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Top 10 Entrepreneurs

I came across this list of the 10 Greatest Entrepreneurs of All Time. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5519861. It's food for thought and fun to read, with Benjamin Siegel (who invented Las Vegas) and Pope Sixtus (who licensed brothels) among the nominations. (And credit to MSNBC for not including Bill Gates.) The list got us all talking, rubbishing some of the suggestions, bemoaning the absence of others, while crediting some of the suggestions for originality. And being a competitive lot, we've tried to come up with our own alternative list. So how about this?

  1. Croesus of

    Lydia

  2. Clive of India
  3. Cosimo di Medici
  4. Philip Morris
  5. NM Rothschild
  6. Andrew Carnegie
  7. John D. Rockefeller
  8. Walt Disney
  9. Bill Gates
  10. Steve Jobs
  11. Ray Croc
  12. Henry Ford
  13. Marcus Wallenberg
  14. Akio Morita
  15. Rupert Murdoch

As you can see I couldn't get it down to 10 but maybe it will get a little bit of debate going. Interestingly, there's only two Brits (Philip Morris and Clive of India). Maybe Lakshmi Mittal will be on there too, shortly, but we shall have to see how he gets on with the Arcelor bid.

New company law reforms

Real Business regularly rails against red tape. So when we heard that the govt would introduce flagship new company law reforms -- to reduce red tape -- we were, I admit, sceptical (this is a bi-annual promise of the Chancellor) but at the same time open-minded. I confess I haven't taken a close look at the 500 pages and 900 clauses of the bill (though there's a clue there too, isn't there... I mean, making life more simple for business is surely about introducing simple legislation), but the CBI is warning that far from slashing bureaucracy, the amendments will impose onerous new duties on company directors. And reading the "Labour insider's" comments at the end of the FT's story (see http://news.ft.com/cms/s/d64172ba-9134-11da-a628-0000779e2340.html) you can see why. "The Tories clearly have no regard for the social or environmental impacts of business." With these same insiders insisting that directors should have a responsibility to all stakeholders, an apposite riposte might be "And New Labour clearly has no regard for business". I'm not suggesting that directors should be allowed to dump chemicals in local rivers with impunity (far from it), but if the govt thinks we will remain competitive if directors have to answer onerously to every last vested interest at every board meeting, it will clearly add to the red tape burden, and damage the future of this country profoundly.

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