Want a pep talk? We've got one for the American entrepreneurs out there.

A few months ago, we helped the Markle Foundation make promotional content for their new book about the transformation of the American economy in The Connected Age. 

We decided that one of the videos should be a pep talk to American Entrepreneurs. We needed to remind people, in a time of uncertainty, that we come from a long line of Americans who faced that same uncertainty. And instead of pulling back to safety, they charged head-first into the unknown. We needed to remind people that the courage that drove our ancestors to innovate was in our blood. 

So we collaborated with one of the most talented writers of our time, Ben Montgomery. Ben is an author and journalist and Pulitzer finalist who writes for the Tampa Bay times.  

If you're an entrepreneur in America, here's your pep talk. 


There’s a natural order to progress. First comes the bedrock. A glinting light gives rise to the forest and the plains, which give way to game trails, then footpaths, then country roads, then superhighways. But that order is only clear in the rear view mirror.

The cowboy knew the width of his own horse but had no idea it would dictate the proportion of the railroad, nor that the railroad would dictate the size of the booster rocket that carried man to the heavens.

In our time, we wonder what’s next. We search for it in the hills and crevices. Once in a while we find it. On drawing boards and in board rooms. On bar napkins and at the bottom of cups of drip coffee. On city streets and in the amen corners of country churches.

It’s the search that binds us.

The search is in our blood, for we come from a long line of Americans who asked what came next.

Through the smoke signal and the carrier pigeon and the telegraph and the telephone and fiber optics. The march has been steady. Through fire and ash, through revolution and reinvention, through exploration and expansion, through the Dust Bowl and rations and fear.

And look at what we made.

The steam engine.
The cotton gin.
The light bulb.
The airplane.
The Internet.

The promise of progress is exponential. The foundation has been laid. Now, if you can dream it, you can build it.

So, what’s next?
— - Ben Montgomery

And if you're curious how the piece turned out after some revisions, here it is.