all the guys that came up with f=ma and pv=nrt? Did they stay up nights thinking, “I’ve got to make this thing work so I can pay the rent? Does it matter how much money they had? Who added more value to the world, Michaelangelo, Picasso, et al. or the likes of Ford and Rockefeller?

I’m kind of sorry that I started this because I don’t know what the answer is. I’m sure that every person mentioned in the above paragraph was excited when they reached some milestone or completed some task. I’m sure that every one of them said, “This is important.” at some time or other. I’m also sure that every one of them also asked, “What’s the point?” at some point in their lives.

So, here’s my take. Pete, cut Greg some slack. According to this, Edison holds the record for total number of patents. Maybe he also had entrepreneurial ADD. How many of them did he commercialize? I think you’d have a tough time convincing anyone that he didn’t change history. It’s not all about money. It’s about staying interested. If you happen to make money, that’s a plus.

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