This should be an interesting day today as President Obama talks about the economy and his job creation plans at a Town Hall meeting on CNBC. Interesting because the audience, those who watch CNBC, will primarily be business people who, according to every poll, are unhappy pissed with this administration’s practice of demonizing business in general. I heard on the TV today that many of those who are unhappy are staying away. They know better. I tend to avoid ass-chewings myself.
Since I have a vested interest in job creation, I thought I would offer up some comments and suggestions. I am curious if you agree with any/some of them.
1. Business people are very rational. Call them calculating or hardnosed, if they can get a part or service across town or ocean, they will. Most of the programs designed to protect those supplier companies or industries who no longer provide products of services in sufficient quality at a reasonable cost are wrong-headed. For every person or industry that is “saved” there are others who start to think “why not me?” or the corollary “Where’s my free lunch?” If “they” start worrying more about getting “theirs” than making their widgets better and faster…well, there’s only so much time in the day.
2. I question almost all the programs being considered now for job creation or even “entrepreneur development,” now the rage amongst city and state consultants. Will better tax rates for angel investors or capital gains affect those future Steve Jobs or Mark “fresh facebook” Zuckerberg? Nah. They are not sitting in their dorm rooms, thinking that if only the capital gains tax would be reduced by 5% points, THEN I would start this new company. Sure angel investors are sitting on the sideline. Big deal. The true geniuses will adapt and figure out how to finance their new business, or make it profitable right the hell away. This is what they do.
3. You would think that with the country tilting to the side of “we’ll take care of you if you fail” crowd, that more fledging startup people would realize this and get ‘r started. Failure is almost not possible; in fact, bankruptcy in a your first new business is almost a sought-after resume builder. ( I know someone who actually teaches this.)
4. I think there is mostly one thing missing today. How should I say this? Mmmm. Ok, let’s call it MOXY. I really wanted to say courage, nerves or BALLS, but that seemed a bit too testosterone-y, but you know what I mean. Moxy it is. There’s money on the sidelines, waiting to be invested in new ideas. SUPPOSEDLY. In my own case, I have presented at least two relatively big ideas to companies who should have jumped all in. Instead they didn’t. The people running biz development efforts at most companies should be fired. Seriously. What is the opposite of “BALLS?” That’s what they have. Company CEO’s should be asking to see all the rejected ideas. Ok, Ok, so what is my solution? What can you do now, all by your lonesome?
5. Is the solution lower taxes on new companies? That would help. How about making every investment in a new idea or company free from being taxed for a decade. That would help, too. Here is something easier and faster. Every town and community has a stud or studette entrepreneur. They don’t live in the biggest house, but you know who they are. Celebrate them to the community. Ask them to speak. Ask them to teach a class to 8th graders. Ask them to mentor ten younger people. Make them big time local heroes. Give them a billboard. Ask them to come to your own company and give a lunch time talk.
Show people it is ok to have moxy.