The modern world is in love with entrepreneurship. Starting your own business holds the same sort of prestigious position as, in previous ages, making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem or spearing multiple enemies in battle.
However, what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur remains maddeningly elusive. Governments and public bodies do their best to encourage people by helping out with the practicalities: offering tax breaks, making failure less punitive, setting up ‘enterprise zones’ and so on.
Yet at the kernel of successful entrepreneurship lies something oddly more abstract: an accurate insight into the causes of human unhappiness. Every morally-minded business is in some way alleviating a particular kind of suffering.
Because consumer society is now well-developed, it can be easy to think that everything must surely already have been done to please and satiate the audience, that every possible gimmick and thrill has been amply explored and indeed that we have far ‘too much stuff’ already. These concerns may then meld with an ecological concern for the diminishing resources of the planet – to create a view that we should henceforth aim for less and that capitalism is done for…