As Mr. Ford tells us, not everyone is qualified to be an entrepreneur. Or an astronaut. Or whatever you choose. Each endeavor requires a specific set of innate skills and personality; those traits (including gender and race) with which you're born. But, as he describes, we also need help and support. Encouragement, mentoring, financial aid, a sense of security. None of us succeeds alone. The help we receive may be visible or invisible. It may be money or encouragement. We may be born with it or we may acquire it. But it's there.
When Mr. Ford finished his story, I realized with a start that I didn't really write my own story...the one I've told with a fair-sized modicum of pride. My story is really about group effort and has encompassed decades of help and support and encouragement and love, and a little loan one summer to tide me over. I didn't pull myself up by my bootstraps, a lot of other people were pulling right along with me. I'm one of the lucky people. As Jason Ford wrote: "I attribute a majority of my success to the generational privilege that comes from being a middle-class White American..."
Jason Ford appeared on PBS Newshour on April 28, 2017. He also published "The Real Reason My Startup Was Successful: Privilege" on the website medium.com.