NOTE: My statements are not necessarily my opinions. I often post point-counterpoint essays in which I strongly take one side of an issue and later counter that with antithetical views. This intellectual exercise helps me see the merit in opposing opinions and augments my creativity.

President Obama's home run: the JOBS Act

President Obama signed the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act into law, thus permitting business financing via crowdfunding. Translation? Startups can obtain startup capital from online investors.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) wrote, “After observing how quickly our nation’s leaders were able to learn and embrace a new and democratic form of capital formation, I am more confident than ever that the U.S. will once again retain its title as the world’s most dynamic and entrepreneurial marketplace.”

Scott Gerber said the JOBS Act will give “a whole new generation of aspiring young business owners … access to a new pool of capital that they will be able to utilize to rebuild the American dream, and revitalize the national economy.”

By signing the JOBS Act, President Obama hit a home run. Will his perennial critics give him the credit he deserves for that wise decision, or will they ignore it and say that he continues to strike out?

Notes:

  1. Obama Signs 'Game-Changing,' Crowd-Funding JOBS Act
  2. It's official: Your grandma can soon invest in startups
  3. Popular Science: Crowdfunding Pays Off
    Excerpt: “New businesses will be able to make their own IPOs, and small investors could act as venture capitalists.”
  4. JOBS Act: What Crowdfunding Means For Your Startup
  5. Can the JOBS Act Jump-Start Entrepreneurship?
  6. Congress Approves Startup-Focused JOBS Act
  7. Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell: 'There Are Steve Jobses All Around Us'
    Excerpt: “… there are plenty of creative, talented visionaries out there today who have the potential to innovate and disrupt the tech industry just like Jobs did.”
    Comment: Yes, there are. The problem is that America's system of capitalism has not expeditiously identified them. President Obama changed all that by signing the JOBS Act.
  8. Book: Finding the Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Hire, Keep and Nurture Creative Talent

    From the publisher's website: “When looking for employees, ignore credentials. Hire the obnoxious (in limited numbers). … Once you have them, isolate them. Celebrate their failures. Encourage ADHD. Ply them with toys. Encourage them to make decisions by throwing dice. Invent haphazard holidays. Let them sleep. The business world is changing faster than ever, and every day your company faces new complications and difficulties. The only way to resolve these issues is to have a staff of wildly creative people who live as much in the future as the present, who thrive on being different, and whose ideas will guarantee that your company will prosper when other companies fail.”

    Comment: Bushnell's advice is also applicable to finding great leaders and geniuses in general. As I discussed in another article, prenatal exposure to higher levels of testosterone makes people more likely to be eminently gifted with extreme creativity and especially fond of sex. We've seen that in über-geniuses such as Ben Franklin, Albert Einstein, and other Nobel Prize winners.

    The United States now has a bizarre dichotomy about sex, with an odd inversion of acceptability. If America's current sexual mores were applied to Franklin, the USA would likely not exist.

    Abraham Lincoln observed, “It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”

    Friedrich Nietzsche said, “In heaven all the interesting people are missing.”

    H. L. Mencken echoed a similar comment: “The great artists of the world are never Puritans, and seldom even ordinarily respectable. No virtuous man—that is, virtuous in the YMCA sense—has ever painted a picture worth looking at, or written a symphony worth hearing, or a book worth reading.”

    People who don't raise eyebrows in church generally don't do anything great. There's a reason for that. The juice of genius can also make men more likely to act like men, not angels. Americans desperate for gifted leaders and creators should consider the inimical effects of political correctness and rigid judgmentalism so they don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
  9. How to Hire the Next Steve Jobs: Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese's, gave the late Apple founder his first job. Here, Bushnell shares his tips on finding (and keeping) brilliant oddballs.
  10. The Hunt for the Creative Individual
    Excerpt: “Some people are more creative than others and are literally bubbling with ideas, while others rarely or never show signs of creativity. What should we look for when searching for creative people?”
    Comment: One of the seven creativity characteristics was “Need for originality: Resists rules and conventions. Have a rebellious attitude due to a need to do things no one else does.” Our society imposes many bizarre rules and conventions with no net benefit. Creative people are more likely to buck them, while others perpetuate them. In Finding the Next Steve Jobs, Bushnell discussed this characteristic and some others mentioned in that fascinating article.
  11. Tactics to Spark Creativity
    Excerpt: “Why is it that some people rack their brains for new ideas, only to come up empty—while others seem to shake them almost effortlessly out of their sleeves?”
  12. Why The Inventor Of Pong Says We're More Creative Now
    Excerpt: “"I believe we have literally thousands of Steve Jobses," but we don't empower them to create. "Look at the way we treat creative people! We just have to detoxify our companies and we'll have innovation flowing out of the ground like oil."”
  13. Q&A: Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell on Innovation, the “Next Steve Jobs” …
  14. Book: Crowdfunding: The Next Big Thing (using the Internet to democratize fundraising)
  15. For the first time in 80 years, normal people can invest in small businesses
  16. The Basics of Crowdfunding by attorney Romy Jurado
  17. 5 secrets to how the Kickstarter cooler’s ‘mad scientist’ raised $9.8 million
  18. New Rules Break Down the Walls for New Angel Investors
  19. Quirky: The Easiest Way To Bring Your Ideas to Life
  20. CircleUp: focuses on angel investments in consumer products companies
  21. Microventures: Connecting Angel Investors and Startups
  22. Kickstarter: “A funding platform for creative projects.”
  23. If you back a Kickstarter project that sells for $2 billion, do you deserve to get rich?
    Excerpt: “Kickstarter doesn't allow creators to offer equity, and the company has said it never will. But a bunch of other crowdfunding sites will soon be launching to fill that gap. … There are already scores of equity-based crowdfunding sites at the starting line — Wefunder, SeedInvest, and Crowdfunder are just a few — waiting for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue final rules later this year.”
    Comment: I say yes, you do deserve to share the wealth.
  24. Crowdfunder: equity and investment crowdfunding (Peter Diamandis discussed this in Revolution in Fundraising)
  25. Equity Crowdfunding's First Report Card
  26. Equity Crowdfunding Takes Off: What Your Business Should Know
  27. Who Is Equity Crowdfunding Right For?
  28. Top Power Women in US Crowdfunding
  29. Andy Murray prepares for post-tennis career with equity crowdfunding
  30. SEC issues final rules on “General Solicitation of 506 Offerings”
  31. RocketHub: “The world's crowdfunding machine.”
  32. Crowd Supply: “A Crowdfunding Platform and Store for the Next Big Idea”
  33. Indiegogo: “The world's funding platform. Go fund yourself.”
  34. How Indiegogo Is Expanding Beyond Crowdfunding To Empower Entrepreneurs
  35. Open Crowdfund: “Open project to make a crowdfunding portal.”
  36. Opencrowdfund has links to many good crowdfunding portal sites and a wiki.
  37. How To Get PR for Your Crowdfunding Campaign
  38. Crowdfunding Industry Spotlight #9: Mark Roderick
  39. Mark Roderick – Crowdfunding Attorney
  40. Mark Roderick's LinkedIn profile
  41. Crowdfunding Cheat Sheet
  42. Why Should Startups Consider Crowdfunding?
  43. Pave: a new investment option.
  44. New Tool Helps Crowdfunders Find Backers and Super Backers on Kickstarter and Indiegogo
  45. Amazon Mechanical Turk: a crowdsourcing Internet marketplace
  46. Why Donation-based Crowdfunding Is Here to Stay (and Growing)
  47. Equity Crowdfunding: Why Did The SEC Leave It Out Of New Rules?
  48. Why Britain is beating the U.S. at financial innovation
  49. Crowdfunding: What They Didn't Tell You!
  50. Best ways to get seed money through crowdfunding
  51. FCA new crowdfunding regulations due in 6 weeks! The 4 key changes
  52. rockthepost.com: Startup Investing
  53. A First Look at YouTube's Crowdfunding Feature
  54. 4 Important Crowdfunding Facts about your Patent Rights on Kickstarter (#4 is “Put the Public on Notice”)
  55. Startups give average Joes a seat at the high-rolling investment table
  56. Finding the Right Tune to Serenade the Crowd
  57. 10 Things I Learned By Studying Every 'Shark Tank' Pitch Ever Made
  58. Small Business, Big Ideas” series
  59. Book: Contagious: Why Things Catch On
  60. Book: Make Your Idea Matter: Stand out with a better story
  61. Do Intellectual Property Rights On Existing Technologies Hinder Subsequent Innovation?
  62. Venture Capitalists Don't Respect Female Entrepreneurs
  63. Why US Companies Are Drooling Over Israel's Amazing Startup Scene
  64. Free Crowdfunding Press Release Template
  65. Crowdemand is a platform that connects people directly to the designers they love.”
  66. Small investors often make poor investments
  67. Pebble Time Shows Us Just How Much Crowdfunding Has Changed
  68. Once idealistic, crowdfunding is now an unholy hybrid of retail, investment, and risk
The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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