Stimulation Through Innovation

Are you sick of hearing about the poor state of the economy? I know that I am. I am concerned that we as a country are spending money we do not have and ultimately creating a larger downstream problem that our kids will have to solve.

John C. VellingerI believe that not all companies or banks need to be bailed out if they are not operating a viable business. It appears that bailout equates to some level of ownership. Do we really want the government running our businesses? Some businesses need to go out of business because they have lost their true innovative edge.

True entrepreneurs will fill the market void, if one exists, with a more innovative product while we, as consumers, in the long run will be better off. The road will be bumpy along the way, but the ultimate problem will be solved instead of pushed back. Maybe the government could provide a softer landing for companies when they fail, but if government assistance means ownership, then companies should take a pass.

I have started several new businesses. Some were successful, but others did not have an innovative edge and failed. You learn more from your mistakes, which helps your next venture become stronger and more innovative. I believe we, as a country, have lost our ability to implement and embrace true innovation. Innovation can be the stimulus package that gets the economy rolling again. As Harvard economist Michael Porter said, “Innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity.”

America is made up of very creative people with the entrepreneurial spirit for innovation, but we are doing very little to light this bonfire. We, as Americans, need to teach our kids science and engineering. Innovation needs to become more of our mainstream business culture. The government needs to provide more financial incentives to encourage true innovation to stimulate entrepreneurs, while providing less government that prevents innovation. If you are not providing an innovative product, then the consumer should not be forced to buy it. Innovation needs to be part of our daily vocabulary and recognized as easily as the latest movie star.

America can compete at the global level, but we need to develop more innovative products and manufacturing techniques. I believe that our nation has become too much of a service nation that has lost its manufacturing infrastructure. We have become afraid to be innovative. Not all innovations are going to result in success stories, but failing to try is not an option. As Apple’s Steve Jobs said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” If America wants to be a leader, then we need to find our way back to our innovative roots!