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Why Forbes Says Immigrants Make Better Entrepreneurs 171

Posted by timothy
from the nobody-hates-new-immigrants-like-old-immigrants dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Romanian emigre Christian Gheorghe is running a Silicon Valley software company now (Tidemark Systems) after getting started in the U.S. hauling plywood on a construction site. Forbes summarizes his path to the top and sees a wider story about immigrants' edge as entrepreneurs."
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Why Forbes Says Immigrants Make Better Entrepreneurs

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  • by dorpus (636554) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:18PM (#39955705)

    The story dwells on one person's story. There are any number of people (both Americans and immigrants) who take any available job and try to work their way up, but opportunities never appear.

    • by smooth wombat (796938) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:29PM (#39955883) Homepage Journal
      who take any available job and try to work their way up, but opportunities never appear.

      Yeah, this story shouldn't be used as representative of immigrants being better entrepreneurs. Had this guy come here and started the firm on his own, THAT would have been a good story.

      Here, he happened to come into contact with someone who needed someone to help them and took a chance. This guy then used the money he earned there to parlay it into a business he most likely would not have been able to start otherwise.

      It's a good story, not trying to knock this guy, but when hacks like Forbes try to show the spirit of entrepreneurship and capitalism is alive and well, they always seem to leave out the part where that person got a lucky break or windfall through no effort on their own.

      Facebook, for as much as I detest it, is a good example of entrepreneurship. Zuckerberg might have had the inkling from the twins, but it was he who saw it through to the bitter end and made the company what it is.
      • by rickb928 (945187)

        *whoosh*

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        there's a Zucker born every minute (well every social networking generation anyway)

      • Wow. You talk about people getting lucky breaks but then forget to mention that Zuck was already going to a VERY prestigious school surrounded by opportunity, money and ideas. Facebook is not this great invention simply because a lot of people use it. A lot of people use it, thats the best you can really say about it. It doesnt reflect on Zuckerberg's character or ability to overcome adversity. It remains to be seen what kind of man he will be, his track record is not great so far.
      • by cayenne8 (626475)

        It's a good story, not trying to knock this guy, but when hacks like Forbes try to show the spirit of entrepreneurship and capitalism is alive and well, they always seem to leave out the part where that person got a lucky break or windfall through no effort on their own.

        I'd say that most of us...at varying levels of success...got there because of a lucky break, knows someone, or maybe simpler put...'being at the right place at the right time'.

        That's part of life.

        I'd venture to say, most everyone is pre

      • by Malc (1751)

        I worked with Chris in the late nineties. Very smart guy. Very hard working. Some pretty good stories of his escape from Romanian and finding his feet in NYC. Not only is he technical, but he knows how to sell. He built up businesses, hiring talented people, and those business were acquired (I went through two acquisitions in under three years), before he started another company and I lost contact when I moved overseas. He's pretty much lived the American dream.

    • The story dwells on one person's story. There are any number of people (both Americans and immigrants) who take any available job and try to work their way up, but opportunities never appear.

      They may as well write a story about a million people who flipped a coin 20 times and the amazing success of the handful who got 20 heads in a row, then give us a guide on how we can live our lives like them. Oh wait, I just described how the entire supposedly merit-based investment banking industry is run.

      • Oh wait, I just described how the entire supposedly merit-based country is run.

        FTFY

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        You mean like this: http://www.amazon.com/The-Basics-Winning-Lotto-Lottery/dp/1580420710 [amazon.com]
        People actually gave it good reviews.

    • by jeffmeden (135043) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:30PM (#39955905) Homepage Journal

      The story dwells on one person's story. There are any number of people (both Americans and immigrants) who take any available job and try to work their way up, but opportunities never appear.

      The story is a story? OMG! Let me spell this out for you, in case you missed the first paragraph of TFS: immigrants represent twice their share of the entrepreneurial population, and the path of Christian Gheorghe is at least slightly representative of the background that immigrants have that might cause them to become entrepreneurs.

      The real "gotcha" here isn't that "oh well people in the US can do that too;" it's that unsuccessful would-be immigrants typically either never leave their home country (willingness to move internationally is a pretty obvious proxy for other ambitions) or they end up moving back to their native land if things don't go their way in the US. In other words, in order to make it as an immigrant you basically NEED to follow the entrepreneur's path.

      Ultimately what this means is that there is a creaming effect on immigrants, the "best and brightest" of other nations seek out the US to make a life and name for themselves and the process of doing so separates the wheat from the chaff. This is a process that really should be encouraged (along with home-grown entrepreneurship) because what it ultimately means is that innovation is still strong(est) in the US leading to many obvious benefits.

      • by kiwimate (458274) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:42PM (#39956105) Journal

        I think you nicely illustrate the poing of the post to which you're responding. Your post gives far more insight and interesting discussion about the reasons why immigrants make better entrepreneurs than does the Forbes article. The Forbes article says nothing of substance.

        There's another post just below here, which also has way more salient commentary than is contained within the Forbes article:

        People who are forced to learn a new language and culture are rewarded with a huge advantage in people skills. As most of us know, financial success is 90% people skills. (I recently saw a study reported by Forbes that concluded exactly that, even though I had assumed it for years.)

        Some career executives are smart, and some not so smart, but they all have one thing in common: top-notch, world-class people skills. It is people skills that gets you to the top.

      • by Aceticon (140883) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:18PM (#39956733)

        I think a little quote from the GP explains a lot:

        who take any available job and try to work their way up, but opportunities never appear.

        You see, the thing about emigrants is that they are not satisfied by staying within the system they know, going for the steady plod up and hopeing that luck will land them with a big opportunity. The passive way never works unless you're born in the right family with the right connections.

        Immigrants go out there and make their own way: they seek or maketheir own opportunities. After all, this is the kind of people that is willing to leave their own country, their family, friends and all that they know to go to a far away place where even things like unwriten social norms are different - starting your own company is a far easier endeavour.

        The reason I know this is because I'm one of them and, not so long ago, after 3 countries and 7 years as a freelancer in IT I started my own Startup. I look around in the startup incubator where I'm based (Google Campus in London) and most people in there doing the same as me are foreigners too - in light of what it says in this NYTimes article, the abundance of foreigners now makes sense to me.

        (PS: the GP's posture kinda reminds me of a friend of my who is an actrice - a profession with high unemployment - whose acting career goes nowhere preciselly because she keeps waiting for acting gigs rather than being out there promoting herself and looking hard for new opportunities)

        • That's bullshit. There are plenty of immigrants to the US who have worked their whole lives in low-paying, shit jobs. This guys story is an outlier. And with respects to your story, the plural of anecdote is not evidence. Come back when you have statistics without extreme sampling bias and you might be convincing.

          • by Aceticon (140883)

            In practice there seem to be 2 kinds of immigrants:
            - The desperate poor that emmigrate because that's the only chance they have
            - The ones who could have a decent life in their own country but chose to emmigrate

            I suspect the former are no more likelly to start a company than anybody else.

            As for statistics, the article in the OP is the one quoting the statistic. Feel free to read it.

            I'm just providing what seems a likelly explanation in view of that and in view of my personal experience.

            • That doesn't mean that everybody who stays home is lazy or incompetent, it just means that the people who are lazy do stay home, even if their mom doesn't have a basement, and the incompetent people might want to emigrate but can't do it successfully. Of course, the rich trustafarians also often hit the road, but you're going to find them hanging out in the bars and coffee shops in the cool cities, and maybe they'll turn into successful art gallery owners or software designers or artists, or start interest

            • One special case I've seen for immigrants to the US is people from former Communist countries in Europe and the Asian parts of the former Soviet Union. People often had a strong technical education, but many of them couldn't have a decent life in their own country because their own country was a mess. Before the Fall, it was a mess they couldn't leave, and afterwards it was a mess they could leave.

          • The point is that to succeed, they need to always seek opportunities and use them (not just keep doing drone work). The consistent seeking and use of opportunities, even if low among immigrants, is higher than among the general population, because they're the type of people who've already done seeking and using opportunities successfully by becoming immigrants.
        • by gutnor (872759)
          London ? Most people you work with in London are foreigners: entrepreneurs and employees, winners and losers. Also, that is IT you are talking about, that segment of the market in London is literally flooded by foreigners. When you look at small investment firms and hedge funds, layers practices, ... the proportion of UK born entrepreneurs increase dramatically.

          (PS: you really sound like a jerk describing your "friend" as you do )

          • by Aceticon (140883)

            you really sound like a jerk describing your "friend" as you do

            Actually I think it's a shame. She's a sensitive person that ended up in a profession which, for all it's glamour, can be extremelly harsh and unforgiving.

            As for non-IT startups in London, I wouldn't at all be surprised that "small investment firms and hedge funds, layers practices" have far more UK entrepreneurs: these are much more local-centric domains, in industries much more tightly coupled by webs of personal aquaintance and where knowing

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by trevc (1471197)
        Emigration from Romania to the USA raises the average intelligence level of both nations.
      • by tompaulco (629533)
        Your point agrees with my thinking entirely. The people in the land from which they immigrated are not innately more entrepreneurial. It is the individuals who put forth the effort to come here that have the right stuff to be entrepreneurs, and had they not come here would likely have started a business at home. I would hazard a guess that it is mostly those who come legally who are entrepreneurial as well. Not least of which because in some states you cannot actually be the founding member of an organizati
    • There are any number of people (both Americans and immigrants) who take any available job and try to work their way up, but opportunities never appear.

      But researching that is too much like work.

      And no one wants to read the story of a nice immigrant who gets an okay job working for someone else and raises an okay family and sends his okay kids to an okay college after which they get okay jobs working for someone else.

      Instead, let's focus on the few who DO become successful entrepreneurs (at this moment) and

      • And no one wants to read the story of a nice immigrant who gets an okay job working for someone else and raises an okay family and sends his okay kids to an okay college after which they get okay jobs working for someone else.

        So publication bias isn't just in medical journals?

    • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:33PM (#39955961)

      On the other hand, it nicely illustrates the dangers of self-selected samples. The article focuses on smart people with a specialized body of knowledge who decide that anything is better than their shithole, and are willing to start from scratch in a better place. That decision alone requires guts, determination and a willingness to fight. In other words, successful immigrant entrepreneurs have a special personality profile and skillset that is less common in the general population. Shocking. Next, Forbes will tell us that immigrants arriving in the US with no special skills, no special education and a habit to segregate themselves in their ethnic community will be more likely to be and stay poor than the average American.

      There's a reason Forbes isn't taken seriously in the business world, and it's articles like this.

      • Whether an immigrant that moves into his ethnic community succeeds depends in part on the nature of that community. If it's Korean, Chinese or Japanese, they value work, study, and good nutrition. Those people have good prospects.
    • by mr1911 (1942298) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:34PM (#39955975)

      ...but opportunities never appear

      There is your answer.

      It is about making your own opportunity. The guy in the story could have taken the same job as his father had and waited for an opportunity to appear, but he wouldn't be where he is.

      There is nothing fundamental about immigrants making their own opportunity other than many of them took a giant leap of faith to gamble what they had to build their fortune in a new country, much like many entrepreneurs gamble what they have to build their business.

    • by dpilot (134227)

      A "one in a million" story makes it the general model for success for anyone, right?

      How many immigrants are stuck in bottom-end jobs?
      How do the percentages compare with home-grown?

      They say "twice as likely to launch a high-tech startup", but that's also against the statistic I've heard that most business startups fail within 5 years. Maybe they really are successful at these startups, buy maybe their success rate is only half or less of home-grown. Maybe they did the launch because they didn't know the ro

    • by ccguy (1116865)

      The story dwells on one person's story.

      I hear the next issue cover story is about why journalists are better than average statisticians...

    • by jonadab (583620)
      > The story dwells on one person's story.

      It has to, in order to be attractive to the reading audience.

      In any case, the underlying idea that immigrants are more likely to start businesses is true as far as it goes, but it's not specific to the US. It's true in general: most of the people in any given population are insufficiently motivated to do things like immigrate to a different country or start a business and work hard enough to make it a success. That's true worldwide.

      In other words, when you're l
    • But they said he (and other immigrants) have "pluck". So that's the difference. It's "pluck". If opportunities aren't appearing, it's simply because those people don't have enough pluck.
    • The story dwells on one person's story. There are any number of people (both Americans and immigrants) who take any available job and try to work their way up, but opportunities never appear.

      The story also has a link to a [105 page] PDF titled "Silicon Valley's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs". But, it's from 1999 ... I skimmed it. Part history of immigration and some statistics and a few case studies. But, as far as I could tell, it offers no comparison to American entrepreneurs [hence the title, I guess].

    • by chrb (1083577)

      The story dwells on one person's story

      That is true. However, research with a much larger sample size also reports immigrants form a disproportionate number of successful entrepreneurs. The Implications Of Immigrant Entrepreneurship: [forbes.com]

      A survey of 28,000 companies found that immigrants were key founders in more than a quarter of all the engineering and technology companies set up in the U.S. between 1995 and 2005.

      The new research--led by Vivek Wadhwa, an executive-in-residence at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering--is a follow-up of a study published earlier this year by Wadhwa and his team that had counted $52 billion in annual sales by these immigrant-founded companies. Total employment at those companies: roughly 450,000.

      ...

      According to the study, 96% of the immigrant founders held graduate or postgraduate degrees, with 47% holding master's degrees and 27% having Ph.D.s. About three-quarters had their highest degrees in the STEM fields. The largest concentrations outside of that were in business, accounting and finance.

      Wadhwa says the Duke project underscores the point that a significant portion of immigrants in the U.S. are highly educated, fueling a tech boom, leading innovation and creating jobs. The report cites U.S. Census data to say that immigrants from India, the U.K., China, Taiwan, Japan and Germany are better educated than native U.S. citizens.

      The results of the study are especially significant for Indian immigrants, according to Wadhwa. "Indians are among the best educated of all immigrant groups," he says, adding that Indians founded more engineering and technology companies in the U.S. in the decade up to 2005 than the next four groups combined--those from the U.K., China, Taiwan and Japan. They accounted for 26% of all start-ups, about 117,000 jobs and $14 billion in revenue in 2005.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      To add, most people who DO get the opportunies and take them, fail misserably. Sometimes due to their own mistake, but often due to unlucky circumstances.
      A succesful entrepreneur is no more skilled than a succesful roulette player.
      A succesful entrepreneur is just the end-result of an evolutionary process; a bit of talent but mostly just lucky not to be crushed by a meteorite.

    • by Phoghat (1288088)

      The story dwells on one person's story. There are any number of people (both Americans and immigrants) who take any available job and try to work their way up, but opportunities never appear.

      Because they're not publicity seeking millionaires. Q.E.D.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:20PM (#39955733)

    Of course, being an immigrant is, in itself, a filter. Leaving your native country for better opportunities is a strong sign of entrepreneurship. When will journalists learn?

    • Especially when you're coming legally to the US. That is a huge hurdle.
    • by The Raven (30575)

      > When will journalists learn?
      Not so. The journalist didn't say 'people outside the US are better', they said 'US immigrants are more likely to be entrepreneurs', and this is completely true specifically because of the filter (which is covered in the article). Immigrants are ambitious risk takers; ambitious risk takers are more likely to start their own business.

      We need more ambitious risk takers in the US.

    • by HungWeiLo (250320)

      You hear a lot of the single-issue types shouting about "get back in the immigration line and do it legally!!" not knowing how convoluted and expensive the whole process is.

      Just to illustrate how convoluted, difficult, and expensive the whole process is - there are countless Chinese families from China and Taiwan who pack up their entire families and move to Panama or Paraguay (or any other place with a more liberal immigration quota number for the US), live there for 5-10 years while their kids are going t

      • by TheSync (5291)

        You hear a lot of the single-issue types shouting about "get back in the immigration line and do it legally!!" not knowing how convoluted and expensive the whole process is.

        There is zero, absolutely no way that a poor worker from Mexico or Central American countries can legally enter the US on the path to citizenship if they have no direct family legally living in the US. There is no "immigration line" for them.

    • Because all do the same thing for the same reason. Leaving your country to seek a fortune elsewhere is also the sign of a quitter, a person looking for an easy way out, or someone who did something so terrible back home, he has to run. Cue bleeding hearts sheltering war criminals because they can't see that someone fleeing prosecution might actually being prosecuted for the right reasons.

      That is not even counting the ones who were trafficked with promises of a job and end up a sex-worker, those people make

    • by chrb (1083577)
      It also helps to be well educated: "According to the study, 96% of the immigrant founders held graduate or postgraduate degrees, with 47% holding master's degrees and 27% having Ph.D.s. About three-quarters had their highest degrees in the STEM fields." - Forbes [forbes.com]
    • Of course, being an immigrant is, in itself, a filter. Leaving your native country for better opportunities is a strong sign of entrepreneurship.

      And also, it can be a variable filter as well. On average, it takes a lot more effort/resources/skills/education to cross the iron curtain and then cross the ocean to get into the US, then to simply walk over from Canada/Mexico.

      When will journalists learn?

      Probably never. It would contradict too much the simple narratives they're trying to tell.

  • Immigrints are less spoiled than westerners.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:23PM (#39955773)

    ... make excellent entrepeneurs as well. You know what they all have in common? They're willing to pursue their goals and prefer to beg forgiveness rather than ask permission. That's the #1 thing that all the current crop of silicon valley companies have in common. Not all of them following this formula still exist, but that's what they all have in common, questionable legal standing that they didn't allow to get in the way of making profits hand over fist, and low infrastructure costs to get in the way of rapid expansion.

    And if I know this, why am I not rich? Something to do with not doing the crime if you're not willing to do the time. Also I'm lousy with people :)

    • by Krishnoid (984597) *

      I bet you'd find drug dealers and others ... make excellent entrepeneurs as well.

      You'd think so [ted.com], right? Apparently, that enterprise is run like any other. The Wire [stuffwhitepeoplelike.com] did a decent job of portraying its day-to-day.

  • duh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It is self selection. Immigrants are not risk adverse and are self motivated pretty much by definition. Both skills lend them selves to starting a business.

  • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:28PM (#39955869)
    Immigrants are a self-selecting group. It's quite obvious that an entrepreneurial individual would be more likely to do something risky and ambitious like immigrating to another country.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Stop complaining and get a job you dirty hippies

    Immigrants like Gheorghe don’t dawdle in their pursuit of better opportunities. They start at any available entry point in the job market, and then rapidly advance toward very ambitious personal goals. They keep pushing ahead, even if it means hauling plywood on a construction site or making small talk with whatever big shots they might be driving around in a borrowed limo.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't know if it's relevant, but I can see the point.

    Imagine you're an Immigrant. New country, new opportunities. The place you come from is a real hole and at every turn you see econmic prosperity. I'd be excited if I got to get my hands on things I never had access too before. If had a good vision, and I knew that nothing but hard work was between myself and success? Damn right I'd be sucessful. That is the problem with being an Entrepreneur. Having an idea is about 2% of your key to success. The other

  • As written above, the result is not so surprising since emigrating is an enterprise in its own right.

    Another question is whether foreigners make better entrepreneurs. Doing such a study would need to include those who haven't migrated in order of avoiding a selection bias [wikipedia.org].

  • by kiwimate (458274) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:37PM (#39956025) Journal

    Introductory paragraph that states immigrants are twice as likely to launch a high-tech startup as their native born peers, and introduces us to Christian Gheorghe.

    Eight paragraphs on Gheorghe's story (which is interesting, to be fair, talking about his first job in the U.S. in 1989 which was carrying plywood for $100 a week and a free bologna sandwich at lunchtime).

    Last two paragraphs are a comment on the number of immigrants earning engineering Ph.D.s in recent years and finally some boring generic drivel about "they keep pushing ahead".

    Gheorghe's story is interesting and he's obviously worked really hard. But this is a useless and silly story. There's no insight or discussion or, well, anything of any substance.

    P.S. - pedant mode on. The /. headline is badly written. "Why Forbes Says Immigrants Make Better Entrepreneurs" - because it gets page views, just like Slashdot. What you actually mean is "Forbes Discusses Why Immigrants Make Better Entrepreneurs". Which the Forbes article doesn't do; it just gives eight paragraphs of a case study surrounded by meaningless drivel. Pedant mode off.

  • by readin (838620) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:38PM (#39956041)
    I lived in Taiwan for a while. I was told, and it fits with what I've seen, that while children in America are raised on the dream of getting a secure high paying job, children in Taiwan are raised on the dream of owning their own business. I suspect that dream doesn't go away just because they move to America.

    Americans are used to the options of 1. always being able to find a job (McDonald's is always hiring) and nearly always a decent job (English is the ticket) and 2. having welfare as an option if they're too lazy or "too good" to take the jobs that are available. Immigrants are often raised in places where those options don't exist and starting your own business is the only way to survive. Starting a business is risky and takes a lot of work. Why do it if you have other options for a secure prosperous future?

    An immigrant is likely to see opportunities an American would miss because growing up in another culture they know there is another way to do things. For example, if I were more entrepreneurial, artistic and less risk-averse, I would start a business taking wedding photos like I saw in Taiwan and marketing this service to American women. There is more than one way to do wedding photos but living only in America you might not see it.
    • by HungWeiLo (250320)

      I know of the wedding photos that you speak of. Good luck getting American men to effeminize themselves with heavy makeup and being photoshopped hopping around on clouds and air bubbles while chasing his bride around in a forest or lake setting.

      My friend tried to start up something like this and he lost his shirt doing it. Unless you're in a community with a very large Asian diaspora, it's a business doomed to fail based on cultural incompatibility.

      • by readin (838620)
        You're right that having a large community of Asian immigrants around would be necessary to keep the business afloat while you try to build up the native American market. Also the Americans will be more willing to try the idea if they have Asian friends who have done it.

        As for getting the American men to "effeminize" there are two answers. The first is: don't. Have them wear light make-up or none at all, but still do the studio shots and outdoor shots. And you can skip the air bubbles and clouds and
  • by Baldrson (78598) * on Thursday May 10, 2012 @12:42PM (#39956095) Homepage Journal
    The presumption that immigrants make "better" entrepreneurs has a lot of microeconomic evidence but the macroeconomic evidence against it is overwhelming.

    Since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 set in motion the process of electing a new people, there has been a collapse in the middle class. Since the ramp-up of "skilled" immigration, there has been a collapse of the economy itself.

    This supports the theory that the older cultures that have been taking up positions of trust and authority in government, academia and business are, unsurprisingly, more sophisticated in playing the rent-seeking and zero-sum games required to gain access to resources necessary to "succeed". However, due to the kinds of games that must be played to acquire these resources, the effect on the overall human ecology has been to deprive the traditional American people -- the folks who invented the airplane, computer, transistor, planar integrated circuit, etc., -- of the resources to express their historic ingenuity. As a consequence, fundamental technological innovation hasn't occurred for decades.

    • Traditional American people? I didn't realize those inventions you mentioned were developed on reservations. The rest of us aren't usually more than a few generations removed from immigrants. This was especially true half a century or more ago when those technologies you listed were developed. Can you please cite the evidence where the overall economy, real wages, or standard-of-living of Americans has "collapsed" since 1965? Or where "fundamental technological innovation" has ceased? Increased economic
      • There is an enormous difference between immigrants and settlers.

        The US is a nation of settlers. The immigrants who came once the land was settled were qualitatively different in character.

        If you can't understand the difference between a settler's relationship with natural laws and an immigrant's relationship with artificial laws as fundamentally differing skill sets, you don't understand anything about US history.

  • Which is why... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Glasswire (302197)

    Canada, the most similar economy to that of the US, does so well economically in part because it's had a huge tradition of immigrant entrepreneurship for decades.
    Whereas the immigrant xenophobia in the US leads to incidents like a senior manager at a foreign car plant getting arrested [thinkprogress.org] for not having the right paperwork. If you treat foreign investors (who could put plants elsewhere) like that, what does it say to someone thinking of moving to the US to start a business?

  • Duh, how much more obvious does it get. They are self-selecting for determination.

  • Seriously, this is not scientific at all. This person selected himself from a pool that, in the aggregate, probably looks no different than than the US population in terms of intelligence, motivation, etc. He is probably in the top 10% or so in his native country. So obviously he would make a better entrepreneur.

    To make a sweeping statement based on one anecdote is typical info-tainment.

  • A magazine which reports on "finance, industry, investing, and marketing" reporting about how great it is to replace your CEO with an H1B visa carrier? I think this takes the cake.

  • by Skapare (16644) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @01:11PM (#39956607) Homepage

    That's how they were able to get out from where they came.

  • Recently I was talking with someone from Ukraine, has a startup of applying software methods in building design (not a CAD system but buildings that can be modified like software or something like that, I didn't fully understand his concepts). He made a comment of people that leave their homelands are the ones that strive for innovation, creativity, trying new stuff, or whatever you want to call it. He said look at regions of the world, those with lots of immigrants and those without, the ones with lots of

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Immigrants have less to lose if the business fails. They can nearly always return home and start over with a blank slate. If you are a native and your business fails, where can you go to start over without your failure haunting you for life? Credit reporting agency reports accomplish the same thing as balls and chains.

    I think non-immigrants are also more in fear of the red tape that they are very aware exists. Sometimes, people who are new to this country aren't aware of all the rules and regulations that c

  • Ticketmaster is still VAX VMS [stanq.com].

    Here is a VAX [hp.com] still on the HP web site, and of course OpenVMS [hp.com].

  • Sure if I wanted to sleep 10 to a room and have a physically injurious work life balance, I can eventually eek out a small chance at a marginally profitable business. All the while large portions of my money are given away to other private businesses like banks and the Fed that will use it to pay lobbyists to work against me with what I earned. It's only called the American Dream because you'd have to be asleep to believe it. -Carlin

    Where are the 20 stories of people who lost their homes and families goin

  • TFA that I read simply says they do make better entrepreneurs, and gives examples of someone making more effort than I do. But it does not say why. (Why I suck, or why they don't, whatever: I'll take either answer.)
  • The end of the artivle says it all.

    "Immigrants like Gheorghe don’t dawdle in their pursuit of better opportunities. They start at any available entry point in the job market, and then rapidly advance toward very ambitious personal goals. They keep pushing ahead, even if it means hauling plywood on a construction site or making small talk with whatever big shots they might be driving around in a borrowed limo."

    Yeah, in other words, come to the US and work in wage slavery for a while first, you big

  • Gee, THANX, Forbes for clearing that up for me. This one is straight from the "DUH!?! Institute:" Ready? Here it comes. Wait for it...

    How about the "fact" that the lazy or disabled or unskilled or just plain f$ckin' stupid ones STAYED THE F$CK HOME?!? They were unable to or just plain couldn't be bothered to move thousands of miles with no means to go through the extensive rectal examination that is "emmigration ---> immigration???" Can't believe I have to explain this so often...

  • http://cofcc.org/2012/04/how-asian-immigrants-get-preferential-treatment-when-starting-a-business/ [cofcc.org]

    How Asian immigrants get preferential treatment when starting a business
    Partaking or Taking Over
    by Stephanie Galonska

    I’ve known about the Asian ownership of our gas stations, hotels and dunkin’ donuts for quite some time but I had no idea just how prevalent the ‘Asian ownership’ was until I drove from Des Moines, Iowa to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania some few years ago.

    The Mississippi River

  • Plan and save. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:20PM (#39958313)

    Having family and a good number of friends as immigrants I've noticed two significant patterns:

    1) Arrive in the US and take fairly menial work due to lack of education or language abilities. They're extremely frugal and manage to save a good deal of money. They work hard, but smartly moving up to the point that they start a small business which leads to further success. Many get involved in real estate investment further increasing income. By the time they're middle-aged they're living comfortably. They tend to pool resources with family members to increase odds of success.

    2) Arrive in the US and take menial work for the same reasons. Never become motivated enough to move beyond low-paying employment. They manage to get by, some even to the point that they eventually buy their own home, but never really thrive.

    This group tends to branch off into two subsets. There are those who are extremely frugal and manage to accumulate a little bit of money by the time they hit retirement. Then there's the other group that is less careful with money and becomes overly reliant on family members or social security in retirement. But a consistent theme with this group in general is that although they might live within communities comprised of the same ethnic group they tend to be more isolated and less likely to pool resources.

    I've noticed another essential dynamic is how immigrant raise their kids. In both cases, but especially the first group, they stress education as essential. They don't tolerate anything less than excellence. This tends to lead to their children going good schools. And because their parents have instilled more pragmatic tendencies in them they tend to favor careers that lead to better employment and higher incomes. Nowadays that means finance, but when I was younger engineering, computer science and medicine tended to be popular. Those who don't end up in top schools still tend to have that work ethic instill in them and generally thrive, enjoying a higher standard of living than their parents.

    Amongst the parents who didn't get involved in their children's education, who didn't instill that work ethic, their kids tend to struggle later in life not being any better off than the parents were. More often than not, they end up screwing themselves but not having clear long-term plans and goals.

    The interesting thing is that I've generally found foreigners to be far more optimistic about opportunities in America than Americans themselves. They're a lot more willing to sacrifice than Americans are. I've been surprised many a time by friends and family who've manage to save so much money with such relatively low incomes.

  • They work harder.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by realsilly (186931) on Thursday May 10, 2012 @03:46PM (#39958577)

    The entitlement thought of many of the US's population prevents us from our own success. Being your own boss and then employing others to work for you takes discipline and hard work. A business owners who starts from virtually nothing but an idea and makes the dream a reality has a stronger grasp on the value of a company and the people who work within its doors. This isn't to say that people in the US have no drive, but when the world flip flops, many just throw up their hands and quit.

    Just look at the number of people who just quit paying their loans because they were under water, so many that it's destroying our economy. A home is more than an investment, it is something that needs love and care and needs constant attention, and just quitting when times are tough is not the right way to do it. Too many feel entitled to walk away from a house and loan and don't expect to receive the ass end of the consequences. Building a business takes the same work and pride, and those that really understand struggle make some of best business owners.

  • Immigrating to another country is risky and tough. Lazy, complacent, timid, and dependent are more likely to stay put. Therefore immigrant population is likely to be biased towards selt-starters, risk-takers, ambitious people. They are enterpreneural material.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.

Working...