John Koten, Editor in Chief of Inc magazine, recently spoke about the “rise of the entrepreneurial class” at a talk I attended at the Cleveland City Club.
He called it one of two key factors in our economy today. A wide range of people today see themselves as entrepreneurs, he says — everyone from Martha Stewart to Snoop Dog to college kids to retiring Baby Boomers. In his words, “entrepreneurship is a huge underexpressed force” today, even in large companies.
What’s more, people have a desire to be creative in business. That’s the other key factor in the economy, he says: the rise of the creative class. People today desire to express themselves, often through art. And artists realize that by integrating business principles with their art, that they can further their art.
He says these two factors are converging, and we are seeing a new mercantile class develop just as there was a new mercantile class in the 1800’s underlying the industrial revolution. This phenomenon can be graphed out this way, with art and entrepreneurship being two sides of a triangle, and startups forming the foundation:
The talk was recorded and turned into a podcast. Listen to the podcast here (MP3 file, approximately 55 minutes — he speaks about the rise of the entrepreneurial class about 23 minutes into the recording).