Alexander Hamilton and startups

For all the people who are reading this and are thinking “huh?, wasn’t Alexander Hamilton that American guy? One of the founding fathers? Long gone before startups were a thing? So how is this comparison going to hold? Have you gone mad?” yes you are right.

Alexander Hamilton was the first secretary of the treasury in the USA under the first president George Washington. Besides being an amazingly interesting figure in his lifetime, his legacy lives on and through his biography, Hamilton has inspired hiphop artist Lin Manuel Miranda to write a contemporary musical about his life and accomplishments. Unfortunately, the musical is sold out until the end of times (if the apocalypse would come in 2017) so I haven’t seen the musical but I have listened to the music and man, the small-time entrepreneur in me got very excited. This musical tells the story of Hamilton and in the musical are some lessons that can easily be transferred to the startup world of today and could be a guide for modern day entrepreneurs.

“Eliza, I don’t have a dollar to my name. All I have is my honor, a tolerance for pain, a couple of college credits and my top-notch brain”

The story of Hamilton is a story of fighting against the odds, the establishment against the have-nots, of a combination of brains, brawns and determination and the desire to change his own, and the new nation’s future. For Hamilton his journey started in the Caribbean, where he was born as a “bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman”. Although everything seemed against him he was smart and determined to make something of his life. Through hard work, study he found himself in the US where he started to show what he was capable of, collaborating with the smartest people of his time and working together with them. Looking at the life of Apple founder Steve Jobs, the story sounds pretty similar where Jobs was put up for abortion after birth and needed to fight the odds, meet the right people to start an entire industry. The personal computing industry was non existent.
The revolution in the US and the desire of Alexander Hamilton to leave his mark on this new colony, to see his name written in history books

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