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Making Money During Disruption

While failure for the high-tech entrepreneur is less likely to result in death, the parallels between the Gold Rush and the current Web-based economy are many. In both cases, participants must to adapt to a new way of life, with new rules. Or rather, no pre-existing, fixed rules.
Silicon Valley’s famous tolerance of entrepreneurial failure has its roots more than 150 years ago in the Gold Rush when more than 90,000 people made their way to California in the two years following John Marshall’s discovery of gold near Sacramento in January, 1848. By 1854, more than 300,000–representing more than one percent of the total population of the United States at the time–had come west in search of fortune.

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