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What about us little local guys ‘n gals

happy village

“There is plenty of conventional “establishment” writing and advice to startups as to how to raise money from billion-dollar VC funds, how to design companies for rapid growth then acquisition by big pharma/tech, how to ingratiate themselves with bankers and high finance—in general, how to become the growth cogs for the 1% (by convincing the founders/management that they personally can join the 2% as a goal). There is very little true attention to small/local, environmental responsibility, or social contribution—all of which get crushed as grist for the mill and personal greed.

“Developing a literature and culture to mutually support responsible entrepreneurs is an important effort, especially to highlight where the ethical/moral (and especially financial) entrapments and pitfalls lie — and how best to avoid them with alternatives. I am reminded for small (generally younger) farmers succeeding against big agrobusiness by growing high-quality organic crops that can support higher margins and better employee/partner respect.

“Building a parallel universe to the establishment—and avoiding self-destructive confrontation/interaction—reminds of guerrillas effectively competing with a big conventionally powerful army. As Bernie Sanders espouses, we need a revolution.”  This is a quote from my friend Bill New,  a physician, social investor and small school advocate, based in the SF Bay Area/Silicon Valley. This week is his birthday, starting his 75th year, and trying, as he says, ” with moderate success to downsize and simplify, spending time with promising students looking for their path, struggling young companies, and stumbling schools seeking a sustainability paradigm.”

Actually, Bill was co-founder and chairman of Natus Medical for 15 years, among other things. The company is  a leading provider of medical devices, software and services for the Newborn Care, Neurology, Sleep, Hearing and Balance markets, with revenue approaching $400m.

He was responding to my comments in the latest issue of Insights for Founders.


PLEASE NOTE: There is tons of useful stuff on Startup Owl, a site that’s been going for a dozen years. So keep browsing, but know that the founder, Will, now devotes most of his time and energy to his new website that you should definitely visit:

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