Business is improving, despite all the obstacles in this unpredictable economy that remain and those ahead of us. This is largely self-fulfilling prophecy as our engine runs on premium personnel and our management team isn’t half-bad either.
We have invested a great deal in new products and new markets. I’m a big fan of Alan Kay’s expression, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
I guess you could say this message comes somewhat diluted by the BP oil spill. Accidents, like the BP oil spill and natural disasters are unpredictable but they are going to happen. I can see the raw and gut-wrenching effects as they unfold for our neighbors in the Gulf States and the Florida Panhandle. We are certainly not exempt from the fallout. We are also far more fortunate.
There’s little one can do in the moment but there is much that can be done to either prevent an occurrence or deal as effectively as possible with the results. Unless of course, your government gets in the way. That’s a whole other topic.
I believe we are as well prepared as we can be to limit the impact of most natural disasters. Arguably we are and will be impacted on a financial and personal level as well. To what extent will be born out by the actions, performance and lessons learned by others. Certainly, we are far more fortunate.
There is still no consensus on when and where the economy will improve. I spend a great deal of time measuring and evaluating circumstances as they may affect our business.
You can watch Fox News or CNN but our success or failure has little or nothing to do with the economy, politicians or other outside factors. It has to do with you and me. It has to do with the quality and functionality of our products and services. It has to do with how we deliver our products and services! It has to do with how we choose and treat our customers and our partners.
We are nothing to big business or big government in terms of our success or failure. We are everything onto ourselves. We will not succeed or fail due to outside influences. We will only fail if we are cannot deliver excellence on all levels, products, customer service, implementation and ongoing support.
Conversely, big business and big government need us to succeed. Theirs has become a global problem. They have simply ignored the entrepreneur; unless, of course, the entrepreneur is holding the glass slipper. Small businesses are mostly carriages of pumpkins and mice out there delivering the goods. There are very few Cinderella stories. Once delivered, even when the glass slipper fits we continue working well past the ballroom festivities which has become, as intended, a fantasy. We are soon forgotten. When the carriage of big government and horses of big business are stabled and their cats are away, the mice, small business people, you and I, will come out to play. Small business can be very resourceful, if left alone.
It’s time to put the brakes on government spending. The road to recovery lies with the success of small businesses, not with behemoth car companies and big labor. If we were going to bailout anyone, we should have bailed out the car dealerships and auto supply companies to allow them to remarket, retool and invest in new technologies. We should be growing our tax base, which is only going to happen if we fuel the small business private sector. Speaking of which, why are we not doing more to grow and keep promising small business technology companies and their technology jobs in the USA, where our best talent and our best jobs can remain right here at home?
"You will find men who want to be carried on the shoulders of others, who think that the world owes them a living. They don't seem to see that we must all lift together and pull together." Henry Ford
We have Bill Gates and Microsoft, Larry Ellison and Oracle; and Eric Schmidt and Google, not to mention a plethora of phenomenal technology and software companies that started from nothing and today generate thousands upon thousands of high paying private sector jobs and tax revenues, all “Made in the USA.”
What’s more, most technology companies, in particular software companies, do little to harm our ecology (true green); they do not tax our ports, our roads, our bridges or our rail. This reduces our carbon footprint, while not adding to the tremendous and costly burden on the seemingly never ending and costly construction of our roads and our beleaguered transportation infrastructure.
Competition is increasing dramatically from foreign countries who wish to attract our talent, both foreign and domestic grads educated here in the USA, many getting their higher education with the help of US taxpayer dollars. The number of “propeller heads”, a.k.a., the savvy entrepreneurs and highly skilled workers “Made in the USA”, are leaving for a more favorable business climate or jobs overseas.
Our foreign competitors are offering much lower tax rates and hundreds of thousands of dollars in incentives to technology business startups and to their highly paid - highly skilled employees. They are advertising a better quality of life, improved infrastructure and a lower cost of living. Our foreign competitors recognize what we increasingly take for granted, which is the huge tax and revenue potential from small business startups, in particular in the technology field; with their disproportionately high numbers and high salaries as it pertains to job creation. This is coupled with the minimal impact on their country’s costly transportation infrastructure.
The now and next generation of Bill Gates’, Larry Emerson’s and Eric Schmidt’s may find our politics too ambiguous, too costly and too unimaginative to breed success here in the USA. There are hundreds of thousands of small businesses and entrepreneurs right now who are losing the battle against a poor economy accentuated by high taxes and ever increasing regulation. There are hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurial ventures not even born yet that will never pass the incubation period.
Where should we, the United States of America, concentrate our efforts to keep our existing technology gurus and attract the next generation of “byte heads?” We need to provide education and programs that offer immediate and future tax relief to small businesses and their employees, like a payroll tax holiday. To do this we need to elect government representatives who want less government, who do less for Wall Street, who care less about big government and big union.
We need tech savvy, forward thinking, feet on the ground, “been there, done that” politicians who have missed a few paychecks like the rest of us and who want to do more for small businesses and the working class. Get started by offering existing small businesses and their employees, tax relief with a payroll tax holiday of 6 months or more. Offer new business start-ups, especially technology and software businesses who are Made in the USA and who are 1) less impactful on our transportation infrastructure; 2) provide green technologies; and 3) provide the high end wage earners, which is our future tax base, lower taxes and less government to stay and grow their businesses here in the USA.
"What's right about America is that although we have a mess of problems, we have great capacity - intellect and resources - to do some thing about them."