The art of the struggle

These are halcyon days in Silicon Valley and other hives of entrepreneurship around the world. Barely a week goes by without some newly minted billionaire hitting the headlines and some bizarrely named young company getting an eye-wateringly high valuation from financiers. But for every starry success there will be a multitude of failures, and it is easy to forget that the job of an entrepreneur is often nasty, brutish and in danger of being cut short by impatient investors, rebellious co-founders and other hazards.

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