Why Get on a Government Soapbox?

November 28, 2012
“Prudence is an attitude that keeps life safe, but does not often make it happy.” - Samuel Johnson

In my never-ending need to explain myself, I want to justify the use of space in what is a SOLOMO* / New Media tech opinion and personal interest blog for my Points Of View on Government (filed under Economics).  They say to never discuss religion and politics. Why get on this soapbox?  Here is the quick rundown top 8 of my reasons in no particular order:

  1. This blog is being launched just after 2 years of brutal non-stop national office campaigning.  Needless to say, Government power, policy and its real effects on life and business are still on a lot of people’s minds, including mine.
  2. I’m from Boston, home of the Kennedy’s.  I’ve drunk the Koolaid. The guiding quotation for this blog is RFK’s “There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?.”  Without minimizing the enormity of RFK’s point, and the brilliance of his insight, this quote applies to the way I see the world, but also technology-enabled opportunities to fulfill unmet market needs. (We can get into social bottom lines later.) A blog on new business opportunities would be incomplete if it were to ignore government choices that foster the economic environments in which they bloom or wilt.
  3. Patents, copyrights, trademarks and financing rules are playing such an increasingly decisive role in web and mobile marketplaces and startups that overlooking them completely would defeat the purpose of the blog.  I’m not an attorney, but as I learn more, I’ll try to pass along my perspectives.
  4. One of my greatest pet peeves for the country, and more so in the Boston region, is that despite the opportunities available relative to other nations, the top of the funnel of new venture early stage financing in the US is so subjectively constrained as to be inherently ineffective.  I’m referring to the system, not the participants.  I am hopeful that new crowd funding rules being decided now as part of the Jobs Act will bring more opportunity and competition to counter an antiquated, broken system.  Moreover, tax reform may influence some on where they invest, and whether to invest in early stage businesses.
  5. I have an economics degree.  While I am far from an economist, I’d like to believe this gives me a perspective on how macro / micro business problems, solutions and relationships can be influenced by legislation, or lack thereof.
  6. I’ve spent a not insignificant number of years working in companies that serve federal, state and local government agencies. I hope that helps me to offer some context to readers.
  7. I have run a business in another country, and travelled enough that I have a high appreciation for American capitalism. I also know better than to use the term “American” to describe the United States since it is inclusive of all the Americas.  However, I think most of this blog’s audience will get that using that term conveys a mindset or zeitgeist that is uniquely “American” regardless of being geographically inaccurate.
  8. Like a lot of people, I have a diverse set of interests and opinions.  You don’t have to agree with any of them. Initiating a pros and cons discussion chews the fat off the issues and gets down to the bones.  Politics is a touchy subject. I’d appreciate it if readers didn’t bury my bones in the process.

*SOLOMO refers to social networks, localized content and commerce, and mobility.