A Foreword for Disruptors

This post is by Reid Hoffman from Reid Hoffman

Knowing my background in philosophy, Brad Feld and Dave Jilk recently invited me to contribute a foreword for their new book, The Entrepreneur’s Weekly Nietzsche: A Book for Disruptors. It’s now available andI highly recommend it; click here to get your copyHere’s the foreword I wrote for it.

Nietzsche is a troubling and troublesome philosopher. In different decades and contexts, even scholars have formed radically different interpretations of his work. Nietzsche lends himself to these conflicting interpretations because he philosophizes with an aphoristic hammer and an intense literary style. While the many subjects of his attacks are clear, the reasons and implications of his critique can lead to many different interpretations. Nietzsche deploys this approach in pursuit of bold originality and self-creation. This is what makes him such a good patron philosopher for entrepreneurs. 

Entrepreneurs frequently seek to disrupt an industry by creating new products and services based on changing technologies and markets. Nietzsche sought to disrupt the philosophy of his day through stylistic aphorisms that challenged staid, traditional academic methods. Entrepreneurs develop their companies with new company cultures and new business models. Nietzsche developed his philosophy through a shift of frame, a metamorphosed question, a poetical imperative. Entrepreneurs compete by speed, originality, and strategy—providing modern solutions to classic problems. Nietzsche competed by tearing down old systems of philosophy—replacing old idols (values, religions) with modern humanity. 

As Dave and Brad note in this book, Nietzsche himself dismissed commercial activity and those who engaged in it as crass and (Read more...)