Many policy makers at the Fed contend that the new economy is a fragile bubble--and that with the "irrational exuberance" of the capital markets, the sky is going to fall on the U.S. economy. That couldn't be further from the truth, according to William Sahlman. As long as the government doesn't interfere, he argues, the economy is sturdy, resilient, and raring to grow. The new economy is strong for several reasons. First, it is based on a business model that works. Any business system that relentlessly drives out inefficiency, forces intelligent business-process reengineering, and gives customers more of what they want will be sustainable. Second, it is built on America's admiration for entrepreneurs and its tolerance for failure, not to mention its easy access to capital. Third, the new economy is attracting the best and brightest minds in the country. And finally, says Sahlman, the new economy is strong because it is spreading. It may be primarily an American phenomenon now, but in a few short years it will start to show its effects everywhere, making the whole world a more productive place. Still, Sahlman believes, the road ahead is not without potholes and sharp curves. But that is what the new economy is all about, he maintains--companies attacking the status quo and entrenched players, companies experimenting to find new technologies that improve or replace earlier ones. Such activity presents no cause for alarm. The economic, social, and cultural factors undergirding the new economy are rock solid. It's simply a matter of letting them stand.