This text first appeared in Inc.

Capitalism has been good to me. After serving within the army throughout Vietnam, I got here dwelling and had a profession in eight startups. I acquired to retire once I was 45. During the last quarter century, in my third profession, I helped create the strategies entrepreneurs use to construct new startups, whereas instructing 1,000’s of scholars easy methods to begin new ventures. It’s been rewarding to see tech entrepreneurship grow to be an integral a part of the financial system and tech firms grow to be among the most valued firms on this planet.

What has made this occur is the relentless cycle of innovation and inventive destruction of outdated industries pushed by new startups with new tech and new enterprise fashions (community tv changed by streaming providers, Nvidia GPUs versus Intel CPUs, electrical vehicles versus the interior combustion engine, movie cameras versus smartphones, programmers versus AI), all fueled by enterprise capital.

It makes me surprise – are startups nonetheless based by folks with a ardour for creating one thing new? Or has the motivation modified to accruing the largest pile of money?

After I was an entrepreneur, what acquired me up within the morning was constructing one thing superb that individuals wished to seize out of my arms and use. The thought that I would make a $1 million and even $10 million on the best way was at all times at the back of my head, however that wasn’t why I did it.

I’m wondering if it’s totally different for at this time’s entrepreneurs.

Right here’s a thought experiment: What if we advised each new entrepreneur that no matter how profitable they had been, their complete compensation can be capped at $100 million.

What number of aspiring entrepreneurs would resolve it wasn’t price beginning an organization? Would Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, et al have give up earlier? Have picked different careers?

What number of would resolve it wasn’t price sticking round after their firm was massive and profitable? (Would that be a foul factor?)

Would entrepreneurship undergo? Would we get much less innovation? In that case, why?

Would the very best and brightest transfer to different international locations?

Then let’s run the identical thought experiment with Enterprise Capitalists. Would they choose different careers? Make investments much less?

At $100 million would capitalism crumble?  Would all of us be, heaven forbid, be “Socialists” or worse, to even have this dialog?

I’m curious what you assume.

Ought to there be any restrict?

In that case, why?

Or why not.

What can be the results?

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