Sunday, February 20, 2011

Eleventh Century Entrepreneur

"He believes that his ideas on financial issues are his most sophisticated thoughts...His dreams drive him to the most incredible expectations, such that his various kinds of property are not enough for him. He is like a fire that burns more intensely as logs are put on. His heart is excited by his dreams. He anxiously awaits the season when the goods must be stored and again the time when they must be sold. He studies the situation of the market, broods over the rise or fall of the prices of goods, and watches how rates vary in different parts of the world. No heat, chill, storm, ocean, or distance can keep him from the farthest places. He does all this hoping to reach an end, in a situation which in fact has no end and can cause him much pain, tribulation, and wasted effort. And if he does get something of what he hoped for, he will probably be allowed to keep of his fortune only the labor needed to care for it, manage it, and guard it from all sorts of dangers, until it finally winds up in the hands of the person it was meant for."

-Bahya ibn Paqueda  (1039 C.E.)