People always ask me questions along the lines of “what’s the one thing holding Chile back from being an innovative country?” It’s a question I’m really interested in, not just for Chile, but for the US as well.
My latest column in the Santiago Times titled The Extraction vs. Value Added Mindset talks about Chile’s current preference for business models that extract value, either from the ground, the sea, or even other people, rather than business models that create new value.
Note 22 January 2017: Santiago Times no longer hosts my article, so I reposted it here.
Chile needs to foster value creation over extraction if it wants to establish a real entrepreneurial ecosystem.
I was invited to speak at a roundtable at the Universidad de Desarrollo about the challenges of teaching entrepreneurship in Chile. We had a lively and wide ranging discussion about how best to continue to foment entrepreneurship at all levels of Chilean society. One of the best debates was about trying to answer the question: What is the biggest factor holding Chilean culture back from being more entrepreneurial?
The general consensus was that it’s the Chilean family’s fault. Kids live with their parents until their mid- to late-twenties and generally only move out when they get married. Moms and Dads tell their kids they can do no wrong. Many lead pampered lifestyles with doting parents (and sometimes nanas), who solve even the most trivial of problems. (more…)