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Would a young Kirk Kerkorian be successful today?

With the recent passing of business tycoons Kirk Kerkorian (MGM, Chrysler, Las Vegas) and Ralph J. Roberts (Comcast), was wondering what you see as the difference or similarities in the factors required of founders from their heyday to today. Has what it takes to be a successful founder changed? Is the same kind of person favored or disadvantaged?


(Manager) |

I don't know. I kind of doubt that the young Kerkorian had much in the way of technology to leverage. It seems like technology underpins most business endeavors.

I think he did gain a commercial pilot's license in six months to ferry planes across the Atlantic though. So apparently he was tech savvy for his time.

Of course, being motivated, unstoppable, smart, a hard worker and creative are timeless.

On a macro level, everything is much more complicated now and not as friendly to new entrepreneurs. Regulation, taxation and potential liability are much greater now and a big impediment to new business creation. I'd like to think a guy like him would overcome it, but it would be a drag on forward momentum. He might not be able to go as far and as fast.

Example; on ferrying planes across the Atlantic, he had a choice of routes. Take the more northern route and it's less air miles. So, faster and less fuel. However, it was riskier because the plan could ice up and crash.

Take a more southerly route and it's safer, but more expensive and less profitable. He chose the northern route. These days, I kind of doubt the pilot/contractor would have the choice of risking losing the plane for a higher net. Ergo, it would be less profitable. Things change.


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