Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On the Virtue of Tilting

For some reason I have been been thinking about Don Quixote:
Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire,
"Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless."
"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza.
"Those you see over there," replied his master, "with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length."
"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone."
Everyone is understandably concerned about employment, jobs and from where they will come. But let us not forget that the good jobs, the ones we worry about losing today have their origins in the quixotic activity of yesterday's garage and dorm-room inventors. Young men who were told to get a real job, to give up the pipe dream, to accept the status-quo. But they are the guys who founded: Dell, Microsoft, Google, Apple, Yahoo, not to mention the corporations from the old days, like Hewlitt/Packard, Ford, and GE whose origins are just as humble.

So, if we really want to develop more jobs, I conclude that we need fewer business schools, and more schools with a course on Don Quixote.

"your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions."


1 comment:

Lynn said...

Nicely done. The late, great Elizabeth Zimmermann was always "unventing" things. And now we have the Pi Shawl and the Baby Surprise Jacket.