Make Money and/or Change the World?

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David Heinemeir Hansson of 37 Signals makes a great case for entrepreneurial practicality in the video above. A case for common sense that seems to elude majority of the 2.0 bubble hopefuls that are still chasing YouTube acquisition like stardom that come by as often as winning the lottery.

He has some great points and the video is a must watch. It's a reality check that all who chase the next gold mine should pay attention to. If you don't cover the basics (i.e. a business model that can actually sustain you), than you can't build anything...

While I love his no-nonsense rant fueled by an obvious ego, I still have to question whether it applies to everyone.

Can you really change the world by DHH's logic? For example, if you were in the alternate transportation business like Shai, reinventing the mobile internet like Anand or running against the grain of a broken legacy system like Barack?

I think there's a fundamental difference between thriving in a system (like capitalism) and trying to change the game rules of the system itself. Shai is changing the business model, Anand is changing the carrier model, and Barack changed the fundraising model.

The lesson is here is to not be tempted to apply a one-size fits all common wisdom. Understanding the context of where it applies is just as, if not more important. Can you really change the world? It depends how you approach the change from a systemic perspective. What do you think?

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