Book Notes: The Entrepreneurial Imperative by Carl J. Schramm

The book The Entrepreneurial Imperative by Carl J. Schramm is subtitled “How America’s Economic Miracle Will Reshape the World and Change Your Life”.

This is not a book on entrepreneurship, but rather a book on why entrepreneurship (practice of, promotion of, as foreign policy) is important to the a public policy for future USA.

Right from page one the thesis is presented directly:

For the United States to survive and continue its economic and political leadership in the world, we must see entrepreneurship as our central comparative advantage. Nothing else can give us the necessary leverage to remain an economic superpower. Nothing else will allow us to continue to enjoy our standard of living. We either support and nature increasingly entrepreneurial activities in all aspect of our society and around the globe or run the very real risk that we will become progressively irrelevant on the world stage and suffer economically at home.

In short, entrepreneurship in business and universities; in our approach to both government and forign policy; and in our personal lives is the only answer if we hope to continue to thrive.

Aren’t there other solutions?


The author offers these definitions:

  • Entrepreneurship is the process in which one or more people undertake economic risk to create a new organization that will exploit a new technology or innovative process the generates value to others.
  • The Entrepreneur is one who undertakes personal economic risk to create a new organization that will exploit a new technology or innovative process the generates value to others.

Those definitions work for me well enough for me.

I’d like to see what candidates for President in 2008 are going to talk this up – if any.

For foreign policy, this means promoting in entrepreneurial capitalism over democracy promoting (or even business/globalization in general) .

For domestic policy, this means creating environments were entrepreneurship is rewarded, and risks are reduced (less risk = more entrepreneurial activity). What might this mean: National systems of employer independent pension and health insurance systems (not gov run), and new financing and legal mechanisms.

For schools and universities, this means entrepreneurship should be taught and practiced.

This seems like an important book to me. At under 200 pages it is a quick read. Hey, used copies are a buck on too!

Update: I corrected many grammar/spelling mistakes.

8 Responses

  1. “For foreign policy, this mean promoting in entrepreneurial capitalism over democracy promoting (or even business/globalization in general) .”

    Singapore is an excellent example of this. I’ll be picking this book up soon.

  2. I would be interested in views after reading the book using comparing/contrasting with Singapore.

  3. Carl Schramm’s “Schrammenomics” Creates Record Unemployment
    By entrepreneurshipeconomist

    Over the past seven years, Carl Schramm has presided over the least entrepreneurial and most corrupt era of American business. During these seven years he has done far more harm than good by redefining entrepreneurship in a Harvard MBA “growthology” buzzword manner that pleases his Statist friends. During the era of Schrammenomic “entrepreneurship/growthology” the government burgeoned (growthology) as tens of millions lost their pensions, savings, jobs, and homes while entrepreneurs lost their credit lines and the rising generation lost its future earnings, as the Kauffman Foundation’s endowment/hedge fund needed the TARP bailout funds to line Schramm et al.’s pockets with millions upon millions, as the $2.5 billion endowment benefited from taxpayer bailouts for the Wall Street rich both directly and indirectly.

    Instead of investing the Kauffman funds in entrepreneurs and innovators (as Mr. Kauffman willed), Schramm has pocketed millions for his corporate vanity press while leading and furthering double-speaking Statist philosophies, dumbing down and feminizing the university campus and replacing wealth-creating Ph.D.’s with wealth-transferring MBAs/JDs, all the while saying one thing while doing another; as one cannot serve two masters. As Schramm’s campaigning for the Nobel prize and fostering innovation and entrepreneuership are opposing endeavors, he had not the time to do both; and as he does not personally innovate nor invent nor create companies with actual names, he figured the former path would be the safer investment for the $2.5 billion endowment he inherited/commandeered.

    Never has Schramm used his throne to speak out against massive student debt, but instead he has rewarded the administrations who augmented the student debt in an unprecedented manner and bought up more land and property with hundreds of millions of dollars–stolen capital that Kauffman had meant for entrepreneurs, rather than a private citizen’s campaign for the Nobel in economics.

    When entrepreneurs innovate and create, according to Schramm, they do it for selfish motivations, and that is why Kauffman cannot fund them, but only take credit for their success, while leaving them with their failures as their lines of credit are cut off by Schramm’s satatist/banking friends. But when Schramm takes credit for the wealth created by entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship via his elite Kauffmun-funded PR team and Kauffman-funded vanity-press buzzword bloggers, he does it for the greater good of humanity, and thus he is the one, true pre-ordained beneficiary of Kauffman, as he is more virtuous than you, because he neither innovates nor invents, which is considered to be a crime against the Statists and the State. And over the past seven years, he and his team of elite Statists have crusaded against the true entreprneurial spirit, while seeking to take credit for entrepreneurship’s wondrous wealth creation while funneling millions to the bureuacracies/university administrations that oppose it. Name one–just one–Kauffman venture that has sprung fourth form the millions they have invested in Statist technology transfer and university dog and pony shows.

    “I sit on a man’s back, choking him, and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by any means possible, except getting off his back.” –Tolstoy Writings on Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence (1886)

    Scrhamm and his socialist friends would have dominated in the Soviet Union, as the Statists redefine entrepreneurship as a puerile Web 2.0 riskless/centralized blogfest/PR machine/vanity press.

    Yes–America still loves its entrepreneurs, but Schramm is the opposite of the entrepreneur, funding university administrations and creating vast technology transfer/entrepreneurship education bureaucracies in Schramm’s image–filled with lifelong, professional Statists who are jealous of wealth creators and entrepreneurs and pull out all the stops in opposing them.

    The Kauffman funds were meant to fund entrepreneurs all across the land–not to be concentrated in one central-planner’s hands so as to build his vanity press/buzzword blogfest and further his campaign for the Nobel in ecomics, as millions of entrepreneurs lost their homes, savings, pensions, and businesses over the seven years of the central-planners’ anti-entreprneuerial leadership. Under Schrammenomics government spending has burgeoned in an unprecedented manner while corporate corruption has soared. And all the while, Schramm has remained too big to fail as the eocnomy crumbled under his anti-leadership.

    How many more years is the Kauffman Board going to sit idly by as Schrammenomics funds innovationless university administrators and Statists? How many more homes, jobs, pensions, businesses, and savings must be lost, before the Kauffman Board reallocates the hundreds of millions directed towards Schramm’s vanity press/soulless, dishonorable boomer blogfest filled to the brim with conflicts of interest?
    “It is interesting that Dealbreaker references Carl Shram of the Kauffman Foundation as an authority on ethics. Those of us who live in the Kansas City region know that Carl Schram and been a controversial figure since he was appointed to his post a number of years ago. Board members have resigned in protest of his leadership style and strategic choices. His controversial leadership led to the Missouri Attorney General reviewing the Kauffman Foundation for not staying true to the intent of Ewing Kauffman. The purpose of this review was stated as:

    “In light of the public allegations of a departure from Mr. Kauffman’s intent, lack of appropriate oversight by the Board of Directors, and certain instances of conflicts of interest. ” (

    See also this editorial from the Kansas City Business Journal (

    Ewing Kauffman was famous as an ethical leader. Carl Schramm is not.

    Talk talk talk talk talk talk, PR release, soundbite, soundbite, blog, blog, talk, talk, talk, PR release, talk, fund blog to review schrammenomic books with kauffman funds, talk talk talk, blog, blog blog. And the DOW goes down, down, down, along with the economy, pensions, savings, and the American Dream. Hord. Hord. Hord Kauffman funds for personal profits/book promotions/book tours. Deny entrepreneurs funding while pocketing millions meant for entrepreneurs and funding friends and schrammenomic “team players.” Write another vanity-press book. Send to sycophantic buzzword Harvard MBA/JD bloggers.

    Nowhere in the Kauffman mission statement did Mr. Kauffman say that one risk-free, Machiavellian man/Statist should so dominate and transmorgify the fruits of Mr. Kauffman’s vison, service, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

    Over the past seven years as the DOW plummeted, housing prices plummted, and tens of millions of American’s lost their jobs/homes/savings/penisons to Schrammenomics, Schramm has pocketed millions and doled out hundreds of millions more to university administrators and elite blogger/lawyers supporting his campaign for the Nobel in ecomomincs.

    Schramm had a vast opportunity to directly fund entrepreneurs and innovation–to lead an army of entrepreneurs; but as his major goal was the Nobel in economics and not fostering wealth creation and growth, nor saving the US Constitution nor economy; he focused on PR and “being liked” and surrounding himslef with syocphantic socialists who could put on the best entrepreneuership dog and pony shows. And after seven long years of anti-entrepreneur Schrammenomics, the unemployment rate has hit an all-time high:

    Under Schramm’s anti-leadership (As the WSJ article states that he is proud that nobody knows what it is that Kauffman does), Kauffman will not fund entrepreneurs nor innovators nor risk-takers, but Schramm’s purloined empire will instead merely seek to take credit for the entrepreneurs’ innovation, work, and wealth creation via PR releases.

    Notice what has happened over the past seven years since Schramm took the helm of the Kauffman Foundation and redefined entrepreneurship in his own elite, “never worked a day in my life,” “never filed a patent nor launched a company with an actual name,” “too big to fail” image.

    This is because Schramm sees entrepreneurs as greedy, selfish people. And that is why he receives the lion’s share of the Kauffman funds to promote his vanity press and hire an entire cabal of “growthology” bloggers and Harvard MBAs to coin new buzzwords so as to transfer more wealth into Schramm’s pocket as the economy declines. For when entrepreneurs seek money, they do it for selfish reasons. But when Schramm’s “schrammenomic” Harvard MBA/blogger/lawyer friends seek money, they do it for the greater good of society.

    When entrepreneurs innovate and create, according to Schramm, they do it for selfish motivations, and thus the Statist will not fund them. But when Schramm takes credit for the wealth created by entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship via his elite Kauffmun-funded Harvard MBA/PR team and Kauffman-funded vanity-press buzzword bloggers, he does it for the greater good of humanity.

    Schrammenomics is the problem–not the solution.

  4. Johnny R – Why are you so bitter? Did Shramm turn you down for a grant or something? Did you get fired from Kaufman? What’s your beef?

  5. Keeping it Real–that is a cool name–you must be a groupthink “growthology” MBA, as that is what is real in Schrammenomics–not Hayek, Mises, and entrepreneurship!

    The real question is “Why is Schramm so bitter?”

    Why does he detest Nobel Laureates such as Hayek and Mises?

    We criticize Schramm because after seven years of Schrammenomics, millions upon millions are losing their homes and jobs.

    Never in a million years would I work for Kauffman under Schramm’s leadership, as how stressful would that be! To fly around pretending that the emperor has clothes and that Schrammenopmics has substance as the eocnomy crumbles and millions of jobs/small businesses are lost! Kauffman was a great man–Schramm is a Schrammeconomist.

    Do not take my word for it, but read Dealbreaker:

    “In light of the public allegations of a departure from Mr. Kauffman’s intent, lack of appropriate oversight by the Board of Directors, and certain instances of conflicts of interest. ” (

    See also this editorial from the Kansas City Business Journal (

    Ewing Kauffman was famous as an ethical leader. Carl Schramm is not.

    “Those fighting for free enterprise and free competition do not defend the interests of those rich today. They want a free hand left to unknown men who will be the entrepreneurs of tomorrow…” –Ludwig Von Mises

    So we see why Schramm neglects/detests Mises, for Schramm is far more interested in photo-ops with leading socialists such as Gordon Brown and George Bush than he is in defending the natural rights of the unkwon men–the creators, innovators, and inventors.

    Carl Schramm’s greatest accomplishment to date was that he was able to completly ignore Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek and his teacher Ludwig Von Mises in penning a book on contemporary capitalism–GOOD CAPITALISM: BAD CAPITALISM.

    Schramm ignoring Hayek and Mises in Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism is like ignoring Elvis and The Beatles while writing the history of rock and roll. Or like ignoring Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson in writing a treatise on boxing. Or it would be like ignoring Thomas Jefferson and George Washington in writing a history of the United States, which, when you come to think about it, is exactly what the Statists do, exalting their groupthink “growthology” prose and mere MBA buzzwords over eternity’s greats, as Schramm defines entrepreneurship as creating groupthink buzzword consensus while funneling the Kauffman funds into his pocket. And as a result, the spirit of entrepreneurship dies as trillions and trillions are printed and given to Schramm’s banking friends, without Schramm ever standing aside history and yelling “stop.”

    Since Schramm is competing for the Nobel Prize in economics, as opposed to furthering scholarship, innovating, inventing, and serving the spirit of entrepreneurship, he has to focus on growthology MBA buzzwords instead of thoughts, innovation, and ideas, in the same way American Idol contestants must focus not on music, but on Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul.

    So why did Scrhamm completely reject Mises and Hayek in penning his book? Well, because Schramm knows that Mises and Hayek are talking about him, and how can he ever win the Nobel in economics if he shares their supreme wisdom with the world, which calls him out? Good Capitalism: Bad Capitalism was written not to exalt the truth, but hide it, for as Hayek noted in The Road To Serfdom: When Truth Ends, The Worst Rise To The Top. When Schramm saw those two chapters, he jumped at the oportunity–if he could get rid of Hayek’s and Mises’s truth at Kauffman, then he could rise to the top and staty there for all of eternity, even as the American economy crashed and burned due to dumbed-down, soulless Schrammenomics. All he had to do was usrround himself with an army of sycophantic supporters and keep them in terror by never defining Kauffman’s mission–an accomplishment of opaqueness he recently took great pride in in a WSJ puff piece.

  6. “What counts alone is the innovator, the dissenter, the harbinger of things unheard of, the man who rejects the traditional standards and aims at substituting new values and ideas for old ones.” –Mises Schrammenomics must reject this quote as schrammenomics embraces not originators and individuals, but MBA marketers and buzzword generators who must naturally oppose the individual innovator while making certain that the Kauffman funds keep flowing into Schramm’s pockets for simply saying “growthology” at fancy dinners, thusly taking credit for the entreprnuer’s blood, sweat, and tears as Kauffman’s endowment benefits form taxpayer/entrepreneur TARP bailout funds.

    “Whoever prefers life to death, happiness to suffering, well-being to misery must defend without compromise private ownership in the means of production.” –Mises –This is why Schramm funds Statists first and foremost, serving the debt machine that places students in epic, unprecedented debt.

    “Education rears disciples, imitators, and routinists, not pioneers of new ideas and creative geniuses. The schools are not nurseries of progress and improvement, but conservatories of tradition and unvarying modes of thought. ” –Mises. This is exactly why Schramm wires hundreds of millions to boomer bureaucrats at universities and schools, while denying funds to entreprneurial individuals. This is why Schramm hires MBAs and JDs over engineers and innovators. For when the truth ends, the worst get on top, and he has built Kauffman’s Orwellian groupthink growthology utopia via leveraging “disciples, imitators, and routinists, not pioneers of new ideas and creative geniuses.”

    And thus over the seven year reign of Schrammenomics, the economy has faltered as pensions, homes, and svaings have plummted and millions of jobs were lost along with small businesses.

  7. Some have wondered if Kauffman might be a giant laboratory to test what happens when Statists come to control the economy with MBA Buzzwords and double-talking jive JDs/MBAs chanting “growthology!” while campaigning for the Nobel in eocnomics. But then one actually begins to realize that Schramm isn’t kididng. He considers himself to be the King of Kapitalism, and all his hand-picked Kauffman cronies agree (or they wouldn’t be there). The only problem is that the eocnomy does not agree, and millions upon millions of jobs are being lost as Schramm commissions more papers on entreprneurship from his Statist friends, while also wiring hundreds of millions to univeristy administrations who place students in debt in an epic manner, raising tutions at fast as Schramm can wire cash their way, freezing wages while exalting student debt as this is how Schramm defines entrepreneurship, thusly wiring Kauffman funds to his cronies who agree to pen glowing PR for his lawerly, “safe” vision of anti-entrepreneurship.

    Schramm’s motto should be “More debt for students, less funds for professors, and more money for Schrammenomic administrators.” as he empowers groupthink growthology MBA-buzzword bloggers to lord over all:

    “The belt-tightening at Oberlin is occurring shortly after the college decided to raise the per-student cost per year to $50,584 — up from the $48,150 this year. The $2,434 increase in tuition and fees was smaller than in years past, Watts said.”

    And so it is that as Schramm personally profits as the American economy declines, suffering from seven years of Schammenomics with no end in sight, Schramm knows that to maintain his power, he must erase every last vestige of Hayek and Mises from contemporary definitions of “Good Capitalism.”


    Because Hayek and Mises call Schramm out. They call his Statist bluff which is killing the spirit of entrepreneurship while lining Schramm’s pockets with millions as entreprnuers lose thei rlines of credit, businesses, and homes; and their employees lose their jobs. “Growthology!” Schramm barks at them as he flies first class overhead on Kauffman’s dime.

    Ludwig Von Mises stated:
    “[Socialists] promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office.”” (Def. what Kauffman has become under Schrammenomics)

    “As the science of economics…exploded the fallacies of every brand of utopianism, it was outlawed and stigmatized as unscientific.” (This is why Schramm has outlawed Hayek and Mises in his books and at Kauffman, forcing him to hire only Jds and MBAs who read neither Hayek nor Mises)

    “The essential characteristic of Western civilization that distinguishes it from the arrested and petrified civilizations of the East was and is its concern for freedom from the state. The history of the West, from the age of the Greek polis down to the present-day resistance to socialism, is essentially the history of the fight for liberty against the encroachments of the officeholders.” Schrammenomics sees no need to fight for liberty, as they run the State.

  8. Johnny R:

    I had never heard of “growthology” before, but thanks,I have now added their RSS feed to my blog reading.

    I nothing about the particulars that the author teaches about entrepreneurship.

    The book is about why entrepreneurship is important, not the mechanics of it.

    BTW, any on with drive and spunk can be an entrepaunre – with or without an MBA.

    I think it would be very good thing if MBAs learned about entrepreneurship as I certainly did in my MBA program (those were electives I took though).

    So far, I have been lead or co-lead two failed efforts, one successful internal effort, had one effort ripped off by fellow MBA students (who fucked up the execution), many tiny little internal projects that that I treated as entrepreneurial ventures, and several other ideas/projects being mulled upon.

    “Over the past seven years, Carl Schramm has presided over the least entrepreneurial and most corrupt era of American business.

    I think it is silly to somehow implicate that he is behind or control entrepreneurship. Most have never heard of him. Nobody presides over entrepreneurs.

    I think it is silly also to somehow link entrepreneurship to USGOV growth. You are suggesting that entrepreneurial activity or thinking has lead to gov growth. Since entrepreneurs are creating and growing private ventures for private wealth I don’t see what this has to do USGOV growth (which is a bad thing).

    WTF? You are blaming TARP on this guy? TARP is crap (read my blog), but yo ucan’t blame TRAP on entrepreneurship.

    I know nothing of the foundation he runs. I could care less. It sounds like you think it should be run differently then her runs. Ok. Heck you could be right. But you don’t run it. The trustees didn’t hire you. It not your money.

    Seriously though, you are also blaming him and entrepreneurship for:

    My comment will end now, I don’t want to read through your rant again since it addresses nothing in the book the subject of my post.

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