At noon today I went to a talk by historian Peter Coclanis about the history of entrepreneurship as part of a program on Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative . Odd to be there since I have been a kind of ward of the state for the past 25 years, but the topic turned to social networks and social capital. The trend in entrepreneural discussion seems to be about the importance of networks drawing on an argument between Granovetter and Ronald Burt. Burt would be useful for our class especially with his work on “Structural Holes” which sound a lot like some of what we heard in Doc’s talk. Burt and Nan Lin have collaborated in the past (nota bene seminar members).
Peter also made the case for commuities of creators (not his word) who were more “loyal to the craft than to the companies” and how this made an area endure and grow — citing silicon valley and RTP as examples.
One point made over and over was that creative enterpreneurs don’t really do anything new but they recombine and/or reuse existing ideas — Ford taking interchangable parts from Whitney via Colt and adding the assembly line taken from the slaughter houses.
I, who hold that all art is recombination — and so copyright should be weak to allow more art to be created –, have to pause when the entire of the myth of orginality goes out the window.

Later in the afternoon, I ran into Koleman Strumpf and his co-author F. Oberholzer who wrote “The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales: An Empirical Analysis”, the paper that showed that P2P music trading has no economic effect.

Book recommended by Coclanis: How Breakthroughs Happen The Surprising Truth About How Companies Innovate by Andrew Hargadon