The Soul of an Entrepreneur

David Sax, Philip Gaskin
Thursday, May 21, 2020
6:30 pm
Event Videos

We’ve been beguiled over the past decade by a romanticized, Silicon Valley-inspired take on entrepreneurship, glorifying its practitioners as daring dreamers and heroes who’ve revved innovation and invented the future. But startup failure is an all-too-common truth. A third of new businesses don’t survive their first two years, five don’t last five years, and that was before the tsunami of COVID-19.

Drawing from his new book The Soul of an Entrepreneur: Work and Life Beyond the Startup Myth, award-winning business writer David Sax sits down with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s Philip Gaskin to examine today’s shattered landscape and assess the post-coronavirus prospects for entrepreneurs.

Those who now matter more than ever, Sax says, are not the stars of magazine covers but the ones who share and care for our communities – the fashion designers who’ve been sewing desperately needed facemasks, the craft distilleries churning out hand sanitizer, the restaurants donating meals to the homeless and isolated senior citizens. Lose them, and we lose a piece of ourselves.

Sax, who lives in Toronto, is a writer and reporter whose work appears regularly in The New York TimesLos Angeles TimesBloomberg Businessweek, and The New Yorker’s business blog. He spoke in person at the Library in December 2016 on his previous book, The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter.

Gaskin is the Kauffman Foundation’s vice president of entrepreneurship. He was previously chief operating officer in the U.S. of Impact Hub, which oversees a global network of hubs designed to foster entrepreneurial innovation and collaboration.

Watch the online presentation live at