Entrepreneurial Success

By his own admission in a letter to MLive, the John C. Kennedy, president of Autocam, is worried about the survival of entrepreneurial spirit.

I do not write because I am concerned about my business. I write because I’m concerned for the next generation of entrepreneurs, who may not be able to find success as abundantly as we have at Autocam.

In truth, the letter is a gracious response, and speaks well of him. One can see how such a spirit might guide a company to its current status. The preceding essay? Not so much.

The president seems to indicate that the government (“somebody”) creates success through the services it provides for citizens. He fails to acknowledge that the government allocates funds taken from others, primarily from successful businesses and individuals.

A more cynical mind might also wonder whether Mr. Kennedy’s remarks are also driven in part by the $200k he gave last cycle to Republicans. Did that perhaps sharpen his hearing where he “detected a lack of understanding” from the President?

After all, in much of his original essay and in his response he confirms the President’s basic focus: we build success in the company of others.

In Mr. Kennedy’s case, it came with the work of James Spruit and the original AutoDie — he was the one who actually built the business. Mr Kennedy’s great gift in Finance (and it is significant) was to take this business and shape it into a major player. However becoming a leader in fuel injection doesn’t happen in the executive suite, but with the engineers and skilled trades that deliver the actual promises.

For Mr. Kennedy’s gifts to flourish it took the gifts and efforts of others. (Oh, and the highways on which the autos drive, a small matter, I know). And isn’t that what the President in fact, said?

“The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. “

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