Entrepreneurship · Government Relations

What do entrepreneurs think about government? Friend or Enemy?

Arika JD Principal at Gide, LLC

March 2nd, 2016

I am working on a presentation for SXSW and need input from entrepreneurs on what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about government and your startup.  One word or short phrases are preferred.  Thanks!
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Robert Eberhart Assistant Professor at Santa Clara University

March 2nd, 2016

Government is an enabler or a hinderance, not friend or enemy. There are no markets without government, and we found our companies where there is good public infrastructure. Government can be a customer and a supplier. It is a straw man to say that government is inefficient. Of course it is, it is supposed to interfere when the public interest demands interference.

Bettina Bennett

March 2nd, 2016

detached from reality

David Houghton From IT to IoT - Driving strategy, execution and organizational growth through enterprise sales, BD and team building

March 2nd, 2016

"Good Morning, Department of Sales Prevention, may I help you?"

Rob G

March 2nd, 2016

neutral (neither friend nor enemy), but also slow, bloated, inefficient...avoid when possible. 

Tim Scott

March 2nd, 2016

Beware of befriending government. Businesses appeal to the state or all kinds of protection and favor, and they reap benefits. It's a myth that big business hates regulation. Most often their own lobbyists write the regs to fend off innovators. It's called "regulatory capture" and can work really well for a long time. But the sword cuts both ways. Just ask taxi franchisees the world over.

Roger Royse Royse Law Firm

March 2nd, 2016

it's love/hate here in the Silicon Valley. The idea of government is that it redistributes wealth, feeds the poor, shelters the homeless and turns troubles into rainbows. For free. The reality is that government promulgates and enforces the regulations that prevent their startup from doing business, hiring poeple and disrupting the old established and politically connected industries. This is becoming more and more apparent, Hillary, for example, with the support of the unions, has waged war on the gig economy, which would allow employees to become self sufficient.

Tom Harris Business Coach, Speaker, Author

March 2nd, 2016

obstacle, impediment to progress, unnecessary interference

Jan Kiderman Professional

March 2nd, 2016

Licensing, municipal, state and federal level regulatory hurdles and compliance. And, if government is a potential client; navigating the bureaucratic maze, to get the truly relevant stakeholders to buy in. Few startups and entrepreneurs understand the intricacies and nuances of this space. Good Luck!

Robert Eberhart Assistant Professor at Santa Clara University

March 2nd, 2016

Very good comment. Usually, when someone complains it is because they don't take into account that the regulation may be there to assist the public interest but not the businessperson in particular. When some complain that a regulation is inefficient, they often don't ask why it is there. For example, you have to pass time-consuming and onerous examinations before you can fly an airplane filled with passengers. This may be inefficient from the standpoint of someone trying hire inexpensive pilots and someone pursuing their flying passion. But I think we can safely argue that the rest of us want it that way that that inefficiency is in the eye of the beholder. And what I really like about the post above is the reminder that we are participants in the process and a key to well-governed system is the acceptance that our interests must accommodate other interests. Yes, is easy to say that getting that license was a pain, do we every carefully ask WHY it is such a pain?

Adam Pressman

March 2nd, 2016

Hey Rob
When you can't denigrate the truth you denigrate the teller?

FAA and the aviation industry is just one example (beyond the Internet I provided earlier) of an industry and government partnership.  In at least one instance the result is unmatched. Safe takeoffs and landings are at 8.9Sigma.  There is nothing in the world of men that is done better.  (Yes I know baggage routing is at about a four. Can't have everything)

And PS I don't share my stash with nay sayers.