FROM THE GROUND UP: The Resurgence of American Entrepreneurship by John Case

FROM THE GROUND UP: The Resurgence of American Entrepreneurship

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A journalist's persuasive brief for the intriguing proposition that American business has taken a turn for the better over the past couple of decades. Case (Digital Future, 1985; Understanding Inflation, 1981) argues that the domestic economy is in the midst of a convulsive upheaval, not a reversal of fortune. His position is that the Fortune 500 corporations that long dominated US commercial life are giving way to smaller, defter concerns with entrepreneurial cultures plus a genuine commitment to innovation, niche markets, customer service, or whatever else it takes to thrive in an increasingly competitive environment. Drawing on statistical as well as anecdotal evidence, Case shows how welterweight enterprises have taken up much of the job (and virtually all of the creative slack) left by their larger (albeit downsizing) counterparts. Cited examples range from the operators of mini-steel mills and producers of specialty semiconductor devices through the imaginative developers who reclaimed for other uses an abandoned Goodrich tire plant in Akron. In the meantime, the author points out, many craft (as opposed to mass) manufacturers have formed mutually advantageous alliances with restructured leviathans that, comparatively modest revenues notwithstanding, give them a global presence. He warns, however, that ongoing change in employment patterns means less security and fewer benefits for most workers--prospects that raise important public-policy questions. An instructive and encouraging overview that submits that the nation's business glass may be well over half full.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1992
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster