Part 1

Twenty years into a company-building revolution, have we finally identified the best path to entrepreneurship -- and the kind of person best suited to take it?

After two decades of celebrated and scrutinized entrepreneurial experiments, we ought to have the answers to some commonly asked questions: What's the surest way to build a solid start-up? What kind of background best prepares a would-be founder to succeed? And just what sort of person is most likely to thrive as an entrepreneur, anyway? The truth is that there are no easy answers. Like parenting, like teaching, like singing a song, the act of starting a business can be done well or disastrously -- but it's done best when it's done on your own terms, for your own reasons, using your own skills. The eight articles listed below profile people on very different paths to entrepreneurship. They're not the only paths, just some you might recognize, some you might even imagine following yourself.

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Published on: Jan 1, 2001