Posts

On Being White, Female, and Privileged

I’ve never deluded myself into thinking that I have it anything other than great. I’m white. I’m educated. I live in a nation where I can have tough conversations without fear for my life. Generally. Well, it depends on the company I choose to keep. Florida. Texas. And where I choose to have those conversations.

And what saddens me most is that those with voices, those which have both the volume and reach to say what needs saying and can create an impact…aren’t saying anything.

In a Facebook discussion with one of my community members yesterday, I received this message:

Thanks for being brave with your opinion in light of how public a personality you are.

My response?

That’s the reason I have to be brave — because if I’m not, what example do I set?

What saddens me most is that, except for my very small corner of the digital world and perhaps a slightly larger corner in the physical one, I’m essentially nobody. I’m a 40-year-old woman in Denver, Colorado with a business to run and bills to pay.

But what I do have is an audience. And what I can no longer be is silent.

I find it impossible to sit here and live in a world where someone feels the need to thank me for speaking up. We’ve all been silent too long. Today’s post is a plea – from a very white woman who’s existed on multiple levels of the socioeconomic scale – to wake the fuck up.

Remember your privilege.

Having existed with less than $10 in the bank, I’ve made choices on which bills do and don’t get paid in a certain month. I’ve lived without health insurance. I may or may not have even taken a few trips around the house and down into the basement, maybe the garage, to look for things that could be sold on eBay or Craigslist. You know how that is—those times when every credit card is maxed out, a job may or may not be a reality, and the dog decided to eat a #$%^&*ing sock and needed $1,200 in surgery. All of this happens, of course, right before rent is due.

When did we become so privileged that we forgot that there are those who work to (barely) survive and rely on social services such as low-cost and free health clinics, food stamps, subsidized housing, and other social programs to make their worlds work and keep their bellies somewhat full from day to day?

And before you dare chime in that living like that is somehow their choice (because for most, it’s not), or how epically broken the social services programs in this country are (because they are), I’ll ask you to consider one thing:

When did we become so arrogant as to think that the way we’re privileged enough to live is better?

Is it better that we lose appreciation for what we have and have earned than remember what it was like to bust ass for every dollar at a wage, while abominable, but we’re oh-so-fucking glad to get the check every week?

I’ll be the first to say that I’m not signing up to shutter my small business and go live a life in a Texan border town where 90% of the population lives below the poverty line. I happily live a life filled with First World Problems.

I run out of coffee – I have to drive to Starbucks.

I’m a half hour late for my massage appointment – damn, I only get an hour-long session.

I have no reception on my iPhone and my Facebook status updates aren’t loading –HOW WILL I ENDURE THE 15-MINUTE WAIT FOR MY MASSAGE APPOINTMENT?

First. World. Problems. They’re not better. They’re different. And if I’m brutally honest, we’re each a little bit of an asshole for forgetting that our problems are, in the grand scheme of things, likely pretty infinitesimal.

The laws sweeping this nation affecting issues such as women’s rights, voting rights, and Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” aren’t written for those of us with privilege and our First World Problems.

They are systematically targeting those who do not enjoy our privilege. Those who don’t get to pick their primary care physician – they’re grateful for whoever happens to be volunteering at the clinic that day. Those who often do jobs that neither you nor I would ever deign to – as we dare to pass them by without a glance because they clean the resort rooms where our spent towels are strewn on the floor. Those who walk down a suburban street and are instantly targeted as ne’er-do-wells and hoodlums on account of the color of their skin.

These laws don’t protect people of privilege. They target those without it.

“If I had $100 to pay for birth control or pay the bill for lights, I’d pay the lights,” said Saldana, a Brownsville native and single mother. (Bloomberg)

And lately, well, lately we’ve started yelling. HALLELUJAH! Something has inspired us to speak out – but all I hear is yelling. I don’t see any action. And here we sit, people of privilege – yelling and doing nothing with the access we have and the financial clout we hold.

WHY yelling is useless without ACTION

Maybe you have that friend who has the same crisis, over and over, and you give them advice and they still go back and date that asshole because he says it’ll be different this time.

It never is. And it’s annoying. And you’re stuck hearing that same story at three weeks intervals because the same shit happens again and again.

This is what happens when we yell at our government instead of taking action to effect change.

On Facebook, I see people who agree with one another yelling at one another instead of wising the hell up and asking how – together – we can make a difference.

Stop moving your mouth. Start acting.

The first thing you can do is hold lawmakers accountable for the measures they pass. We just have to begin speaking their language. It’s one filled with dollar signs.

Here’s how to be fluent in two steps: skip it and fix the ignorance.

Just Skip It

Your purchasing power is one of the most powerful tools you hold in any business or legislative situation. Pissed at how corporations are buying favorable legislation? Become one of them.

You’re already not eating at Chick-fil-A because you don’t like their stance on gay marriage.

Why the FUCK would you consider going to Texas or Florida and spending your hard-earned cash if you’re upset about legislation in those states?

You can skip SXSW 2014. You can also skip those Disneyworld and Florida beach vacationss. There are plenty of other conferences where you can canoodle with friends — and vacation spots? Well, they abound as well.

Let’s have a look at the impact of decisions like those and the dent you and I can make together. You can speak a language that lawmakers understand. With your actions, not just with words.

The impact you can have by skipping SXSW 2014

When convention organizers weren’t fond of Arizona’s SB 1070, the one essentially allowing for racial profiling in the name of “immigration reform,” they voted with their wallets. The State of Arizona reports a 30% decrease in convention traffic since 2009 (SB 1070 was passed in 2010), amounting to a difference of $136,000,000 per year. The state is also just now beginning to see the true effects of convention organizers boycotting their state, as organizers (according to the article) tend to book locations three to five years in advance.

Here’s how YOU skipping SXSW 2014 in Austin, Texas can have the same impact on the Texas economy as immigration “reform” did for Arizona:

  • SXSW reports $190,000,000 added to the Texas economy over the nine-day period for the 2012 event.
  • Demographic breakdown: Attendees are 60% male and 40% female – 302,700 attendees reported for the 2012 event

By those figures (and might I say, damn), women alone represent a purchasing power of $76 million dollars for the Texas economy over a mere nine days.

You can do something about that.

Tell SXSW that you’re not going to drop the $2,000-$3,000 to come out this year. Why? Because Texas isn’t friendly to women. SXSW is one of the leaders in encouraging more women to “be at the table” in the tech community. So – why would they host an event in a state that doesn’t want women sitting down…pretty much anywhere? Head to their event in Las Vegas instead this August. Nevada has plenty of places for women to get the care they need without the draconian laws of Texas. And if it’s a concern, there are no public funds allocated for abortion except in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.

Tell the Austin venue where you book your company’s party every year that you’re not booking this year because you can’t contribute to an economy that says the covering on a clinic’s floors and the number of parking spaces makes a clinic “safer.” It only makes it harder for clinics to comply with surgical center standards, effectively putting them out of business. Oh, and you should probably follow the money on how Rick Perry, the Governor or Texas, and his sister both stand to gain from this legislation mandating abortion clinics upgrade to ambulatory centers. Nothing shady there. Nope.

You could also hit up World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon next year instead.

And as a woman raised in the State of Texas — I’m not turning my back on Texas. I don’t even live there anymore, but when you grow up in the South, a piece of your heart and soul are there forever. I want to see my adopted home state do better. And my choice is to hit the state where it hurts: my contribution to that $190M of which roughly $76M is coming from those with an XX chromosomal pattern. I’ll stand with Wendy Davis alongside countless others. And I’ll look forward to the day where I can tell my mother, who still resides in Houston, that I’m coming to visit again.

If you’re pissed about Stand Your Ground laws in Florida

Stop going to Disneyworld. Stop taking speaking engagements and attending conferences in the Florida (I just canceled one in November for the South Florida AMA). Stop booking your beach vacations in Miami. Trust me, there are plenty of other beaches out there, in cities that would love to have you and each with awesome deals on Groupon, Living Social, and other outfits like Expedia – who stepped up last year with a bold message about gay marriage, unafraid to join a divisive conversation in an election year.

Vote with your wallet. It works in more places than just the Chick-fil-A drive-thru.

The bigger issue – that of ignorance

In recent days, I have seen some incredibly intelligent people say some pretty stupid things.

First, we’re a nation based on the principle of innocence until proven guilty and must prove that guilt beyond any reasonable doubt. That means that a jury must return a verdict of “not guilty” unless those reasonable doubt standards are met. Don’t know what constitutes reasonable doubt? You’re in luck – here’s a primer. Remember that we know only what we know from our first-hand experiences and what the media chooses to tell us. In the case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, there are only two people who know the whole truth. One, sadly, will never tell his story. Stop posting these blow-by-blow accounts of what you think happened that night. And stop the yelling for appeal — as you can’t appeal a not guilty verdict in a criminal case, for fuck’s sake. This blog made me laugh and cry at the same time, crafted by a criminal attorney in Florida following Saturday’s verdict.

Secondly, take a look at the schools your children attend alongside your own knowledge. Amidst conversations about teacher salaries (they always deserve more), school closures, STEM education, and encouraging more women to pursue tech-related courses of study – we seem to have forgotten to teach kids and ourselves how things work in the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of our nation’s government. If we’re going to be subject to a government here in the United States OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people – we have to become students of those subjects. How many of you can score a passing grade on the U.S. Citizenship Quiz, with 96 questions taken from the actual citizenship test (I took it and scored an embarassing 8 out of 12 – yikes)? Find ways to ensure that you and your kids know the fundamentals of how laws are made. Schoolhouse Rock is a great start (though grossly oversimplified in a world of legislation riders and lobbyists). Talking with your kids about current events is even better.

Finally, we can fix ignorance, but it has to start with us. Yelling without action exacerbates what ails us and will never bring the solutions we crave. Posting a ranty Facebook status or blasting out a tweet isn’t acting. It starts powerful and occasionally productive conversations. Mostly, it’s feeding an argument soon to be lost in the digital ether. Talking is something. Doing is everything. Here are a few ways you can get involved and participate in the democratic process in the republic that is America (PS: America isn’t a democracy – it’s a republic):

  • Contact your representative: Use this site to find your representative in the House of Representatives.
  • Contact your senator: It’s beyond simple – this page lists every U.S. Senator and a link where you can contact each, immediately and online.
  • Join a cause: News stories are ripe ground for finding organizations both backing and fighting issues. Get off your ass. Make a donation. Sign a petition. Attend a rally. Volunteer. You don’t have to march in order to support those who do. Introverts and extroverts each have their powerful contribution to causes.

So – what will you choose?

Change doesn’t come through silence. It comes through those who have the strength, commitment, and determination to say what needs saying and do what others will not. I speak up because, for me, it’s the right thing to do. I can no longer in good conscience say that the laws being passed in this country are for the benefit for and not to the detriment of my fellow Americans. And I have a voice. I have an audience. By doing something (instead of just talking), perhaps I can help effect change.

And it’s not about being a Democrat or a Republican. I’m an American. If we’re going to have a two-party system, I want parties and elections to offer real choices and not simply the lesser of evils. And I want the party that says they’re about less government to stop championing more and more laws that do nothing to improve the lives of their constituency. I want to look at the political parties and go, “Damn – that’s a great point” instead of seeing pundits from one side or the other push out incendiary remarks like this:

erick erickson coat hanger tweet

 

By the way — that link? Links to coat hangers. Stay classy. (Source: MSN Now)

 

You’ll find your threshold of action – but how many more Facebook statuses and tweets will you post and share until you’re willing to do something? I can’t deny that I am white, female, and privileged — and there are days I’m truly embarassed to be each of those things when I see how we treat one another in this country. But I also can’t deny that should I fail to use that to speak up and do something, I’m only part of the problem. File me away under A for apathy. I mean, hell — we’re a nation that gives more bandwith to a shitty sci-fi flick called “Sharknado”  than our fellow man. You can filed that away under F for…well, you know.

So, maybe you’ll skip Texas and Florida this year and maybe you won’t. But after reading this, what I hope you realize is that you have the ability to:

  • Use your purchasing power to create an impact.
  • Hold our elected officials responsible — through multiple avenues — even those in states in which we do not live.
  • Make a choice — which is something that women in Texas (North Carolina, North Dakota, and 12 other states) are watching fade away and that Trayvon Martin probably never had because of a law that says I can pick a fight with you. But if you fight back, I can kill you.

 

 

The Redhead Wrap-Up: Hot-lanta Edition

atlanta

The view from my Atlanta hotel room

Good morning from Atlanta, Georgia. I’m here today to attend TEDxPeachtree and immerse myself in all sorta knowledge and experience as only The South can deliver. I attended last year and am delighted to have been invited back this year, especially following my own adrenaline and endorphin-filled experience at TEDxBoulder 2012 as part of the speaker roster.

I am also typing this email from a very posh bed — ever so much more posh than my own. There is no way this is fitting in my carry on luggage. God. Dammit.

Do you ever walk into a hotel room and think, “I could pee everywhere in here and I wouldn’t have to clean it up.”? Just me? I digress.

Also, I lost at pool this week. I can play astonishingly shitty when I set my mind to it. The wager entails me doing a friend’s dishes while wearing white. It’s an inside joke. I’ll be wearing a bra. And no, there won’t be any fucking pictures. Pervs.

Important note for all subscribers: I’m going to be porting the feed for RedheadWriting over to Feedblitz soon (possibly January 1, possibly sooner if I get moody). The look of your blog emails that land in your inbox will change, but that’s just because Feedburner (the provider of my current blog feed) from Google is no longer a “supported” Google service. Which means that if shit breaks, no one will help me unbreak it. Which is bogus. Your readership means more to me than using some janky, unsupported delivery method (like a drunk midwife), so the shift is happening to a specialized (and paid) RSS and email delivery service. If you have your feed burned through Feedburner, check out Feedblitz. I’ve also heard great things about MailChimp (which is free for lists under 2,000 subscribers up to 12,000 emails/month).

What’s been going on this week? It’s been pretty wonderful — so if you missed what’s filling your inbox from my email address, here’s an easy way to get all caught up (and fast).

Thank you, Irreverent Sales Girl. Last week, you met her as a guest blogger. This week, she kinda knocked my socks off with her own post about me and shit. Thank you, lady. If you haven’t stopped by to see what the what, check it (and her) out. OH! And she has a new (free) eBook coming out soon and I’ll be sure to send you a link so you can gitcha summdat.

Can you refuse this offer? There are already 78 comments on this post from people who are asking for help with something regarding their business. There are no strings, no cost. The only way to get help, though, is to ask. The deadline is end-of-day, TODAY, though! If you have a business question, send it our way. Jason Womack and I are assembling a team of kickass to answer your questions and point you in the right direction. Current folks on board to help include Jason Womack, Stephen Denny, Erin Weed, The Irreverent Sales Girl, and Dan Waldschmidt. Pass this opportunity up at your own risk. And something pretty cool is happening, too — YOU guys are responding to other readers’ questions. This kicks epic, hippopotamus-sized ass. Keep it up.

Apparently, you can do things the ‘Erika Napoletano Way.’ Yep. If it’s in print, it must be true. In advance of my speaking engagement and book event at next week’s ad:tech conference in NYC (yes, it’s still happening), Aby Sam Thomas from Allvoices sat down with me to chat about the whats and wherefores of what I do and think for a living. He was an absolute doll and I’m totally looking forward to meeting him at the conference in NY next week!

That whole “two years” thing. It’s completely surreal to know that this week marked two years since I kissed Jason’s forehead and said goodbye. It was a much brighter week than I anticipated — and I talked a bit about my favorite shade of blue (y’know, the one you can’t replicate when you see it in the sky) and my thoughts on how we consistently need to be taking inventory in our lives.

Ass kickings, delivered. 2013 is around the corner — what are YOU doing to get your ass in gear for the coming business year? My latest column in Entrepreneur Magazine is live with tips designed to kick your keister into gear. Snark + solutions. Gitchasum.

My book was named to a listy-thing for Best Small Business Books of 2013, yo. Shit howdy, The Power of Unpopular was named #4 on a list of 8 of the best books for small business in 2013 by the National Federation of Independent Business. This just landed in my inbox yesterday. Made me smile.

And this week — with the election year (thank christ) coming to a close — I’ll leave you with a simple thought that I shared on my personal Facebook page — with my friends — yesterday:

“It saddens me that people use politics as an excuse for spreading vitriol and that they use elections as signpost events to say they stand for something. Why not stand for something every day and become a part of the solution instead a part of the growing masses who yell, kick, and scream, needing to disparage another in advancement of your own rarely celebrated and oft ignored agenda? If you haven’t noticed, America is something that happens, changes, and improves every day…not every 4 years. Go grab your Starbucks this morning and think about THAT.”

What inspired it? A community from the Brigantine coastal region affected by Hurricane Sandy posted this picture on their Facebook page and it erupted into a spew of hate-filled political-speak (like “fuck our President” — so classy). They removed it once due to the vitriol and reposted it, only to have the same nastiness happen once again.

I don’t care which way you bend. What I do care about is that you get your ass to the polls on Tuesday. If you think your vote doesn’t count, it does. And the next time you see a picture of one of our nation’s leaders hugging a woman who just lost everything — consider a smile. Hugs fix a lot of things. And seeing this picture made me happy. So happy, in fact, that I’m posting it. Don’t like it? >>> There’s the door. Go hug someone today — and mean it.

Obama Brigantine Hug

My Entrepreneur Can Beat Up Your Politician

entrepreneur beat up politician***Disclaimer: So, sometime on Tuesday afternoon, I forgot that I’d dropped an Aleve-D two hours prior and threw back two REAL Sudafed red devils. Having been plague-ridden for nearly a week, I just wanted the congestion to subside. What resulted, however, was a thorough understanding on why kids cook this shit down to create crystal meth and an evening filled with productivity on most offensive levels. And, this blog post.

The setting is Houston, Texas. The subject, a certain then-bleached-blonde adolescent girl with oversized glasses (complete with purple tint) and a penchant for social and political issues. For nearly five years, I immersed myself in political studies and competed in Lincoln-Douglas debate, extemporaneous speaking, Mock Congressional Hearing competitions, and every political science/history fair I could get my hands on. AP U.S. History and Political Studies classes meant that I was dropped into a sea of upperclassmen studying the same issues. They wouldn’t ask me to Homecoming, but they sure as shit would clammor to sit next to me on test day. And in those competitions? I won. My dream was to become an attorney and specialize in international law, and these were the stepping stones for an awkward, geeky girl to make her mark on the political systems she admired so very much.

Flash Forward to 2012

So, I ditched the purple-tinted glasses and never went to law school. I turned out to be a writer and an entrepreneur – which is precisely where I should have ended up. Hell, it only took me 17 years of living a life filled with Shouldas, Couldas, and Wouldas to get here. My passion for social and political issues has never waned, however – and I can definitively say that everything about this election year irritates me to no end. My country’s political system is in shambles – a complete joke to outside observers – and I have to listen to dribble on the State of the Union Address that spews useless statements like, “The American Dream is in peril.”

Really. Which one is the American Dream? The one where I’m dressed up like a cheerleader in front of the Senate building with a felt USA blazing across my breasts? I really like that dream…but I digress.

I would think that, as a country, we’ve gotten past the Hooverisms and dispelled the myth that there will be a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. Who are we as people and a nation to believe that we are entitled to anything and that dreams are things achieved with anything other than ass-breaking work, blood, sweat, and tears? As an entrepreneur, I don’t get entitlement. I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck and had my 10-for-$1 Ramen days. I’ve failed miserably after a load of ass-breaking work. No one handed me anything and I wake up each day grateful for the people in my life and what I’ve earned.

Yeah. Earned. Earning things for myself – the goal-setting and subsequent accomplishments and failures – that’s my American Dream.

And given the work that I do every day with the startup community and other entrepreneurs, I’m overcome with one thought and one thought alone:

That my entrepreneur can kick your politician’s ass. Period.

And it got me thinking: what do entrepreneurs know better than politicians? Seems to me it’s most everything.

Integrity

I can’t log in to YouTube these days to watch a Van Halen video without some mudslinging GOP ad bogarting my bandwidth. You won’t find that in the startup community. Entrepreneurs who fuel successful startups understand integrity to the Nth degree and skip the dirty trash talking because they know what’s important: building a product for the people who will love what you’re building. Entrepreneurs don’t rise because they bash the competition with paid ad space. They rise because they’ve built a product that solves a pain point for a certain audience.

Let’s face it: we all have a one-night stand that we’d rather forget. A phrase we wish had never come out of our mouths. Pieces of our lives we’d rather keep private. Entrepreneurs put their companies and products first and themselves second – just ask any founder’s wife/husband/kids. Our political system wants to muckrake, dragging everyone’s personal lives out into the open and the politicians are the first ones to play the blame game. They’d do well by looking at what builds successful, industry-leading companies that are putting our country on the map as contenders in the global technology space – it’s a commitment to integrity and knowing that your product speaks for itself. For entrepreneurs, it’s not about pushing someone else down that brings success as it is with politicians. Great entrepreneurs believe that they can only succeed if the people surrounding them succeed, as you can’t build anything in a vacuum. And you can’t forget your audience.

Audience Rules

As I sit and watch the epic tardsparring that is the caucus and primary season this year, it’s evident that the GOP candidates aren’t interested in anything but their own individual agendas. For people who have committed to a life in public service, they seem to have forgotten the “public” part of that equation.

Plain and simple, entrepreneurs understand that their audience is the only reason they have a business to begin with, and that every business decision they make must be proven to add value to that demographic. Politicians? Be it a kind of shitty truth, but it is a rare politician who remembers that the people behind the votes are the reasons they get to serve in the first place.

Simplicity

When’s the last time you went to the website for an emerging startup – one getting noticed and building a buzz – and you had no bloody idea what the company did or why the hell you should care?

That’s because it doesn’t happen.

Entrepreneurs (and great PR professionals as well) understand that when you try to say 83 things, you say nothing at all. The startup world is based on solving complex problems in an elegant, seemingly simple fashion – even if there is a basement full of code monkeys hammering out Ruby-flavored splendor to make that simple solution appear simple 18 hours a day.

Politicians are adept at taking something simple and bastardizing it through riders, lobbying, and self-interest. The resulting product is never one that the American public can understand. And if you doubt me, why don’t you check out all of the Medicare updates? Seems that folks shouldn’t have to rifle through a Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D in order to figure out how and what is covered. If a startup did that with their product messaging and documentation, they’d fall flat before they ever had a chance to soar.

Q: How many politicians does it take to change a lightbulb?

Politician’s Answer: It would appear as if the rider on this Lightbulbs bill supporting tax breaks for corporate environmental initiatives is prohibitive to the actual changing of the lightbulb due to some loophole about an endangered species that may or may not come into contact with said lightbulbs. Therefore, it seems the only logical move is to add an additional rider removing the three-toed sloth from the endangered species list, which will free up approximately $600,000 annually, thus making it possible to procure a lightbulb and send out RFPs for government-approved contractors to complete the work roughly 24-26 months following bipartisan acceptance of the legislation.

Entrepreneur’s Answer: Why the fuck are you still using lightbulbs? I know at least six companies with better products. Let me introduce you to them.

Killing Your Darlings

Out political system is brilliant at heaping shit upon shit when shit doesn’t work. Our public education system and social welfare programs are but two examples. Politicians keep applying laws and acts on top of laws and acts until the original legislation’s intent is lost in the noise. The process fixes nothing. It simply creates more problems. Which, of course, will be solved by layering more legislation on in search of a solution when the entrepreneurial community actually holds the answer.

Entrepreneurs understand the value in killing your darlings. Great entrepreneurs have failed – and miserably – on multiple occasions. With each failure, they learn to accelerate the failure process so they can get on with the business of things that actually work instead of being burdened by the things that don’t. You’ll never see a successful startup that’s a Joe’s Mortuary and Fine Sausage Emporium. You’ll see focus. Commitment. And if it doesn’t work, entrepreneurs are standing by with a bottle of kerosene and a BIC lighter to burn the motherfucker to the ground.

There’s much in this country on the political and legislative front that needs a good burning to the ground – and Washington needs a few more entrepreneurs to help them get over the fear and make the leap.

And So It Comes Down to Business

I don’t understand the vitriol directed at Mitt Romney (disclaimer: NOT a supporter) for his experience in the private equity sector. Well, I suppose I can if I figure in that the majority of the US population doesn’t understand what private equity firms actually do. Their goal, in many cases, is to take an ownership share in failing companies and turn them around so they’re profitable again. For the financial sector, they’re the ones that set containment fires. Some things in a PE-owned company burn to the ground so that others have a chance of succeeding. That means downsizing, or in unpretty terms, layoffs. JOB LOSS. While you might not like it, it’s good business. And it works. And yes, people make money from it. (Oh, the horror…)

Our government is bloated. Our nation’s legislative record is bloated. And we could do with an entrepreneurial infusion to lean-up our nation’s infrastructure. Great entrepreneurs know that good business can only be done when you put the foundations in place to support growth. And now, we’re a nation stymied by our political obesity – as we’ve overburdened the frame our Founding Fathers built.

And before you launch into something like “times are different in 2012 than they were in 1787” – no shit, Sherlock. Really? But that doesn’t mean that our nation is even remotely prepared to do good business – the business it’s tasked with: Serving its citizens. Entrepreneurs know that lean companies are more nimble and successful in the long run – a lesson that our nation’s politicians are loath to understand. I think Eric Reis’ The Lean Startup should be mandatory reading for anyone elected to public office.

***

So that’s it. It’s all I’ve got. And perhaps the title of this blog wasn’t really accurate in retrospect. My entrepreneur won’t ever beat up your politician. They’ll just quietly create a better product based on solid business principles that will put you out of business.

Why Victoria’s Secret is Single-Handedly Causing the Current Recession