“Entrepreneurs, for some reason deep in their personality, know from the time they are little that they are in this world to change it in a fundamental way,” Drayton says. Unlike artists or scholars, entrepreneurs are not satisfied with merely expressing an idea. Unlike managers or social workers, they are not satisfied with solving the problem of a particular group of people. To be effective, they must remain open to signals from the environment. They do not fare well in academia, because they have no interest in specializing.
And entrepreneurs are emphatically not idealists. Drayton says, “Idealists can tell you what Xanadu is going to look like — many pleasure domes, et cetera, et cetera — but they can’t tell you how the sewage is going to work in Xanadu once you get there, and they certainly can’t tell you how you’re going to get there.” In contrast, social entrepreneurs are obsessed with the details of implementation. Early in life they engage in self-designed apprenticeships to prepare themselves for the challenges ahead.