Insights and Opinions: Do You Have That Entrepreneurial DNA?

Story by Dave Berkus


For Friday's Insights and Opinions section, we're again featuring a tidbit of advice from investor and author Dave Berkus, who talks about entrepreneurial DNA.

My immediate family members were entrepreneurs from as far back as I can trace. Dad was a jeweler, then a furniture store owner. Mom wrote books and articles from her college days until she could no longer see the keyboard. One grandfather owned and maintained his apartment houses. The other was a grocer, then a jeweler.

So it seemed perfectly natural that my brother and I find our separate callings as entrepreneurs from the very start. I took pictures of neighbor children, developing them in my bedroom closet, selling the prints to those neighborhood families. I was twelve. The prints were not very good. At fifteen, I started a recording business that would pay my way through college, a business that I’d take public in a limited IPO years after, before getting into the computer software business in its infancy. My brother, who had an artist streak where no-one could identify its roots, drew pictures that were extraordinary, and became one of the world’s one hundred most noted architects.

What drove my brother and me to perform, to risk so much, to skirt bankruptcy, to press on again and again? (More...)

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