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Chapter 43. managing gen e

In an economy driven by intellectual capital, the question must then be who possesses the most in-demand knowledge. The new economy brings new heroes — and new villains. Until the 1980s, American business heroes were people like Lee Iacocca, the CEO of Chrysler — more John Wayne than Peewee Herman. But with the rise of Microsoft and Apple, a new kind of entrepreneur emerged. The era of nerd power had begun. The geeks would inherit the world. Gen e are here to collect.

The pejorative use of the word "nerd" in the 1980s was an indication of the value society attached to a certain set of characteristics and attitudes — a hangover, in fact, from earlier days when physical prowess and being down to earth were regarded as desirable attributes. That's now changed. "Once a term of derision, the label "geek" has become a badge of honor, a mark of distinction", notes Fast Company's Russ Mitchell. "Anyone in business in any industry with any hope of thriving knows that he or she is utterly dependent on geeks — those technical wizards who create great software and the powerful hardware that runs it."[]


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