Taste and Ambition

A question to all wannabes, startuppers and entrepreneurs: Does taste drive ambition or ambition drive taste for you?

In other words, Do you have a passion for Ferrari and hence want to become rich, or do you want to become rich and then perhaps buy something like a Ferrari? [1]

On a related note, a friend of mine told me about his theory about the generations of entrepreneurs:

  • The first generation entrepreneur works hard and has no time or is not interested in other things – they just want to prove themselves.
  • The second generation entrepreneur has the best of both worlds – having money to enjoy as well as being inculcated with the learnings of the first generation.
  • The third generation onwards, it goes downhill – because they are too pampered and they don’t need to earn any money since their ancestors have made enough money for next five generations.

Do you think this is a valid hypothesis?

[1] Don’t take Ferrari literally. You can substitute it with money to travel around the world, money to buy all the books that you ever wanted to read, etc.

Update (on Feb 23): After 51 votes, there is an equal split between the poll choices! So I guess my question could not lead me to any kind of answer. Nonetheless, it was an interesting discussion. Sometimes the question is more important than the answer.

8 thoughts on “Taste and Ambition

  1. “# The third generation onwards, it goes downhill – because they are too pampered and they don’t need to earn any money since their ancestors have made enough money for next five generations.”

    First of all there is no so called Third Generation as such !

    At least in Indian diaspora most of such third generation would get just a piece what their forefathers had mushroomed !

    And hence they would fall in Second Generation Business Venture people ! Should they continue not to reproduce from what 1st/2nd gen ppl made, they would go bankrupt in most cases , if we consider inflation & asset depreciation !

  2. Interesting….

    Why not a bit of both ???

    Dammm… Who doesn’t want to be rich or act rich ??? In some form or the other everyone. ( I do not speak for the sanyasi sorts ….. )

    This question speaks of money as both an enabler and a driver. Enabler – by having money you open doors for your self . I think this is also the leverage of money.

    By having the desire for something you could driver your self to great heights –

    Not a good idea to be belong to one side of the pool if you ask me ! But heck i have been wrong before…

  3. Well I’m working in a family business (2nd generation) and I strongly feel that the first generation just think that getting into their business is the right thing for the kid. Right from the childhood they are nurtured to think that business is the only thing that is practical and beneficial. If the kid shares the same thought, nothing like it. If not, biz surely heads down hill as kids interest & heart lies somewhere else and his interests are never nurtured. The best thing for any family business is to allow their kids to work outside, if they come back they will never leave the biz. If they wont, they are just not meant to be in business. Older generation is partly responsible for kids failing to do good

  4. Have Few thoughts here .

    In india at least unless you have a family background in bizz , most of us prefer for a good job as they were trained/pruned/brought up for the sole purpose of it . as most of the previous generation was middle and lower middle class , they have invested all their hard earnings in their kids studies and brought them up reminding them that studies is only important thing in life as its a safe route to get a good job with handsome salary . So unless previous generation was rich the young kids wont venture out for doing something of their own .
    As current generation’s income has increased , u can see current parents , at least in cities sending their kids to music , dance and arts , so one more generation later people might tend to do some thing of their own and live as per their wish as their parents might have decent savings for them etc .
    Coming to current Ambition Vs Taste , as far as i am concerned , Taste is the Journey rather than destination , and ambition is to do such journey . Here journey is not in literal sense , its journey of doing what always i wanted to do without thinking of the result , as there are many factors governing the result beyond our control

  5. Agreeing with Rohit V. There is much more than this hypothesis.

    I know people who are interested in entrepreneurship because of a social cause. They believe its not just a mode of earning money or proving yourself, its about actually creating value and giving something back to society (which can be directly seen and measured :-)

    People also enter into entrepreneurship when they feel the urge to fill some gap or dearth of a solution in their identified area.

    I also know people who want to work exactly their way, the right way as they feel and fail to find out those ways in other employers.

    Though naive in this field, I believe above reasons are good enough motivation to start your own work.

    Btw, interesting poll.I personally believe in ‘Taste leads to Ambition’. I was happy with my previous job and an average sal until I got involved with some endeavours.And hence, the requirement to grow financially yet again !

  6. @Rakesh Good point.

    @TheOtherSwaroop @Rohith I did not want to make it an open-ended question. As humans, we will always want all/everything/both. I was intrigued by the thought of what is the “more primary” of the motivations and hence the question.

    @Chandan Having seen this, I agree.

    @Sashank Point 1 – how do you explain current rage of startuppers doing something on their own? Point 2 – exactly what I’ve said in the blog post about the generations Point 3 – I didn’t understand it.

    @Priyanka Of course there are various reasons to become an entrepreneur, no one is denying that. My question is about a specific subset of those reasons.

  7. @Swaroop

    Current Startuppers trying to do on their own is similar to “Californian GoldRush” in the past , There is a TED talk too on this i remember , watch out for great detail . We are just coincidentally at an interesting times in the history nothing more than that , i dont think its anything to do with ambition or taste , its just the viable chances we are having now to turn out a cool idea into money miller and money is not bitter any day .

    and for the point 3 , ambition and taste , its bit philosophical statement , wud mail u in detail later .

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