(p. 297) Because he started in rebellion against established firms, he bears a natural skepticism toward settled expertise. Because he had to make scores of decisions before all the information was in, he recognizes that enterprise always consists of action in uncertainty. The entrepreneur prevails not by understanding an existing situation in all its complex particulars, but by creating a new situation which others must try to comprehend. The enterprise is an aggressive action, not a reaction. When it is successfully launched, all the rest of society–government, labor, other businesses–will have to react. In a sense, entrepreneurship is the creation of surprises. It entails breaking the looking glass of established ideas–even the gleaming mirrors of executive suites–and stepping into the often greasy and fetid bins of creation.
In the entrepreneur’s contrarian domains, he needs most of all a willingness to accept failure, learn from it, and act boldly in the shadows of doubt. He inhabits a realm where the last become (p. 298) first, where supply creates demand, where belief precedes knowledge. It is a world where expertise may be a form of ignorance and the best possibilities spring from a consensus of impossibility.
Gilder, George. Recapturing the Spirit of Enterprise: Updated for the 1990s. updated ed. New York: ICS Press, 1992.