21 September 2011

Entrepreneurship - Not That Important .... Yet

Google offers this cool way to track the frequency of words or phrases in books in their books Ngram Viewer.

First, we can see from this graph that entrepreneurship has become more frequently written about in the last half century, in keeping with my premise that entrepreneurship is becoming more important.

Meanwhile, we can see that capital and labor have battled for mention in books, labor actually surpassing capital twice - once during the roaring twenties and again right after World War II - before falling back down in apparent importance.

But a particular kind of labor - knowledge workers dependent on information and information technology - has risen to prominence. Using a proxy for this (an admittedly overly-inclusive proxy) we can see that information HAS surpassed capital. 

But to give you some idea of how relatively unimportant entrepreneurship is still considered, look at this comparison between entrepreneurship and capital. 

You can barely make out entrepreneurship along the bottom of this graph. 

Capital - trillions of dollars worth slosh about the globe in search of higher returns - still dominates the literature. It seems as though we have quite a lot of work to do to change that. 

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