French Mansard Roofs

What does a French Mansard Roof have to do with Entrepreneurship?  France, with a total 2008 entrepreneurial activity percentage of 8.2% is quite lower than the USA’s 18.7% and Norway’s 15.8%.  So can a Mansard roof tell us anything about French Entrepreneurship?  What is a Mansard roof anyway?

The Mansard style roof is named after the French architect Francois Mansart (1598 – 1666).  During his lifetime, the French could build apartments up to a certain height and then anything over that roofline would be taxed additionally.  That proved to be a disappointing limit for those wanting to expand their apartment.  Mansart used some entrepreneurial skills to develop the roofing style you see in the photo to your right.  These additional floors were exempt from tax and were usually where the servants would live.

If you travel to Paris these days, nearly every apartment building has the Mansard style roof.  It started as a way to avoid tax and turned into a beautiful way to finish the roof on a building.  The Mansard style roof is now seen all over the world.

So, what is a problem you see in your industry today?  Is there a problem similar to a demand for something (more space) and a limit that keeps most people from satiating their demand (taxes)?  Can you develop a solution (distinct roofs) that offers a solution to the demand while bypassing the thing limiting people from satiating their demand?

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Author: Erik Rostad
Erik Rostad is the owner of EPR Creations, a website development company based out of Atlanta, GA. Erik's background is in International Business and he has traveled the world for music, business and for fun.

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