The more I watch, read and listen to the difficulties that the USA is going thru, the clearer it is to me that as a Country, we are not doing our best. To the contrary, it feels like at times we are doing our very worst. Running a Country really is a lot like running a business. So, along those lines, I’m going to talk about the current state of the USA in business-like terms.
Customers aren’t very interested in what we’ve built I’m afraid. In a classic, old-school entrepreneur move, we’ve built something no one really wants. Why? Because the builders aren’t innovative. They don’t think creatively. They are old, tired and out of touch. There is no user testing! The Government really should run like a business and for the most part, stick to what we are good at. Great companies look to get better at specific niches they know about. The USA needs to learn how to make customers (tax payers) happy while making a profit. Profit? That is a dirty word in our current status it seems. In business, there really isn’t such a thing as a ‘deficit’. There is profit, there is loss.
Why doesn’t the USA look for new ideas to make money? A company tries to figure out how to grow revenues and profits by creating more products and/or services that their customers want. Instead, the USA is the IBM of old. We have a huge grip on #1 and we are going to ride it all the way to the bottom.
We are about out of runway, too. Revenues (which I hate calling taxes “revenues” at all) are declining while expenses are increasing – yet we are losing market share. Just this week, the US debt increased more than it ever has in a single day ($285 BILLION IN ONE DAY!). The USA is chasing every vertical channel you can imagine; many of which have a long and storied history of negative ROI.
Some of our best talent cannot get here while other talent is leaving, or, worse yet, is being asked to leave. We are lead primarily by “management” that is old, boring, and out of touch. They don’t innovate, they stagnate. Lean startup? Try bloated old machine. Good luck trying to convince someone to invest in a model like this. WebVan eventually ran out of cash and no one was there to help. The USA is headed that same direction. Guess what? It’s well deserved. Good investors don’t throw good money after bad. There is not a track record of good financial stewardship with the funding rounds the USA has raised, so why should we get more? We shouldn’t. Not as long as we are going to continue down the same path, with the same products, with the same management. With all of those “sames”, we are of course bound to get the “same” results!
Newsflash — those results STINK.
If I were describing a company like I describe the USA, it would be one that is on its way out of business. That is why America needs to pivot. What does that mean, exactly? This is what I think. I really do want your comments though at the end of this post. What do you think? What did I miss? In the meantime, here are my thoughts on how the USA can make a move towards actually changing for the better.
1 – We need more youth at the top. By youth, I do not mean inexperience. Time doesn’t guarantee experience, though. Previous success and failure are much better indicators. There are a lot (perhaps more than ever) of really successful, interesting, innovative and super intelligent people in this Country under the age of 40. There are of course plenty that are over 40, but politics has enough of them involved already. I want to see the great technology and business leaders (most of whom are in their 30′s, with a few even in their 20′s) of America at the highest levels of leadership in the USA. That’s right, if the right candidate (insert big tech name here) ran for POTUS, I’d vote for them even if they were 32 years old. Would you?
2 - No more spending if we don’t have the money. It’s time we act like a business. If our runway is short, we should cut expenses. It will hurt. In fact, it will suck. Many people’s lives will be changed for the worse. But if we were a business, and we were out of money, we couldn’t borrow more. Banks don’t lend to companies on the precipice of bankruptcy. Why do they lend to us? Because we are the prettiest of the ugly choices. That isn’t saying much though, is it? Regardless, it’s time to make tough choices and get expenses in line with incoming cash.
3 – INNOVATE! An over used term for sure, but definitely one that could be applied to what we need at every level of Government. Technology could be used at so many levels to create new efficiencies and save this Country billions, and probably even trillions, of dollars. Innovators innovate though. Who are our innovators in the leadership of Washington?
4 – I like Obama as a Father and a husband. I think he is a good guy. He has no clue how business works though. He is not business friendly. In fact, he is quite the opposite from my perspective. Obama may be the worst President for business that I’ve ever seen. He is so fixated on getting wealthy people to pay more taxes that along the way he is killing business growth, innovation and the lifeblood of America – the entrepreneur! Talk to any business owner about Obama Care and see what I mean. We need a President that is an advocate for business. If you want the economy to improve, empower businesses to grow – it’s that simple. The entrepreneurs will take care of the rest.
What else can we do to jump-start this Country? We are on life support. It’s time to get a donor! Seriously, what do you think we need to do in order to get things back on track? Agree with my assessment above? Disagree? Comments please!