Of Politics, Pundits, Links, and Movies
Nov 9 2012

So much to write about and so little time.

As the world knows, Obama won!  I hope he can continue the trend around change and find a way to bring a divided nation together for all of our sakes.  Check out Fred Wilson’s (A venture capitalist in New York) post on the topic How Do You Take The Vote?.  I like the way he outlined the results.

I recently saw a movie called Cloud Atlas that was well done and though provoking.  I want to see it again to catch all the references I’m certain I missed.  It’s based on a book of the same name that was written in 2004  by David Mitchell. It interweaves six stories about people who show up in different life times that move from the South Pacific in the nineteenth century to a post-apocalyptic future.  Tom Hanks’ character gets better (i.e. fights his demons and trusts his instincts about love).  He and Halle Barry make an interesting couple throughout.  I know it is a science fiction, but I sometimes feel as if people I meet I’ve known before or have more close connections with.

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Re-Elect Randi Shade For Austin City Council
Jun 6 2011

It’s been three years since I posted about my friend Randi Shade running for city council.  She ran back in 2008 and she’s running for re-election.  After the first round of votes, she is in a run-off.  I’ve known Randi for a long time.  She’s not afraid to speak her mind, admit her mistakes, take calculated risks, represent her constituents best interests, and follow her dreams.  She’s also a mom with two kids.

Randi Shade is the only person on the Austin City Council who is an entrepreneur. She launched a venture-backed Internet start-up in 1999 about the same time I launched my first company.  Then when the bubble burst she bootstrapped the company until she was able to sell it to a publicly traded company in 2005.  The company was also awarded a patent for its unique method for generating new money for charity.  Randi has been an ardent supporter of growing Austin’s tech sector, and she also served as the Executive Director and as a Board Member of the Austin Entrepreneurs Foundation.

She helped launch the Pecan Street Project to help Austin become a leader in smart grid technology and renewable energy.  She brings an important voice of reason and balance to the Austin City Council and that impacts us, too.  For example, Randi has a track record for opposing red tape that negatively impacts property and business owners. She has a track record for supporting new jobs especially in high tech, and recognizing that Austin is growing, she has always been willing to support development that makes sense.  While at the same time making sure that Austin has the infrastructure in place to support its growing needs.  This run-off election is a critical election.  Your vote matters. This is our Austin and we control its destiny by voting for the people who shape its future. We cannot afford to sit this election out. Early voting starts on Monday, June 6.  Here is where you can vote:  http://randishade.com/212/vote.htm

I believe that because of her and others support of the technology and entrepreneurial communities, Austin is one of the top cities in job growth in the country.  Austin has also been named one of the top most innovative cities in the country.

So if you live in Austin, please get out and vote!

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How Often Can You Drop The Ball?
Oct 13 2008

Business is tough and it’s only going to get tougher the next several months and probably years with the economic meltdown happening as I type.  Things have been good (actually great) in the United States and it seems that many people (Democrats and Republicans alike – each in their own different ways) started to expect things to be taken care of for them and began to forget that although luck plays a part in finding financial success, that working hard, getting an education, paying attention, making good decisions, not buying what you want but don’t need, not eating unhealthy foods, etc. play a much bigger role. 

Members of both political parties took it for granted that the government would take care of them.  Not just those on welfare!  Some just thought the good times would roll on forever and signed up to risky home loans and bought things on their credit cards they couldn’t afford.  

Some decided because they were told (i.e., marketed to) they should own a home as part of living the “American dream,” they should buy a home not worrying about whether times would change and if they could afford it over the long term.  And it’s not just high school drop outs who made these decisions, it’s also college educated people, because the American culture of ‘borrow, borrow, borrow and don’t worry about tomorrow‘ has prevailed. 

So who dropped the ball?  The American consumer? The government? The banks? Parents? Educational Institutions?  In my opinion, everyone did.  The ball has been repeatedly dropped and instead of being ‘kicked off the team‘ like they would be on any professional sports team or any successful business, they were allowed to continue to drop the ball.  And now because the ball was dropped too often, here we are in the US facing one of the worst economic challenges in our history. 

My guess is that in the years to come those who repeatedly apologize for dropping the ball, for making mistakes, or not following through (e.g. Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve who I couldn’t believe said something like ‘I don’t know, I haven’t had a good track record when it comes to make decisions about the country’s financial position‘ when asked about the $700 billion bailout package. — Yes, I saw him say that on live TV!) will hopefully be weeded out.  We can only hope they get weeded out without receiving big financial packages rewarding them for their incompetence. 

The US system is broken in many ways but in many ways works better than anywhere in the world!  It rewards incompetence but it also rewards talent.  It rewards people who work hard but it also rewards people who happen to be at the right place at the right time without the right skills and then doesn’t get rid of them when they don’t perform. 

So pay attention. Don’t let that ball drop.  If it happens to drop, pick it up quickly and pass it to the next person on your team (and hope he or she doesn’t drop it too often) because our country and our world needs everyone’s help!

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneurship, politics, random stuff | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »