Another way of encouraging business development | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Another way of encouraging business development

Posted By on Wed, Aug 8, 2012 at 6:22 AM

NEW AGE: Robots move the goods at Acumen Brands in Fayetteville.
  • Brian Chilson
  • NEW AGE: Robots move the goods at Acumen Brands in Fayetteville.
Please check out Lindsey Millar's cover story this week on young Arkansas innovators and their building of technology enterprises, particularly in Fayetteville. Loved this quote:

To understand why Arkansas hasn't flourished, Andersen offers a formula successful tech cultures share.

"There's a recipe that no successful start-up ecosystem has ever deviated from: You need capital, you need talent, you need a corporate patron and you need a culture of risk."

What he DID NOT say:

The way you encourage technology development is rip down a residential neighborhood, throw up a taxpayer-financed office building and wait for the entrepreneurs to flock in. If necessary, increase the government subsidy. Business hates risk.

Now back to other good things Kristian Andersen DID say:

"There's no shortage of really wealthy investors in Arkansas, but they're not predisposed to invest in high-risk tech start-ups. If you want to go start a community bank or a new subdivision, I've got a list a mile long who you could go talk to. But rarely is the wealthy commercial developer or banker writing checks to high-risk, early-stage firms."

See Bruce Burrow, whose idea for success was taxpayer handouts to help him build shopping centers. How could you lose?

Great stuff in this story, like Benton native John James, who's built on-line retail sites, starting with an outfit that sold Quiz Bowl questions, and uses robotic fulfillment systems in Fayetteville. He gave up a medical career to build businesses — and persuaded Dillard's to be an investor along the way.

Lots here, too, about the entrepreneurial culture and the like-minded people you can attract from that vibe. Andersen again:

"Why do people move to Portland? Why does a young entrepreneur go to Silicon Valley? Is it because they've got a new tech park? No way, man. If you're in San Francisco in the Mission District, all those start-ups, they're just in old ratty buildings shoved off the street somewhere. Even the big ones.

"The most vibrant start-up communities I've been in look like communities. Within two square blocks, there are 30 start-ups and 16 restaurants and four bars. That being said, I'm not saying [the tech park] can't work or is even a bad idea, I'm just saying there are better ideas."

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (14)

Showing 1-14 of 14

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-14 of 14

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016
  • Police identify two women found fatally shot on Chicot Road

    Little Rock police have identified two women found dead of gunshot wounds in an SUV parked next to a vacant trailer in a mobile home park at 11500 Chicot Road.
    • May 16, 2017
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation