One of the great things about working with entrepreneurs is that there isn’t any concern as to class, race, creed, sexual orientation, or politics. All an investor really cares about is an idea, the market size and the ability of the team to execute.
Entrepreneurs aren’t particularly concerned with politics unless it gets in their way. There was a big idea in last year's Excelerate Lab class, The Exchangery, which simply couldn’t get off the ground because the regulatory fence erected by insiders was far too high and expensive to climb. Sometimes mountains aren’t worth moving.
In this age where Obama campaigns on divisiveness and class warfare, I find dealing with entrepreneurs a welcome respite. They are beholden to an idea. Do they care where their customers come from? No. Do I only invest in right wing conservative Christians? No. It’s all about merit. I don’t care a whit if the entrepreneurs went to Harvard or the local community college. It doesn’t matter if they were raised in a mansion or a tenement. It’s about the idea.
There are things I won’t invest in. Solar Power for example. It’s a rat hole. Ethanol. Another government subsidized rat hole. One stroke of the pen puts you out of business. Those two sectors have nothing to do with my feeling on clean energy and everything to do with the recognition that there are no profits without government, and government can change faster than I can monetize my investment.
Yet, when I see the media reporting and particularly the Democrats campaigning, it’s only about class and who has what. They want to eliminate competition by centrally planning everything. They hide behind the veil of being tolerant, when in fact the Democrats are some of the most intolerant people on earth. Doubt me? Try floating an abortion compromise amongst a bunch of left wingers. Try living amongst them. Be a Republican or libertarian on the Upper West Side of NYC. You won’t have many friends.
Entrepreneurship is the American Dream. It’s what the Founders wanted America to become. A sea of individuals executing their own ideas for their own benefit. They understood it implicitly when they signed the Declaration of Independence and ratified the Constitution. Those ideals hold true today.
Ronald Coase turned those ideals, and the thoughts of Adam Smith, into a theorem. Coase really works. Stigler showed how government tampers with Coase and increases the costs of running a business through regulation-when the free market would probably regulate much better.
Republicans certainly have their warts. On issues like abortion, gay marriage, immigration and evolution, the hard right is hard to understand. But I find the Republican party of today more accepting of different ideas. It’s not the Brahmin party of 1900, and is way more entrepreneur friendly.
Think about that as the campaigns roll out. Neither is perfect, but one is definitely better than the other when it comes to the future of America.