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The Entrepreneur’s Weekly Nietzsche

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The Entrepreneur’s Weekly Nietzsche

A Book for Disruptors

Brad Feld,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Friedrich Nietzsche disrupted Western philosophy. Today, he offers insights for entrepreneurs.

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Friedrich Nietzsche was an original, radical 19th-century philosopher who tore down the discipline’s contemporary values. Future-oriented, he sought to change how people saw themselves and their culture. He may seem an incongruous patron for modern business, but like today’s entrepreneurs, Nietzsche sought to transform ways of doing business in his time – as entrepreneurs now apply transformative technologies to disrupt industries. Start-up experts Dave Jilk and Brad Feld offer pithy quotes from Nietzsche as gateways for exploring entrepreneurship. They provide surprising, poetic points of contrast between today’s entrepreneurs and a significant, seminal thinker who valued freedom and creativity above all.


Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy can guide entrepreneurs.

Friedrich Nietzsche was a radical philosopher who used an allusive, often aphoristic literary style. His writing lends itself to multiple interpretations. In a way, Nietzsche was the ultimate future-looking disruptor. He sought to upend traditional moral and spiritual values and to replace them with a wholly “modern humanity.” He didn’t want to dwell in the past. He wanted to focus on the present and on humanity’s future.

Entrepreneurs seek to create new business cultures, methods and styles, using cutting-edge technologies to revolutionize industries. Like Nietzsche, they are disruptive through creating something new and transformative. 

In Nietzsche’s book Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None, his main character proclaims, “Preserve me from all small victories…Spare me for one great victory!” That in a nutshell is the entrepreneurial spirit.

A victory should be so decisive that the loser feels good about losing.

Nietzsche was neither a businessman nor a thinker about business. Nonetheless, he had an intuitive understanding of strategy, which...

About the Authors

Dave Jilk is a former serial entrepreneur and start-up CEO in information technology. Partner in the VC firm Foundry Group and co-founder of Techstars Brad Feld also wrote Startup Life and Startup Opportunities.

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