In a recent “tweetstorm,” venture capitalist Marc Andreessen offers 16 “somewhat-less obvious ideas for how to expand the number of “unicorn” great tech startups over time.”
Taken together, I think, Andreessen’s ideas point toward a more dynamic, competitively intense economy which (a) generates both more entrepreneurs and more creative and innovative workers with deep expertise, (b) provides easy and open access to ideas for entrepreneurs and low barriers to starting and growing their firms, (c) offers a safety net that encourages work and mobility and risk taking. In short, just the opposite of economic calcification. Andreessen:
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 entrepreneurs, 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 <2 years.