Reviving Entrepreneurship

America’s economic culture has traditionally been distinguished by a willingness to pursue opportunities; a parallel willingness to adopt new products and services; social, legal, and economic tolerance for failure; and the ability to efficiently redeploy people and money. All this has led to a highly evolved system for allocating human and financial capital to entrepreneurial ventures, which has brought the U.S. enormous advantage.

But this entrepreneurial engine is showing serious signs of weakness. Considerably fewer new businesses are formed in the United States today than in the past, creating fewer new jobs. Venture capital funding has contracted in both amount and breadth, and initial public offerings of small-cap companies have sharply declined. In other markets, including China and Brazil, those indicators are moving in the opposite direction.

As U.S. policy makers wake up to the need to reinvigorate entrepreneurial ventures, they must recognize entrepreneurship as a process, not an act. Their decisions change the climate for new enterprises at each stage of that process, sometimes dramatically—whether or not those decisions are made with entrepreneurship in mind.

Spot an Opportunity

Basic and Translational Science
U.S. government funding of basic research has paid off handsomely in the past. Private capital has been able to leverage federally supported discoveries, allowing them to be translated into valuable commercial applications. But the level and nature of government research funding are problematic today. As resources tighten up, decisions about what to fund grow ever more conservative. Labs have difficulty obtaining capital for the projects with the greatest potential societal payback, because those projects tend to be highly speculative and to challenge conventional wisdom. The U.S. needs to find a way to facilitate the right kinds of “risky” research.

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by Josh Lerner and William Sahlman http://hbr.org/2012/03/reviving-entrepreneurship/ar/
Photograph: Topical Press
Agency/Stringer/Getty Images: Orville Wright lands a glider, 1911
America’s economic culture has traditionally been distinguished by a willingness to pursue opportunities; a parallel willingness to adopt new products and services; social, legal, and economic tolerance for failure; and the ability to efficiently redeploy people and money. All this has led to a highly evolved system for allocating human and financial capital to entrepreneurial ventures, which has brought the U.S. enormous advantage.

But this entrepreneurial engine is showing serious signs of weakness. Considerably fewer new businesses are formed in the United States today than in the past, creating fewer new jobs. Venture capital funding has contracted in both amount and breadth, and initial public offerings of small-cap companies have sharply declined. In other markets, including China and Brazil, those indicators are moving in the opposite direction.

As U.S. policy makers wake up to the need to reinvigorate entrepreneurial ventures, they must recognize entrepreneurship as a process, not an act. Their decisions change the climate for new enterprises at each stage of that process, sometimes dramatically—whether or not those decisions are made with entrepreneurship in mind.

Spot an Opportunity

Basic and Translational Science
U.S. government funding of basic research has paid off handsomely in the past. Private capital has been able to leverage federally supported discoveries, allowing them to be translated into valuable commercial applications. But the level and nature of government research funding are problematic today. As resources tighten up, decisions about what to fund grow ever more conservative. Labs have difficulty obtaining capital for the projects with the greatest potential societal payback, because those projects tend to be highly speculative and to challenge conventional wisdom. The U.S. needs to find a way to facilitate the right kinds of “risky” research. Leer más “Reviving Entrepreneurship”

What President Obama Can Learn From Steve Jobs

I have long held that the most qualified people to be in government are business folk. Not just Billionaires like Mayor Bloomberg, but anyone who has successfully run anything, been responsible for making payrolls, paying back loans, paying bills on time, navigating through good times and bad. Most important: balancing a budget. But the reality is most people who have these credentials are too smart to get sucked into the dysfunction of the public sector. Nor will they submit themselves to the relentless intrusion and scrutiny of the press. So what’s the next best thing for the “beleaguered” President? Take some lessons from the guys who know how to really get things done. And who better than the best CEO in the Universe: Steve Jobs.


obama jobs

The sunlight of summer has begun it’s annual transition to equinox, and we are all reviving the pulse of the work-year.The President has returned from Martha’s Vineyard to face what will surely be a challenging fall.  It’s mid-term election season and the mood of the voting public is downright ornery.

ODS (Obama Disappointment Syndrome) a growing wave of depression, has created a huge anti-incumbent wave.  “Throw ‘em all out!” seems to be the mantra of the season.

In the last couple of weeks the number of negative op-eds on the President from both sides of the aisle have grown considerably.  The mildest theme seems to be “he is too smart to be in touch with the people,” or “we just don’t know who you are or what you really are about Mr. President.”  The really challenging ones drift into the inevitable issues of racism.
Leer más “What President Obama Can Learn From Steve Jobs”

Los paralelismos entre Wikileaks y Napster

Llego a través de esta buena reseña en Techdirt, “How the Pentagon’s reaction to Wikileaks is like the RIAA’s reaction to Napster“ a este gran artículo del New Yorker, “Chasing Wikileaks“, que resalta los claros paralelismos entre las reacciones que el gobierno y las autoridades militares de los Estados Unidos están mostrando frente al caso Wikileaks y las que en su momento desplegó la Recording Ass. of America (RIAA) frente a Napster.

El Pentágono está protagonizando una importante batalla legal centrada en perseguir la actividad y a sus responsables – ya hay desde opiniones que piden al gobierno el empleo de fuerzas militares para poner a Julian Assange delante de la justicia, hasta incluso peticiones de pena de muerte para el militar implicado en una de las filtraciones, Bradley Manning – sin tener en cuenta que en caso de caer Wikileaks, muchos otros sitios estarían dispuestos a tomar su relevo de manera prácticamente inmediata. Wikileaks no es el problema, es el síntoma.


Llego a través de esta buena reseña en Techdirt, How the Pentagon’s reaction to Wikileaks is like the RIAA’s reaction to Napster a este gran artículo del New Yorker, Chasing Wikileaks, que resalta los claros paralelismos entre las reacciones que el gobierno y las autoridades militares de los Estados Unidos están mostrando frente al caso Wikileaks y las que en su momento desplegó la Recording Ass. of America (RIAA) frente a Napster.

El Pentágono está protagonizando una importante batalla legal centrada en perseguir la actividad y a sus responsables – ya hay desde opiniones que piden al gobierno el empleo de fuerzas militares para poner a Julian Assange delante de la justicia, hasta incluso peticiones de pena de muerte para el militar implicado en una de las filtraciones, Bradley Manning – sin tener en cuenta que en caso de caer Wikileaks, muchos otros sitios estarían dispuestos a tomar su relevo de manera prácticamente inmediata. Wikileaks no es el problema, es el síntoma. Leer más “Los paralelismos entre Wikileaks y Napster”

Google now selling Apps to the government

Hoping to grab some money away from the federal government’s current $76 billion per year computing and software budget, Google today announced that it has a special version of its Apps platform for official government use.

The online search giant just recently received the level of security certification that is required for vendors of the federal government, and it’s taking no time in taking that all the way to the bank.

Google wants the government to shift away from its current system that stores everything on specific internal servers, up to the cloud where everything could be more easily accounted for.

Google Apps for Government would be just like civilian Google Apps, providing e-mail, word processing, and other software services, except everything saved on the former platform would be partitioned in a separate “cloud” than regular users. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Government apps platform would not be any more secure than the user experience, but of course even regular users have the same level of security that just netted Google a government certification.


Mike Luttrell

Hoping to grab some money away from the federal government‘s current $76 billion per year computing and software budget, Google today announced that it has a special version of its Apps platform for official government use.

The online search giant just recently received the level of security certification that is required for vendors of the federal government, and it’s taking no time in taking that all the way to the bank.

Google wants the government to shift away from its current system that stores everything on specific internal servers, up to the cloud where everything could be more easily accounted for.

Google Apps for Government would be just like civilian Google Apps, providing e-mail, word processing, and other software services, except everything saved on the former platform would be partitioned in a separate “cloud” than regular users. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Government apps platform would not be any more secure than the user experience, but of course even regular users have the same level of security that just netted Google a government certification. Leer más “Google now selling Apps to the government”

10 ReadWriteWeb Readers Explain What Our Internet is Turning Into

How do we explain the Web and what it means? With so many innovations changing our lives, that’s a complex explanation. Now what if you had to do it in only a few words?

Marshall Kirkpatrick recently asked some of our readers that very question. We then picked 10 responses most worth sharing. Congratulations to those who made the list. And if you’d like to add more ideas to this ongoing discussion, please do so in the comments section below.

1.
Filtering is The Future

“I feel the next great advancements in the Web will not be centered around publishing, but filtering all the information so you can find more relevant content and people.” – Eric Wortman
2.
A Way to Have a Voice That Matters

“For non-techies like myself, the Internet is empowering. I can have a voice and it matters to some. I can consume, create, share, participate, lurk, connect with others, etc. It’s up to me, and I love that.” – Robin Ashford


Written by Deane Rimerman

question_mark.jpgHow do we explain the Web and what it means? With so many innovations changing our lives, that’s a complex explanation. Now what if you had to do it in only a few words?

Marshall Kirkpatrick recently asked some of our readers that very question. We then picked 10 responses most worth sharing. Congratulations to those who made the list. And if you’d like to add more ideas to this ongoing discussion, please do so in the comments section below.

  1. Filtering is The Future

  2. “I feel the next great advancements in the Web will not be centered around publishing, but filtering all the information so you can find more relevant content and people.” – Eric Wortman

  3. A Way to Have a Voice That Matters

  4. “For non-techies like myself, the Internet is empowering. I can have a voice and it matters to some. I can consume, create, share, participate, lurk, connect with others, etc. It’s up to me, and I love that.” – Robin Ashford Leer más “10 ReadWriteWeb Readers Explain What Our Internet is Turning Into”