Reading List: Startup Nations and the End of Men


With the July 4th holiday and cookout hangover dissipating into their respective synapses, there were a few interesting commentaries that compared the founding and innovation of nations with that of startups.  As one author writes:

America did not merely secede and copy the governing documents or style of the United Kingdom.  Rather, it innovated, creating a system based on the English Common Law, yet different, one with explicit checks and balances to restrain government, and with no place for a monarch.  It was an experiment with a more radical form of democracy than existed anywhere in the 18th-century world.

And it was an incredibly successful experiment, as the combination of that innovative rule-set and the empty frontier resulted in America growing rapidly in population, wealth, and influence. 

Brad Burnham at Union Square takes a similar tack, pointing out that some web services are becoming as big as governments (Facebook and Twitter have more users than most countries have citizens), and are thus acting quite a bit more like them, somewhat to his chagrin.

Lastly, our discussion last month on female entrepreneurs came just before the cover story of The Atlantic magazine, with the provocative title The End of Men. The thesis is pretty simple: modern life is less interested in the biological advantages of men (strength, individualism, competitive drive) and more rewarding to skills which women are developing faster and better (education, cooperation, social intelligence). It’s a very compelling read — even with a six-pack, La-Z-boy recliner, and Sportscenter grunting the background. Wiiiillllllmmmaaaaa