We can learn a lot about innovative ways to start and run a business by looking at what our predecessors have done. Business as it operates today was founded on the backs of numerous entrepreneurs who took the first steps in developing new products, in trying new ways of doing things, and in exploring new realms. Often when I get stuck for new ways to look at a problem, reading the history of earlier entrepreneurs inspires my creativity and gives me new ways to look at my problem.
Many of you may find a similar inspiration from our past. Hence, I have developed a set of historical resources for this site which will be a growing body of knowledge of our history. The information is categorized as follows:
Biographies and quotations from business leaders past and present.
History of Small Business in the United States
A short summary of the origins of Small Business and the Small Business Administration in the United States.
Each business has its own story. It is intriguing to see the beginnings of some of the large companies like Walmart and learn what their initial plans were in comparison to what they have become today. Even the relatively short history of newer companies like Cafe Press have many lessons for us in what it takes to start up and keep a company running.
Stories of Small Business Ventures
Entrepreneurs who are setting up their businesses right now have their own fascinating set of stories. It is intriguing how entrepreneurial ventures are flourishing in so many different fields of endeavor. If you have a story you would like to add to our archive, feel free to contact the editor. Sharing your story is a great way to let the rest of the world know more about your business.
Looking for something inspirational to put on your wall? Or a motto for your business? Or words of wisdom to share in a speech you need to give? Here are collections of quotations from entrepreneurs, past and present, and about business from a wide variety of sources.
Timeline of Business History
The timeline started as a project in which I wanted to find monthly events of small business interest that I might mention over the course of the year. Of course, most timelines span years so I ended up collecting interesting events over the past few centuries, then sorted them by date. They are online here in both ways so you can view them over time or as monthly events. It is inadequate in many ways, but is a work-in-progress that will flesh out more as time goes on.
Entrepreneurs of the 20th Century
As the clock ticked into the 21st century, I shared my thoughts on which business people had made the greatest impact in the 20th century.