Evasive Entrepreneurs and the Future of Governance

How Innovation Improves Economies and Governments

Evasive Entrepreneurship Cover

Innovators who don’t always conform to social or legal norms are changing the world and challenging governments. This book makes the case for embracing “evasive entrepreneurs” and the freedom to be innovative because of the many benefits that individuals, society, and even governments derive from acts of technological creativity.

About the Book

Innovators of all stripes—such as Airbnb and Uber—are increasingly using new technological capabilities to circumvent traditional regulatory systems, or at least put pressure on public policymakers to reform laws and regulations that are outmoded, inefficient, or illogical. Disruptive innovators are emerging in other fields, too, using technologies as wide‐​ranging as 3D printers, drones, driverless cars, Bitcoin and blockchain, virtual reality, the “Internet of Things,” and more. Some of these innovators just love to tinker. Others want to change the world with new life‐​enriching products. And many more are just looking to earn a living and support their families. Regardless of why they are doing it, these evasive entrepreneurs— innovators who don’t always conform to social or legal norms—are changing the world and challenging their governments.

Beyond boosting economic growth and raising our living standards, evasive entrepreneurialism can play an important role in constraining unaccountable governmental activities that often fail to reflect common sense or the consent of the governed. In essence, evasive entrepreneurialism and technological civil disobedience are new checks and balances that help us rein in the excesses of the state, make government more transparent and accountable, and ensure that our civil rights and economic liberties are respected.

Evasive Entrepreneurs and the Future of Governance explores why evasive entrepreneurs are increasingly engaged in different forms of technological civil disobedience and also makes the case that we should accept—and often even embrace—a certain amount of that activity as a way to foster innovation, economic growth, and accountable government.

About the Author

Adam Thierer is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He has spent more than 25 years covering the intersection of emerging technologies and public policy and has authored or edited eight books on topics ranging from media regulation and child safety issues to the role of federalism in high‐​technology markets. His previous book was Permissionless Innovation: The Continuing Case for Comprehensive Technological Freedom (Mercatus Center, 2014).

Praise for the book

“Adam Thierer provides an important new way of reframing the debate around ‘permissionless innovation,’ with lessons for business, regulators, and everyone concerned with a fair and prosperous future.”
—Virginia Postrel, author and columnist

“Blending real‐​life examples with the theories of social science, Thierer shows why ‘freedom to innovate is a moral imperative’ both for individuals and society at large. If humanity is to have any future at all, it must be along the lines Thierer lays down in this book.”
— Timothy Sandefur, vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute

“Thierer presents a bold and new concept that will disrupt how society manages disruptive technologies.”
— Gary Marchant, professor of law at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

“In his hopeful new Evasive Entrepreneurs and the Future of Governance, Adam Thierer boldly argues that when onerous regulations persist, innovators can and should escape.”
— Arthur M. Diamond, Jr., professor of economics at the University of Nebraska–Omaha

“Adam Thierer bravely takes up arms against a sea of anti‐​technology histrionics, reminding us that the benefits of permissionless innovation far outweigh the costs.”
— Larry Downes, New York Times best‐​selling author