Editorial: Some 'somewhat-less obvious ideas'

“Routine conversation with legislators: ‘How do we get more successful tech startups?’ Do X, Y, Z. ‘Oh, we can't do *those* things."

One of the arguments in favour of Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission is that he has attended probably more meetings than anyone else.

This means, therefore, he likely knows how to appoint people to the right places to make a bureaucracy function in the way Dick Cheney, 46th vice-president of the US, did at the start of the George W Bush presidency.

But for those in authority with such ability but in search of ideas, Marc Andreessen, co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, has a list of “16 somewhat-less obvious ideas” to increase the number of startups worth at least a $1bn.

In a series of tweets last week, Andreessen said: “Routine conversation with legislators: ‘How do we get more successful tech startups?’ Do X, Y, Z. ‘Oh, we can't do *those* things.

“To expand the # of 'unicorn' great technology startups over time: 

1/ More Montessori & Montessori-style, free-form, and/or project-based K-8 public & private schools.

2/ Entrepreneurship magnet/charter schools -- specifically designed to produce enterpreneurs, vs cogs in the industrial machine.

3/ Significantly expanded summer tech, science, math, entrepreneurship programs/camps for grades 5-12.

4/ Significantly expanded internship programs at tech companies of all sizes for both high school and college students.

5/ More interdisciplinary college programs -- particularly engineering + business, and liberal arts + engineering.

6/ Comprehensive inclusion programs for underrepresented groups for each of the preceding five ideas.

7/ More public research universities should pursue the Stanford/Berkeley mentality/model; also, repeal Bayh-Dole.

8/Comprehensive legal and regulatory reform to open access to federally-funded research; also, pass Aaron's Law.

9/ Reform, or better yet eliminate, software and business method patents. Redefine patent trolling as a form of felony extortion.

10/ Fully portable economy-wide benefits, including health care, retirement savings, and immigration status.

11/ Eliminate tax credits for home ownership, and implement tax credits for renters.

12/ Implement tax credits for child care services for working parents.

13/ "Opt in" innovation zones with regulatory relief for various categories of new technology.

14/ More long-lockup capital at all levels of corporate capital structure.

15/ Eliminate tax credits for corporate debt, and implement tax credits for corporate equity.

16/ Zero capital gains tax for equity held for 5+ years, paid for by higher capital gains tax for equity held for less than two years.

Now, as news provider PandoDaily noted, sending out a tweetstorm late on a Sunday before an American holiday hardly attracts a lot of attention but having done the equivalent of 12 books through such tweets over the years, Andreessen might be counting on his list as an aid for his next set of routine conversations with legislators rather than immediate action but his last three points in particular would cause a stir if enacted just as discussion about point 15 did before the 2010 UK election.

See more from this Government Report: UK, US


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