Sunday, February 12, 2012

Entrepreneurship Revolution!

I recently had a discussion with several people regarding the popular belief that America and the economy were on the decline. Several indicators and research show that is not at all factual.

My position is that America will not lose its prominent position in the World. That we shall grow as a country when we as a nation stop bickering about cultural opinions on how others live in this country. When we realize our collective future is greater than leadership in this current political austerity movement will have us believe (solely for one party’s political gain).

That with good leadership, goals, understanding and tolerance of the diversity in America and on our planet, with greater educational opportunities America can impact and influence our future and the future of others.

At this time, America is the economic engine that drives the capitalistic world. When America’s economy expands the World economy will benefit. As Economies and countries benefit from American economic expansion their constituents will benefit as they are better able to enjoy their lives. Gain access to more opportunity and expand their middle class in countries not as advanced as The G7 (I did not include Russia).

I Believe America and America’s small business startups in tech will spur economic growth, will create more jobs and add to the taxable income base. This will allow America to pay down debt, reduce deficits and add budgetary items which will further expand the economy. Our well educated people and entrepreneurs will inspire the world again.

Through economic growth Americans can change the premise that our lifestyle is slipping away from us and that America is on the decline. We can change perception; we can lead people to believe and accept the premise that we alone can impact and create our own future. That one does not have to accept the fate put upon us by others. We alone are the masters of our future.

Technology enables us to change our job, education and experiences as well as income levels and education more easily than at any other time in history.

I am a startup founder, entrepreneur and venture capitalist because of that belief. I am surrounded by a great multitude of others with the same belief. I am involved with companies and individuals that enhance, encourage and support the startup experience. These people and companies will help America and show us the many positive ways entrepreneurship improves our lives and the economy.

I believe that our leadership and citizens need to be of the same opinion and should take positions which support entrepreneurship and education to achieve that result.

I am bullish on America, please join me!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Patterson Cycles in Technology:

I talk a great deal about startups, especially tech startups, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial communities. As I talk I often speak of cycles in the tech startup world and technologies. When people ask about the cycle of tech startups and tech funding my answer is often confusing to them because they are unfamiliar with what I talk about. I like to mention the Patterson Cycle to them; this post seeks to address some issues with the Patterson Cycle.

Arthur Patterson postulated that the tech industry follows an approximate 14 year cycles - 8 years of growth and 6 years of "retrenchment". This pattern has held up since the 1960s. Most likely the current cycle began in 2000/2001 (6 retrenchment years) and will last until 2014. The best time for VC returns are supposedly at the end of the cycle (the next 3 years).

Every cycle has both a supply and demand cycle. In the case of this one, it is the supply side (availability of great new companies) which determines timing, despite the attention the demand side (investor money sloshing around chasing higher returns) gets. The underlying secular forces of creative destruction are at work at the bottom of the Information Technology stack -eg 30% per year productivity increases for semiconductors, fiber optics, software development methodologies, etc. Observably, these secular forces require about 14 years to obsolete the existing order and set the stage for most of the great companies (and IPOs) of the next generation. We'll see hundreds of these companies pace the "new bubble" for the next few years. Enjoy it and hope no macro events (the government) interrupt. -Arthur C. Patterson