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Neither entrepreneurs nor business leaners, but just techno-greedy people

In 2003, in the third edition of his book Entrepreneurship, in addition to speaking for the first time about electronic commerce, Marc Dollinger updated his definition of "entrepreneur" to describe the person or group of people capable of "creating and innovating" for economic purposes "in conditions of risk and uncertainty".

In this context, “risk” refers to the variations in results or profits that a certain commercial activity can generate. "Uncertainty" is the difference between what the entrepreneur knows and what the entrepreneur must estimate to obtain the desired results.

Dollinger updated his book and definitions when the United States was still recovering from the attacks of September 11, 2001 and when, both individually and nationally, the levels of risk and uncertainty were soaring.

As Dollinger explained, after 2001, a “new entrepreneur” had emerged. The entrepreneur was no longer he who founded a small business and became the boss, but he/she who created networks of organizations in which he/she might or might not be the leader. The new entrepreneur was not focused on a trade, but on a business. And he/she did not want technology, but innovation.

Even more importantly, the new entrepreneur acted globally, and it was no longer just about men nor were men the majority among the new entrepreneurs. For entrepreneurs, uncertainty about the future opens the opportunity to create a new future.

Yet, less than two decades after that book, having faced the Great Recession of 2008 and now in a global pandemic, in conditions of risk and uncertainty that Dollinger probably could never have imagined, “entrepreneurship” has become so devalued that it means to become a member of a program multi-level after seen an ad on social networks.

Where are those characteristics of dealing with risk and market variations? What happened to the ability of knowing what you know and also knowing what you still need to learn? And why is it difficult to find someone with a true global and inclusive vision, that is, with a mind, heart and open hands to the world and the future?

A possible answer is what could be called techno-greed, or, in other words, the desire to generate "abstract wealth" quickly and without work, by becoming an "intermediary" ("affiliate", some say) between the creator of a product or service and the consumer.

Wealth without work is one of the seven deadly sins that Gandhi enumerated. In this case, "without work" doesn’t mean "without a job", but rather not assuming the responsibilities that are incumbent upon entrepreneurs (such as, knowing the market, seeing opportunities, developing a product) and not assuming the risks of an undertaking , but wanting all the results and profits.

Now, at a crucial moment in history in which a virus reveals the shortcomings of the system that for almost 500 years has been almost non-functional and of a philosophy that for two and a half millennia governed Western thought, the visions and actions of true entrepreneurs are more urgent than ever. But they almost don’t exist.

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