Pragmatism, knowing what works and thinking practically, all powerful tools for those in the world of entrepreneurship, startups, scale-ups and SMEs. This month’s featured book is Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking by William James. The book explores the validity of ideas based on their experiential and practical consequences, as well as the philosophical concept of radical empiricism.
Part of entrepreneurship is looking at existing problems and finding solutions, which can also mean defining the problem itself, something that William James explores in this collection of essays. Using a simple yet entertaining anecdote, Does a man go around a squirrel that is on a tree trunk if the squirrel keeps moving on the tree to keep the trunk always between himself and the man?, James demonstrates that an important distinction must be made and defined, ‘what constitutes ‘going round’ the squirrel?’. While abstract this principle can certainly be applied to entrepreneurs, who re-define ideas and concepts through innovation and in turn find effective solutions.
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