Chaos and Creativity in the Lives of Entrepreneurs and Scientists by Ted Goertzel
Why Study Entrepreneurs and Scientists? • They have a powerful impact on society • They are important role models for young people • They are underrepresented in a sample based on published biographies, especially the entrepreneurs • But: the amount of information available on their childhoods is often limited
Who are the Eminent? • There is no “correct” list but the same people often occur on many lists • One criterion is celebrity status and popular interest • Another is expert judgment as to the importance of individual accomplishment • We used both of these criteria, limited to people who lived into the twentieth century Who would you choose for a book such as this?
Samples in theCradles of Eminence Research • 1962: Over 400 people with biographies in the Montclair, NJ public library • 1978: Follow-up sample of over 300 from the Menlo Park, CA pubic library • 2003: Sample of over 700 from the Montclair public library online catalog, supplemented expert judgments from Time and Life magazine studies
Luther Burbank George Washington Carver Marie Curie Paul Ehrlich Albert Einstein Havelock Ellis Emrico Fermi Reginald Fessendren Alexander Fleming Robert Oppenheimer Ivan Pavlov Bertrand Russell Ernest Rutherford Charles Steinmetz Selman Waksman Norbert Wiener Hans Zinsser Natural Scientists, Engineers and Mathematicians in the 1962 Cradles of Eminence Sample
Niels Bohr Rosalind Franklin Karl von Frisch George Gamow Otto Hahn Earnest Lawrence Stanislaw Ulam Physical Scientists, Engineers and Mathematicians in the 1978 300 Eminent Personalities Sample
Richard Feinman Jane Goodall John Muir Dian Fossey Stephen Hawking James Herriot Jacques Cousteau Stephen Jay Gould Linus Pauling Carl Sagan George Dawson Charles Drew Otto Frisch Edwin Hubble Richard Leakey George Lewis Konrad Lorenz Peter Medwar James Murray Roger Peterson Alan Turing John Wesley Natural Scientists, Engineers and Mathematicians in the 2003 Cradles of Eminence Update Sample
1962 Bernard Baruch Andrew Carnegie Henry Ford Ivar Krueger Cecil Rhodes John D. Rockefeller John D. Rockefeller, Jr. 1978 Elizabeth Arden Coco Chanel Howard Hughes Emil Jellinek-Mercedes Louis Renault Helena Rubenstein David Sarnoff Business Leaders in the 1962 and 1978 Samples
Business Leaders in Landrum’s Profiles of Genius Prometheus Books
Traits of Entrepreneurs • Creative, visionary thinkers • Energy to realize ideas through vigorous, persistent action • Courage to endure uncertainty and ignore criticism and hostility • Lust for power, competitive • Often abrasive and unpleasant in personal interaction
Maury Klein on the Childhoods of Entrepreneurs • Middle class or wealthy families • Many fathers had career problems or marital problems • A few had especially devoted or attentive mothers • “Education offers little that explains their success except perhaps in a negative role” • Started work early and worked very hard • Often inspired by mentors
John D. Rockefeller (Senior) • His father was a charlatan who sold cancer remedies and a bigamist who was absent for long periods of time • Young John D. sat by the road waiting month after dreary month for his father to come home • He and his siblings had to work for their money although their father never had less than $1000 in his pocket • Dropped out of high school to go to work, taking ten weeks of commercial college courses • Excelled at mental arithmetic
The headline in the New York World of February 2, 1908 made the point brutally clear: SECRET DOUBLE LIFE OF ROCKEFELLER'S FATHER REVEALED BY THE WORLD. . . . Old Dr. William A. Rockefeller and “Dr. William Levingston,” Who Lived as a Bigamist Thirty-four Years, Proved to Be the Same.
Andrew Carnegie’s father’s handloom operator job in Scotland was mechanized • He had only five years of education in Scotland and could not afford school after moving to Pennsylvania • His family had leftist, pro-labor views • Went to work at 13 as a bobbin boy in a factory, learned telegraph operation and management • Built Keystone Bridge Company and Carnegie Steel • Became famous as a strike-breaker • Gave huge sums to philanthropy for libraries and world peace Andrew Carnegie Entrepreneur Strike-Breaker Philanthropist
A. P. Giannini’s father, an immigrant entrepreneur from Italy, was gunned down by a disgruntled employee when Amadeo was six years old • Starting at twelve, Amadeo followed his stepfather to the overnight produce markets, making deals of his own • He did well in school but stopped writing on the board when someone called him a teacher’s pet • Dropped out one month short of eighth grade graduation, doing a three month business school course to placate his disappointed mother • He innovated by expanding banking services to small businesses A.P. Giannini Founder of the Bank of Italy and the Bank of America
John Henry Patterson, founder of National Cash Register, grew up in a farming family that scraped by • In college: “What I learned mostly was what not to do.” • He served in the Union Army and graduated from Dartmouth, but he developed a dislike of college education and distrusted college men all his life • He had a gift for picking men to work for him, but had a hard time giving them autonomy to do the work • He praised then humiliated subordinates, sometimes firing favorites unexpectedly
IBM founder Tom Watson, Sr., went to a one room school house, then to an academy a half day’s walk from his home. • His father just scraped by in various business ventures • Bored in business school, where he learned bookkeeping, he apprenticed to an itinerant salesman • He learned from the John Patterson, founder of National Cash Register, then went out on his own after being fired
Financially Precarious Fathers • Andrew Carnegie’s father was a weaver in Scotland who lost his trade to mechanization • George Eastman’s father died when he was 14 • Thomas Watson grew up in a cramped cabin with no running water, his father became too ill to work • Edmund Harriman’s father was an impecunious minister • F.W. Woolworth’s father was a struggling farmer • Warren Buffet’s father went broke during the depression but reestablished himself • Joyce Hall’s father was an itinerant preacher who sent little money home, then left altogether when Joyce was seven.
Entrepreneurs on Schooling • Joyce Hall: (of a rural grade school) “We went to school because we had to. Not much reason was ever given why we should take it seriously.” • J.C. Penney: “Whatever education I received has been picked up as I went along - just as a locomotive scoops up water without stopping.” • Theodore Vail: “Schools teach too much science and unpractical things. Young men grow up to think the world owes them a living.” • Michael Dell: “As important as [high] school was, I found that it could be very disruptive to a steady income.” • Warren Buffett: “It seems like a waste to go to school and get a Ph.D. in economics. It’s a little like spending eight years in divinity school and having someone tell you that the ten commandments are all that matter.”
Father a “Horatio Alger figure” who died when Fred was four years old • Congenital bone disease made it difficult for him to walk • Overcame illness with strong support from mother. Athlete and “Best All-Around Student” in high school • A letter from his father implored him to put his inheritance to good use • Started businesses when a teenager. A recording company he started with a friend at age 16 is still in business • Admits to being a “crummy student” at Yale • Risked his whole inheritance on the Federal Express startup despite everyone telling him there was no market for it.
Tom Monaghan’s father died when he was four Mother felt unable to raise him, left him in St. Joseph’s Home for Boys, later in foster homes He called St. Joseph’s a prison and his classmates inmates, yet felt close to one of the nuns His mother favored his younger brother, left him in foster homes High school diploma and one semester of college Dislikes moderation, favors disciplined work habits, diet, rigorous exercise routine, religious observance Childhood of a “Pizza King”
From Tom Monaghan’s WEB site: • I Am Focusing On God, • Family And Domino's Pizza • IT’S BEEN A LONG EXCITING ROAD SINCE THE ORPHANAGE • Only in America could a once poor, yet determined young boy from Ann Arbor, Michigan, combine hard work, unwavering courage, and strong faith to build a multi-billion dollar pizza business from the ground up. Tom Monaghan Domino’s Pizza
A second son, Donald Trump surpassed his older brother as his father’s heir apparent • As small child he howled for no apparent reason, insisted on being a center of attention • Exuberant and disruptive in school, taken out of private school and sent to a military academy • Couldn’t wait to get out of college and into the real estate business. Started buying Philadelphia real estate while a student at Wharton
Sam Walton’s father went broke as mortgage broker during the depression. • Mother was ambitious for him and proud of his accomplishments • Made A’s in school, Eagle Scout, natural leader, dressed well • Worked his way through the University of Missouri, business major, couldn’t afford MBA • Borrowed from wife’s parents to start first business, lost lease • Strong belief in hard work and traditional values
Ray Kroc hated high school - especially algebra • His parents let him drop out • He became a salesman of milkshake machines • He happened on the first McDonald’s restaurant • He saw McDonald’s potential for franchising and developed a successful national franchise
Walt Disney was whipped by his father until he was fourteen • Little encouragement from his family for his drawing • He moved frequently as his father’s businesses floundered • Dropped out of high school to join the ambulance corps in WW I • Learned his trade from correspondence courses, Saturday museum classes and as an apprentice to a commercial illustrator
Ted Turner’s parents left him in a boarding school when he was six as they took off on a wartime assignment • Attended military academies where he was isolated and ostracized as a “Yankee” • Rejected social interaction became a voracious reader • His father believed that insecurity would lead him to greatness • Nickname: “Turnover Ted” for capsizing his sailboat • Party animal and noted ladies’ man in college “Turnover Ted” Turner A risk-taker in sailing and in business.
John DeLorean’s father drank and raged at the family and had trouble keeping a job • His parents separated three times when he was young, divorced when he was 17 • His middle class home and lifestyle were less than his friends had • Went to Detroit’s high school for honors students and won a music scholarship to Lawrence Institute of Technology • He was brash and self-promoting but willing to help others • Learned his trade from Bunkie Knudson of GM
Martha Stewart’s childhood was not as idyllic as she portrayed it. Her father was a strict disciplinarian and her mother was withdrawn • She was a teacher’s pet who bonded with a grade school teacher • Her father encouraged her to become a model while in high school, taking hundreds of photographs in a basement photo studio • She was an excellent student in both high school and college, who remained focused on her career goals • She had “the intelligence to recognize opportunities when they dropped in her lap…and the drive, energy and determination to turn them into unprecedented business success”
Linus Pauling’s father wrote to the Portland Oregonian asking advice about books for his son • His father was a pharmacist, perhaps the closest small town match to chemistry • Pauling had a lifelong love of books • His hobby was collecting encyclopedias
Herman Pauling Belle and Linus Pauling
Linus lived in Condon, western Oregon, from ages 4 to 9 William P. Murphy, Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine, also grew up in Condon Linus at 9
463 miles Flathead Lake Pauling lived from ages 4 to 9 in Condon, Oregon. Condon
But his dad died when he was 9 • His mother was sickly and had difficulty supporting the family • She wanted him to work as an engineer after college to help with family expenses.
Oregon Agricultural College Chemistry Laboratory c 1915 Linus at the Gamma Tau Beta Fraternity House 1917 (later Delta Upsilon)
Hi-Tech Entrepreneurs The computer “Nerds” who changed the world instead of following conventional careers are widely celebrated. Their social ineptness is a stereotype that is often inaccurate.
Father self-employed mason • Built ham radio at ten years old • Worked his way through college • Graduated last in his BSEE class at the University of Utah • Built a company of hippies who loved playing games – Steve Jobs worked for him before starting Apple Nolan Bushnell Video Game Entrepreneur Nickname: King Pong
Bill Gates “was impatient with those not as quick as he was, teachers included.” • He did better when his parents sent him to an elite private school • Started a small business while in high school • He dropped out of college to go into the software business
Bill Gates’ father took a red eye from Seattle to Boston to warn him he would never be a success if he dropped out of college...
Steve Jobs was adopted, a loner and nonconformist in school, dropped out of Reed College • Experimented with Indian mysticism, hallucinogenic drugs, communes, vegetarianism, fasting • “I’m just a guy who should have been a semi-talented poet on the Left Bank. I got sidetracked here.”
Steve Wozniak was the shy computer nerd who made a personal computer mostly because he wanted one for himself • The shortest in his fourth grade class, he excelled Little League. • Known for practical jokes, sabotaging school computers • Strong support from his father and electronics teacher in high school
Two who lacked the greed or competitive spirit to become billionaires. Bob Frankston (standing) and Dan Bricklin invented the electronic spreadsheet but chose not to patent it. • Dan Bricklin, inventor of Visicalc, started programming in the mid-sixties while still in high school. He received a BS in electrical engineering from M.I.T. • He has since started several innovative companies with mixed success • He teamed up with Frankston to write the Visicalc code
Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, developing the URL and the http mark-up language • His parents were mathematicians and computer programmers who encouraged him to build toy computers from cardboard boxes • Programming, imaginary numbers and abstract mathematics were dinner table conversation. • He built a real computer with leftover parts, an old TV and a soldering iron while a student at Oxford in 1976 • Did not profit commercially from the development of the WEB
David Filo and Jerry Yang started Yahoo! while students at Stanford University in 1994 • It began as a list of cool WEB sites posted for their friends • David is from Louisiana and majored in computer engineering at Tulane University • Jerry is from San Jose and got his bachelor’s degree at Stanford
Jerry Yangwas born in 1968 in Taiwan His father died when he was two, leaving his mother with him and a one year old brother Jerry began writing Chinese characters at age three His mother moved to the U.S. when he was five to get a college teaching job He got straight A’s all through school David Filowas born in 1966 in Moss Bluff, Louisiana He was the fourth of six children, a “bright and curious child” He grew up and went to college in New Orleans getting a bachelor’s in computer science at Tulane He met Jerry Yang at Stanford where they were doctoral students The Chief Yahoo!’s Grow Up