Innovators Matter Most, and What to Do to Encourage More of Them
In the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal (sub req), Robert Litan, Vice-President of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, weighed in with an op-ed piece on why innovators matter most: "Their enterprises are the ones which create the jobs and industries of
the future -- as they have lifted the economy's productivity in the
past. The automobile, the airplane, the telephone, air conditioning,
the personal computer and its software, and Internet search engines --
all were launched by innovative entrepreneurs rather than large companies."
With that as context, Litan lays out the four challenges ahead for successful innovation to occur within the U.S. economy:
- Creating a highly-skilled work force;
Overall, I think these are some great recommendations -- although there is certainly some controversy baked into some of them. For example, the exhortation to create a highly-skilled work force sounds straightforward enough -- but it also includes a corollary to recruit "as many skilled immigrants as are willing to come here." The basic idea, of course, is that some of America's most innovative companies have been launched by immigrant entrepreneurs -- but if you go to places like Texas, I don't think the idea of unfettered immigration is going to be a very popular idea. (These are the same folks, after all, who want to build a steel-and-concrete wall along the Mexican border!)
ASIDE: It's Entrepreneurship Week USA this week! Be sure to hug your favorite entrepreneur.
[image: They Made America, sponsored in part by the Kauffman Foundation]
The findings are based on a phenomenon known as the "Mighty Girl Effect."
- The study tracked the responses of more than 5,000 men over the course of a decade.
- The results showed that men who lived with daughters were less likely to hold traditional views on gender relations and roles.
- This effect seemed to be strongest as the daughters entered secondary-school age.
There might be hope for our oceans, thanks to one clumsy moment in a coral tank.
- David Vaughan at the Mote Laboratory is growing coral 40 times faster than in the wild.
- It typically takes coral 25 to 75 years to reach sexual maturity. With a new coral fragmentation method, it takes just 3.
- Scientists and conservationists plan to plant 100,000 pieces of coral around the Florida Reef Tract by 2019 and millions more around the world in the years to come.
The billionaire entrepreneur predicts the rise of technology will soon force society to rethink the modern work week.
- Branson made the argument in a recent blog post published on the Virgin website.
- The 40-hour work week stems from labor laws created in the early 20th century, and many have said this model is becoming increasingly obsolete.
- The average American currently works 47 hours per week, on average.
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