Does your startup need passion?

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Most entrepreneurs and investors say that a startup needs passion, but there are more important things.

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Sometimes I discussed the similarities of the decline of the Western world with the fall of the Roman Empire.

The historian Niall Ferguson recently commented on this issue. In an article posted by "John Mauldin and InverstorInsight" explains the phenomenon:


In 1530 the Incas were the owners of the Peruvian Andes. In less than a decade, foreign invasion horses, powder and crushed their empire deadly diseases to destruction. Today the tourists walk among the ruins that remain.

The Roman Empire collapsed within a few decades at the beginning of the fifth century.

La dinastía Ming China sank with a remarkable speed to mid-seventeenth century. Again, the transition took little more than a few decades.

More recently we remember the fall of Soviet Union, or falling postcolonial dictators in North Africa.

All these breakdowns have in common that their social systems suddenly stopped working. One day the legislators had legitimacy and the next, no longer.

The Western world since the sixteenth century took off thanks to a series of institutional innovations that the author calls "killer applications":


1.- Competition: Europe was fragmented into multiple monarchies and republics and they competed history of modern corporations.

2.-Scientific Revolution: Most seventeenth century advances in mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry and biology took place in Western Europe.

3.-The rule of law and representative government: emerged an optimal social and political order in the English-speaking world, based on private property and in their elected.

4.- Modern medicine: Almost all the advances in medicine were made by Western Europe and North America.

5.- The consumer society: The industrial revolution took place when he got greater supply capacity and increasing demand for better and cheaper goods, beginning with cotton garments.

6.- The work ethic: Westerners were the first in the world to combine more extensive and intensive work with higher savings rates, allowing capital accumulation.


In 1500 the inhabitant average Chinese was richer than the average American. Late 1970 el average American was 20 times richer than the Chinese.


The problem is the tendency of Western societies toward eliminating their own "killer apps.":


Where is the work ethic?: the average South Korean works about 39% more than the average American. The school year in South Korea is 220 days compared to 180 days in USA. Them in American universities the students who stand out are mainly the Asian "Asian-American". Does drinking? 26 of the 30 largest shopping centers are today in emerging markets. Modern Medicine?? United States spends twice as much on health budget to Japan while the life expectancy of an American is in 78 years and a Japanese 83 years old. Does the rule of law? United States is ranked 20 in investor protection, 86 as to costs imposed by organized crime, 50 public confidence in the ethics of politicians, 40 standards on auditing and financial reporting. What about science? The science is not in the Nobel Prize winners if not preparing teens: data in mathematical, the two leaders-Shanghai and Singapore- are miles of American teenagers. Regarding patents, more patents originate in Japan than in the U.S., South Korea has taken the third place in Germany in 2005 and China also passed Germany. Finally, in terms of competitiveness, USA has increased from 5.82 to the 5.43 while China has moved from 4.29 to the 4.90.


What can we do to prevent this disaster?


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