What is invisible capital?

Invisible capital is the wind. We don’t see it, but it is undoubtedly there. Its presence is felt. Its impacts are clear, from the naked stalk of a dandelion to a felled grove of oceanfront palm trees.

For those striving to succeed in modern American entrepreneurship, invisible capital is either a powerful tailwind, a brutal headwind, or even a fickle, swirling windstorm, depending on your circumstances. For millennia, the wind was believed to be the breath of the gods. Anger them, and your village would be wiped out. Honor them, and the gods would spare you.

These days, most Americans are no more sophisticated when understanding the all-too-real, but unseen, forces that shape entrepreneurial opportunity. As Americans, we are like children who have neither fully processed nor correctly labeled a force of nature that we intuitively know exists but can’t explain.

We watch with amazement when our kites ascend to the clouds and cry  when they inexplicably crash to the ground. Some kites are constructed much better than others. Some of us are also much better kite flyers than others. But neither group has much chance of success when the wind doesn’t blow.

Excerpted from Chapter 3.