Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What if the Little Engine That Could Can’t or Won’t?

You have heard it from the Republicans, Democrats and Independents. It is small business that will pull us out of the recession. It is small business that will create jobs. “Small businesses generally are regarded as companies that have fewer than 500 employees, but there's no widely accepted data that define America's small businesses, said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and The Brookings Institution, two center-left Washington research centers.” Well, the recession has been with us for several years and there are more unemployed people, empty store fronts, for rent offices and empty manufacturing facilities than ever. What if the little engine of small business has run out of gas? Tired of being over regulated, over taxed and tired of paying endless fees. Every government from the local guys to the feds has their hands in the small business guy’s pocket. What if it’s just not worth it anymore?

More interesting is the growing thought that they have only given up for the moment. Unsure about health care, taxes and the current administration in general, they’re just setting it out for a while, holding off creating those precious jobs until things look a little more stable. Waiting till Obama is gone Could be. But what if they wait to long? What if they finally just give up?

Entrepreneurs are a curious lot. Independent, bull headed and stubborn. They get up everyday and go to work for themselves and create the backbone of our economy in the process. But even they have a breaking point. Politicians beware.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Droid, Blackberry and the I-Phone

If your Blackberry is leaving a bit blue or your Apple I-Phone experience has turned a bit sour or your Droid is dreadful here is an up date from The Hill and Author Sara Jerome: “Qualcomm chief executive Paul Jacobs said the wireless industry did not anticipate the explosion in data traffic on their networks as people began accessing the Internet on their mobile phones. "Demand for data has grown so rapidly, it almost has caught the industry by surprise," he said. Stressing access to spectrum as a key solution, Jacobs said last year marked the first time data traffic exceeded voice traffic on the networks. "AT&T is talking about 5,000 percent increases in their traffic in a span of three years," he said. "But guess what, it's not stopping at all." Mobile is "dominating" the broadband landscape, according to Jacobs, who cited a "a perfect storm of innovation and opportunity." Seventy-five percent of total broadband subscribers will be mobile broadband subscribers by 2014, he said, calling wireless the "the largest platform in the history of mankind."

My greatest fear is a mutation of the thumbs causing them to become smaller as we attempt to perform ever more work on every smaller keyboards. Thumbs after all are one the things that set us aside from the other mammals. Smaller thumbs will make holding a beer difficult, hitchhiking impossible and displaying the old “thumbs up” a bit weird to say the least. Maybe there will be a AP for that.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The St. Petersburg Pier

I like the Pier. I go their a lot. I go by on my boat, I ride by on my motorcycle, I drive out there at night and enjoy the lights. It dawned on me, I never stop. I never go in and buy anything, I just sort of pass by. Take it all in and head out to Treasure Island for one of Beach hangouts. I was upset when the Council brain trust voted to tear it down. How dare they put the old wrecking ball to my one place of mental solitude, the old inverted pyramid? I’ll miss it.

Maybe I am part of the problem. I go, I look, it makes me feel good but I never really support the place by spending any money there. Well, maybe the occasional ice cream cone, but I doubt that counts for much in the great scheme of things. A lot of people are yelling about the Pier but I wonder how many of them are like me. Taken by the structural appearance, comforted by the view but rarely truly supportive. It’s true that the place is primarily a tourist draw, but anyone in the tourist industry will tell you that you need the locals to be really successful.

Whatever they build it just won’t be the same. I’ll miss the old upside down pyramid and the opportunity to make up some wild story when a tourist asks me, why did they build it that way? Flipped over when were brining it up the Bay and we just left it that way. They actually buy that!

Maybe I’ll stop by and buy a hat or something.