How many entrepreneurs have there been in the history of the world? Millions, certainly, probably even billions. These are the men and women who take capital — their own or somebody else’s — and use it to beget more capital. Some fail, some succeed, some excel.
With so many candidates to choose from, any list of the 10 greatest entrepreneurs of all time will necessarily be somewhat arbitrary. It will also be top-heavy with Americans, just as a list of great chefs would be disproportionately French or of great eccentrics dominated by the British.
Business is what America does. If that sounds chauvinistic, get over it.
Here, without further ado but with tongue occasionally in cheek, are history’s 10 greatest entrepreneurs.
1. King Croesus. A pick by our veterans committee, Croesus, who ruled the Asia Minor kingdom of Lydia in the sixth century B.C., is owed a huge debt