venerdì, febbraio 13, 2009

Padre della Patria ed Imprenditore

Che dite, meglio Castro e Chavez, o un leader che , dopo aver già dimostrato la propria abilità nel produrre ricchezza, si ritira per tornare a lavorare si lancia addirittura una nuova ? Non sto parlando di Silvio Berlusconi, ma di George Washington , imprenditore di successo sia prima che dopo essere stato generale, rivoluzionario e Presidente. in un certo senso, incarna perfettamente gli USA milgiori: laddove Franklin è l'inventore e Jefferson il filosofo liberale e aristocratico costruttore di splendide ville, Washington è il busineesman che ha costruito aziende e sviluppato attività commerciali ed agroindustriali.

His business ventures are impressive in their own right. During America's time as an English colony, Washington ran a fishing operation that processed 1.5 million fish per year and sold them throughout the 13 American colonies and the British West Indies. The mill he built ground 278,000 pounds of flour annually that was shipped through America and even exported to England and Portugal. In the 1790s, during the last years of his life, Washington built one of the largest whiskey distilleries in the new nation. No wonder he ended up
first in the hearts of his countrymen.

Whereas Franklin built gadgets at his homestead, and Jefferson built fancy buildings,
Washington built was a series of integrated businesses. It may be time to think of him as Steve Jobs 1.0.

In the 2006 biography The Unexpected George Washington, Harlow Giles Unger calls Washington "one of America's leading entrepreneurs" and chronicles Washington's transformation of Mount Vernon from a sleepy tobacco farm into a forward-looking industrial village. As Unger writes, Washington "expanded a relatively small tobacco plantation into a diversified agroindustrial enterprise that stretched over thousands of acres and included, among other ventures, a fishery, meat processing facility, textile and weaving
manufactory, distillery, gristmill, smithy [blacksmith shop], brickmaking kiln, cargo-carrying schooner, and, of course, endless fields of grain."

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