Monday, February 2, 2009

Building and giving

Greg Glockner has a good post about Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, who has seen rocky results since leaving Microsoft. He has taken his billions, and, among the fine charitable things he's done, has turned them into, well, fewer billions.

This is where the John Stossels of the world miss the boat. He has contended in books and articles (and, I would imagine, on ABC) that folks such as Ted Turner waste their money when they give it away:
Great business creators like Duncan and Turner waste their skills if they just give money away. They do more for the world by creating businesses. Turner started with 12 employees. By the time he merged CNN with Time Warner, he employed 12,000 people.
Stossel finds a philosopher, David Kelley, who backs him up:
Philosopher David Kelley put it this way. "Why do we think that giving away money is better than making money? Giving away money is a lot easier than building a new business or a new industry where you've created something that didn't exist before. I have a lot more respect for Ted Turner for building CNN at a time when no one thought it was possible than I have for any possible good he could do as a philanthropist."
Which just shows that news readers and philosophers have very little understanding of innovation or business. The assumption that Ted Turner or Paul Allen have some natural ability to create wealth that they are deliberately ignoring is nuts. It could well be that neither man has another company-creating idea in him, that all they would accomplish by starting more companies is to make bankruptcy attorneys rich (actually, Allen seems to be doing just that).

Of course, Stossel is the "thinker" who tries to convince people that Michael Milken was a greater force for good than Mother Teresa; one can only imagine what he thinks of that unproductive slacker, Jesus.

1 comment:

Millionaire Maker said...

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