I wrote a blog about why Startup America is a bad idea, garnering a lot of attention. Not so from the Obama administration, who ignored my request to participate in its first roundtable. Go ahead, administration, and ignore the “best venture capital thinker in the world” (according to a venture capital journalist). As a (now financial) entrepreneur, I am used to being ignored initially, so I don’t take it personally.
In that blog, I made clear that not entrepreneurialism in this country needs help, but the financial system that acts as the arbitrage responsible for -4.6% 10-year returns is to blame. Simply put, by economic principle, any black-box laissez-faire financial system turns subprime by default, and so has venture capital. It is the same uniform deployment of fragmented risk that created the real estate implosion responsible for the innovation implosion. All while an 80% adoption greenfield is eagerly awaiting technology to enhance its life.
So, for Startup America to focus on entrepreneurship education using the existing subprime financial arbitrage is foolish and a waste of tax-payers money. Would you be watching American Idol when judges were trying to teach wannabes how to sing? I think not; American Idol contestants are evaluated (not taught) on their innate ability to sing.
Entrepreneurs are born with the confidence and ability to think differently, just like a singer is born with great vocal cords. Both will spend the rest of their lives perfecting the application of that skill. But they better not be evaluated along the way by judges who don’t know how to produce results themselves. Pushing wannabes through the same subprime funnel will not do our economy any good, quite the opposite.