02 February 2014

Entrepreneurs, Con Artists, the American Dream

As the sociologist Alex Preda writes, “Talent for persuasion is key: after all, the public must be convinced to part with their money on the basis of the simple promise that an idea will yield profit in the future.” Successful entrepreneurship involves hucksterism, the ability to convince investors and employees that they should risk their money, their time, and their effort on you. Like a con artist, you’re peddling optimism. As Mel Weinberg (the model for Bale’s character in “American Hustle”) put it in Robert Greene’s book “The Sting Man,” “It’s my philosophy to give hope. . . . That’s why most people don’t turn us in to the cops. They keep hopin’ we’re for real.” (source infra)

James Surowiecki: Entrepreneurs, Con Artists, and the American Dream : The New Yorker: " ... Steve Jobs, was legendary for his “reality-distortion field,” which allowed him to convince people that improbable outcomes were not just possible but certain. Jobs’s endless rehearsals for his public presentations and his scripting of every moment for maximum effect—these are all straight from the con artist’s playbook. So, too, is the sense of conviction he projected. In Weinberg’s words, “Before you sell a deal you have to live the deal. You have to believe in it, because, if you don’t believe in it, you can’t sell it.”. . . that unquantifiable mélange of risk, hope, and hype provides both the capitalist’s formula for transforming the world and the con artist’s stratagem for turning your money into his money...." (read more at link above)

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Mediocre Entrepreneurs | TechCrunch: " . . . . persistence is not the self-help cliche “Keep going until you hit the finish line!”. The key slogan is, “Keep failing until you accidentally no longer fail.” That’s persistence." - James Altucher

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