Monthly Archives: October 2012

We don’t need politicians, we need entrepreneurs

This morning, I was listening to Jean-Marc Ayrault, the French prime minister, speaking at the Assembly. Note that I don’t care if he’s from the left or the right. I look at him as a leader for France. 

He gave his speech, and I just realized one thing: we don’t need politicians, we need entrepeneurs.

1- An entrepeneur is accountable for every action they take. It fails. It succeeds. But at the end of the day, they’re responsible for it. They accept failure as long as they learn. And they’re humble in success as they know it’s probably short term before the next storm comes up. If the entrepreneur doesn’t succeed, they have to go. There is no period of time where they protected. Politicians are not accountable. They just try to survive for the number of years they are in power. It’s rare to see a prime minister fired these days. And they never, ever, accept failure. 

2- Entrepreneurs know they have to try many different things. And they do. That’s because they can accept failures, and they know failures can be turned into success. Politicians, because of 1/, always try to take the approach of the hail mary, which results in no progress. 

3- Entrepeneurs don’t blame others. You’re dealt with a situation. It doesn’t matter that much why something happened, you have to deal with the situation, and focus your effort on improving it, learning from it, and move on. Ayrault this morning spent most of his time blaming the previous government. If you do that as a CEO, you’re fired. You have that job because people think you can improve things. Blaming others is already a way to find excuses for not delivering what you’re supposed to. 

4- Entrepreneurs don’t lie to their employees. If you do, they won’t trust you and that’s just the end. When I hire people, I always tell them it’s going to be avery bumpy road with high risks and zero guarantees (if they join, you know they’re motivated!). We always set expectations lower. Politicians, mainly because they need to be elected and most people just want to believe anything they’re being told, spend most of their time lying. Vote for me and you will never see A, B or C. 

5- Entrepeneurs delegate. The role of an entrepeneur is to hire the right people and let them do their thing. They want as little control on top, and as much independence at the bottom to let people innovate. Politicians want the opposite. Control at the top. It is even more true with folks who are in favor of high state intervention. 

6- Entrepreneurs believe in meritocracy. Politicians believe in votes. One will always try to do the right thing for the society and the people involved, the other will do what’s right for them personally. 

This would never happen because we have politicians, who believe more in old fashion ideas than concrete actions, but imagine if we could have a prime minister (or minister of economy) in France that says:

– Ouch, that crisis is huge. We’re going to have to go through very tough times. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s everywhere in the world. We have to deal with it. 

– The solution is to make sure everybody has a job – job creation and work is the top priority 

– As a result, we’re going to make sure France creates 500,000 new companies in the next 3 years, and become the center of innovation of Europe. 

– To do this, we’ll make it super easy to 
a) invest in France – we’re calling to all worldwide investors to spend their money in France, 0% tax for investments > $250K per company. => this is where the president will spend his time, campaigning investors to put their money in France. 
b) create your company – 15 minutes online form to create a company and close it. => this is the #1 prio for the administration.
c) hire people – 10% employer tax only
d) allow universities to invest in projects to turn them into companies, make money and reinvest it to offer better education to our children. 
e) allow folks subject to the 75% tax over $1M to invest that money in early stage companies instead of paying tax 
f) give companies tax credits (to the equivalent of 6 months of unemployement that would have been received by the employee) if they hire folks who have been unemployed for more than 1 year and keep them in the job for at least 1 year. 

– I don’t know if this will succeed, but it’s worth trying. We should have created 50,000 companies in year 1. 250,000 in year 2. 500,000 total in year 3. If i don’t reach those goals, you can vote me out.