Steve Jobs, a true visionary, was lost last year. He didn’t have any degree and didn’t work in the corporate sector. His friend, “Woz”, and he started with an idea in his garage. They grew the business. He didn’t take over an existing company and sell its assets, or buy another’s idea and market it. He knew what he wanted and did it regardless of the cost or hardship. Apple was in decline after Steve left the company in the 90’s. But when Steve returned, it was the biggest and most successful company on the planet because of his vision.
Our country has had the privilege of supporting visionaries and visionary thinkers in the past. Einstein revolutionized the way we see the Universe and made us a powerful nuclear power. Edison created moving pictures and the phonograph. Many other items are taken for granted today. We wouldn’t have 3D movies or the iPod if they hadn’t been invented. Edison was a visionary. So did Henry Ford. Although he didn’t invent automobiles, he did invent the assembly line, mass production and higher wages. He understood that if his workers didn’t get enough money to purchase his product, he would be limiting his market and his profits. These visionaries are what made this country great. It was Jefferson’s vision that led to the purchase of Louisiana Territory. Vision was what gave rise to the telephone, wireless communication and the ice cream cone.
Visionaries are more important than ever.
We have traded vision for greed, except for Steve Jobs and a few others. We have become so accustomed to the status quo that we are afraid of innovation and change. We are content with the status quo as long as we have big screens, smart phones and air conditioning. Edison, Einstein and other pioneers weren’t content with the status quo. Their lives were spent constantly working towards bringing their visions into reality. While we love our gadgets, we are annoyed by the rising cost of energy. Visionaries are needed to solve this problem.
Dreamers and thinkers are needed to see the world in a new way and find solutions for the many problems we face every day. Our economy, the global economy, the environment, agriculture, culture, and morality are all in crisis. We need new ideas and new ways to think about problems. The guy who works late at night in his garage to develop the next technology is essential. He will create a new industry that employs hundreds and generate millions of dollars in revenue. We need an army of them, not just a few large corporations.
Let’s take care of that guy
A guy with an idea and perseverance could have started a business in the past. It takes much more today. Beyond the endless list of regulations and laws, venture capital, business plans, marketing, and other necessary resources are also required. This all takes time and money. It is time to simplify the process, from idea to market. It is time to support the solo entrepreneur. It is time to stop looking out only for the big guys and instead look out for the small guy. They are what we need right now. The big guys are too slow, too slow and greedy to be responsive to market needs. The little guy who can make a quick buck and bring his ideas to the market in weeks and months, instead of years or decades, is what we need. He can be supported by us having his back. Supporting small-entrepreneur friendly politicians. Holding our government accountable for creating a business environment that is pro-visionary. Instead of insisting on “trickle down”, we can insist on “trickle up”.
Are you aware of vision-impaired people? Do you know anyone with vision? You are valuable to your countrymen if you are. Your vision, your grit and determination are what we need to get this country back on track.