In his landmark 1985 book, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, famed author and educator Peter Drucker wrote about an entrepreneurial society and its impact on economic development. “Entrepreneurship rests on a theory of economy and society,” he wrote. “The theory sees change as normal and indeed as healthy. And it sees the major task in society — and especially in the economy — as doing something different rather than doing better what is already being done.” What does it mean, then, to live in a society that is becoming more entrepreneurial? I see six major signs:
1. Innovation precedes regulation, not the other way around. In entrepreneurial societies, innovation always precedes regulation. In the United States, for instance, scientists and engineers in Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York are always one step ahead of regulators, developing innovations that help us solve some of our most critical problems. The regulators eventually catch up, but not before the innovators have developed viable solutions for us to improve our lives. If the regulations in your society precede innovation from entrepreneurs, this is likely to curb the entrepreneurial spirt of innovators.