How College Dropouts Became Our Heroes

Growing up as a kid I dreamt of two things, owning a Lamborghini and being the next Steve Jobs. I still remember the day that Steve Jobs passed away, I was young, confused, and unknowing of the velocity of the event that had just taken place. An American Hero had just passed away. The visionary who created the iPod, iPad, and our beloved iPhone. I was a bit baffled, I thought heroes were Batman and the soldiers coming home from war. But as I grew up I soon came to realize how important and powerful figures such as Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates were in our society. How did we come to idolize entrepreneurs at the turn of the century?

The Rise of Entrepreneurs

Since the start of the internet era, society has been perplexed by the abilities of entrepreneurs. Their ability to work endless nights without sleep, relentless drive to make a reality what we all could only dream of, and lead not only their employees, but society itself. Entrepreneurs are the epitome of human existence. They push the limits and make the sacrifices normal humans just wouldn’t be willing to make. While we settle for our cookie cutter 9 to 5 jobs, they refuse to comply with society’s rules. With technology growing at a vast rate, these entrepreneurs were able to create products that found their way into our everyday life. They created products that had never been consumed by such a large portion of Earth’s population. If Facebook was a religion, it would be the second most followed religion with over 1.9 billion monthly active users, only to beaten by Christianity. This staggering statistic most definitely puts into frame how powerful the influence of these products are, however, even more staggering is the fact that they will only grow to become more influential worldwide.

Why do we look for heroes?

We’re predisposed to look up to those above us. We look for heroes to give us a threshold for success. We use a single person’s life and achievements as a template for greatness. Technology entrepreneurs gave us the perfect template. From the likes of Mark Zuckerberg, who wears jeans and a hoodie like a religion, and college dropouts such as Steve Jobs, our idea of the path to greatness was redefined.

We saw the average guy rise to a level of success that we all imagined was impossible. The formula of success changed from straight A’s and an Ivy League, to hustling and failing out of school. This sense of familiarity with the new generation of entrepreneurs gave us all a sense of hope and redefined our idea of the hero. They lowered the standards, the basic requirements of greatness. We look up to these figures as we all have the ability to work hard and follow our dreams. These values are even instilled in our American identity. These abilities we share give us hope that we can someday capture their achievements that have become our dreams.

Without these heroes we would have no purpose, what would we be working for? According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, once our basic needs of survival and safety are met, we look for self-fulfillment and achievement. As humans we are innate to become bored with our lives, we need heroes to push us further and give us something to strive for past food and shelter. Therefore, the influence of these figures spread throughout broader channels of culture and soon society as a whole began idolizing these leaders. Lamborghini posters on the bedroom walls of 10 year-old boys are now accompanied by a picture of Tesla, or a quote from Steve Jobs. By finding a way into our everyday lives, through pop culture and the products we so dearly love, these leaders of innovation will leave their mark on history and inspire many generations to come.

Conclusion

Entrepreneurs are the rockstars of society, they play an important role by acting as leaders of success and achievement. However, this rockstar culture surrounding entrepreneurs has only developed in the past decade, and for all we know it could soon disappear. Now is the time for entrepreneurs to shine, to take leverage of the atmosphere surrounding them. If you have the desire to achieve greatness as a leader of society now is the time, because for all we know, you could be our next hero.

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