Baylor prof’s survey names the 10 greatest American entrepreneurs
Baylor Nation is used to keeping up with the rankings in football, basketball, even <shameless plug alert> social media. But it turns out that professors at Baylor can be involved in compiling some important rankings as well.
In 2001-02, Baylor management professor Blaine McCormick, along with Hillsdale College professor Burton Folsom Jr., asked dozens of historians and experts one question: Who are the greatest American entrepreneurs ever? Now the professors have asked the same question again; the results, published recently in Forbes, are interesting — and illustrate the difference a decade can make.
The No. 1 spot remains the same in the latest rankings: Henry Ford. But Steve Jobs came out of nowhere to No. 5, knocking Thomas Edison down a notch, and Walt Disney managed to climb a notch almost 50 years after his death.
If you find yourself trying to rank these icons yourself, that’s part of the point. Like most other rankings, from historians’ lists of U.S. Presidents to the BCS, the entrepreneurship top 10 is designed to bring attention to these business giants and serve as a starting point for discussion.
“The key goal is for entrepreneurs and business people to be ranked alongside presidents. They matter just as much to our quality of life,” McCormick says, recognizing the list will often change. “Sears would have dominated the list 50 years ago, but now it’s Sam Walton. In 20 more years, it may just be Jeff Bezos at Amazon — if not sooner. The economy will change more than the political arena.”
Sic ’em, Dr. McCormick!
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