The saying goes that if you keep doing the same things and expecting a different outcome it is a definition of insanity.
I recently received an email from a friend with hopeful tidings from Obama’s camp about entreprenerus and small business policies. Remember, the “pro-business” Bush administration was pro for large, not small, business. Being an investor in a small venture capital fund, we suffered along with our portfolio clients as a result of disappointing Bush policies.
My colleague reported Obama operatives appear more receptive. Great news, since small companies are the plankton that feed economic growth. But this good news doesn’t change the fact that if we are to thrive and survive economically, the big companies and Wall St. have to change.
The automotive industry is a good example.
Since famous example of Robert Townsend and Crysler in the 1970ies, the car industry has been a dinosaur. Between management who couldn’t see with any clarity where the future of cars were going – based on market needs and desires, to unions who have paralized innovation, the car manufacturers have been a mess. This bailout is nothing new. It’s the continuation of a long, sad state of affairs.
As for Wall St., the system of quarterly returns and profits are a joke. Only no one is laughing about what’s happening now. Instead of testosterone driven attitudes such as those presented in the film Glengarry Glen Ross, we have to have a system that is grounded in wisdom.
Which raises the 64 trillion dollar question, what does such a system look like? I don’t know exactly, but I’m working on it. The first step is to realize what we have been doing is never going to get us where we want and need to go – to a society that has markets that function freely, where innovation is rewarded. Oh, and did I mention ethics and character? Because without these two, nothing else works – in the long run.