Let’s start with the notion that every company in existence today was launched by someone with an idea, a different way of viewing things, a dream, a belief that there was a better way. Further, let’s say that the men and women who launched companies did so with a confidence that they would succeed whatever the obstacles, whatever the challenges, whatever the marketplace could throw at them. They had a vision, they were committed, and they put themselves and their livelihood on the line to make their vision a reality.
Few things in everyday life require more courage than the decision to risk everything to fulfill a dream. To take on the responsibility of payroll, product development, production, sales, finance, customer service and all that goes part and parcel with the launch and operation of a business.
Somehow the immutable risk/reward equation that underlies every business unleashes an innate human desire to succeed at embodying their dream or vision, be it simple or stupendous.
For evidence of this we need to look no further than the environs of San Diego County. According to Connect, the San Diego-based trade organization dedicated to assisting technology startup companies, more than 70 technology companies were launched in San Diego County in the first quarter of 2011, generating 130 jobs. Many other companies were launched in other sectors of the local economy during the same period.
But San Diego is unique. On Main Street USA, we Americans seem to have lost our way. Not, mind you, have we lost our desire or motivation or appetite for building businesses. We have lost our way in that the process of launching and building a business has become so difficult, challenging and encumbered as to frustrate and even derail the most committed of entrepreneurs.
Why is the vitality of the private business economy so important? It may be simplistic, but the preponderance of historical evidence is on my side: America can heal our present economic wounds and recover to realize our national destiny if we truly unleash the talent and energy of our entrepreneurs and small-business people. We have among us a latent, unrealized capability that can renew and transform this economy. We have done it in the past and we can do it again. However, we must unleash the private economy.
Get the obstacles out of the way and create opportunity for new ideas, new businesses to take root and flourish. It is that simple.
What is vexing and complicated is that those we elect, appoint and anoint to govern and regulate us don’t understand this simple concept. They must step aside and make room for the entrepreneurs.
Reo Carr is editor-in-chief of the San Diego Business Journal.