Mr. Bloomberg was fired by Salomon in 1981, during the depths of a recession. His job dislocation pushed him into a more creative entrepreneurial path that exploited New York’s special advantages, like abundant human capital and sectoral variety.
Forty years ago, Jane Jacobs argued that new ideas are formed by combining old ideas, and local industrial diversity makes innovation easier. She pointed to the brassiere, which came allegedly out of dress-making rather than lingerie, but Mr. Bloomberg himself is a better example of the advantages of cross-sector intellectual fertilization. He succeeded as an information technology magnate because he understood the needs of finance far better than anyone in Silicon Valley.
For New York’s next reinvention, the city will need smart people to because entrepreneurs during a recession. Many of those businesses will surely be outside of finance, but they will draw insights from New York’s largest sector. Mr. Bloomberg’s own career provides a hopeful story of how that can happen.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The always must-read Ed Glaeseron Mayor Bloomberg. Nothing sets the path for success like the humility of failure.