Joe Carlen

It’s Good to Look Back in History and Examine Entrepreneurs of the Past.

Inside LaunchStreet interviews Joe Carlen. He is steeped in entrepreneurship, with both his valuation work with entrepreneurs, and research. He has written several books, including his most recent, A Brief History of Entrepreneurship: The Pioneers, Profiteers, and Racketeers Who Shaped Our World. We dive deep into the lessons of some of the greatest entrepreneurs of our time, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Al Capone, and more, and how they think, and shape our world, and what they teach us about being an entrepreneur.

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Key Takeaways:

[1:34] Joe shares his favorite definition of entrepreneurship by quoting Peter Drucker, “Entrepreneurship is the act of endowing resources with a new capacity to create wealth.” Entrepreneurship stems from a french word meaning, one who undertakes something.

[3:12] Get introduced to the term “inventpreneur.”

[5:35] Joe delves into his career path. Most of his career, he has worked with entrepreneurs providing fundraising documents, values of companies, patents and market assessments. Joe has extensive knowledge about entrepreneurship because of the many hours he has spent with entrepreneurs.

[7:00] What common thread does Joe feel that all entrepreneurs possess? Why do you need both of these two components to be successful? What role  does the “pet rock” play in execution?

[9:40] Learn how entrepreneurs impact history in both positive and negative ways. Both positive and negative consequences can have a far reaching effect in history.

[11:30] Tamara and Joe contemplate how sometimes loss of project funding can be a tremendous opportunity for a ‘mega entrepreneur’ to step in and innovate.

[12:34] Slavery, bootlegging, and illicit firearms have all negatively impacted our history. Sometimes, talented innovative entrepreneurs use their ideas that have far reaching effects.

[15:25] Is the entrepreneurial skill inherited or can it be acquired? If given the right tools, can one head in that direction? Joe explains that often the ignitor of entrepreneurship is some sort of chip on one’s shoulder, or often youth growing up facing difficult challenges.

[17:55] Why Pioneers, Profiteers, and Racketeers? In most cases, Pioneers are entrepreneurs backed by private merchants. Profiteers are only focused on profits, yet their consequences reach beyond profit. Racketeers shed a light that not all people are heroes.

[19:19] Joe shares an inspirational story about one of his books characters, Funke Opeke. She is the founder of MainOne, an underwater fiber optic company between West Africa and Europe.Listen in to find out three qualities that Funke possesses.

{21:48] The comparison of two drop-outs is presented, Bill Gates vs Steve Jobs.

[23:45] Tips for entrepreneurs success: Don’t focus on one industry, market aggressively and patent!

[27:27] Childhood memories can have a powerful effect on purchasing. Brands and products carry emotional space with people. You can tap and leverage that as an entrepreneur. Tamara and Joe reminisce about Banana Boat.

[30:04] What makes the everyday entrepreneur tick and keep going?

[32:52] How does one pass the litmus test of entrepreneurship?

[34:42] Some large companies are being forced to adapt and think like entrepreneurs.  Listen in to find out what is driving this change.

[36:26] Tamara and Joe engage in the question, is it easier today to be involved in entrepreneuring?

[38:45] Connect with Joe at


Mentioned in This Episode:
Connect with Joe Carlen
A Brief History of Entrepreneurship: Pioneers, Profiteers, and Racketeers, by Joe Carlen
Funke Opeke’s Mainone Webpage
The success story of Robert Bell and Banana Boat sunscreen

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