“Every basketball fan has seen it: Your hard working team plays great and goes into halftime with a big lead. But in the second half that same team looks entirely different, as the players stop doing all the aggressive, scrappy things that gave them the lead, and instead begin playing with the sole goal of not losing. More often than not, by focusing on being safe, they see their lead evaporate.
This basketball analogy is eerily resonant with the story of entrepreneurship in Michigan, a state that grew to unprecedented heights in the 20th century on the backs of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs. Then Michigan lost its momentum, beginning a long, slow shift from a hungry, innovative state to one that worked primarily to maintain what it had — playing not to lose. We moved from playing offense to solely playing defense, and it is tough to score while playing defense.”