In what ways are entrepreneurs and businesses at the helm of the economy but commanded by consumers?
I like the nuance. You bring two very important points in business together. On the one hand, it really is all about the consumer. No business will succeed without a strong base of consumers. What corporations need to do is to study consumers to see what they want and desire. And if companies are in touch with the consumer, there will be success. From this perspective, the consumer is king.
On the other hand, it is possible to shape the desires of the consumer through marketing and advertising. If you think about it, successful companies shape culture and people's worldview. Apple computer has been very successful in this area. When we look at it from this perspective, we can say that businesses are at the helm of the economy.
A truly great company will create an ethos that leads but also allows customers to pave the way as well.