Government-funded incubators are a bad idea

I am writing in regard to a column in ComputerWorld Canada, dated Nov. 3, 2000. (“The government could,…” page 50.)

I never respond to articles written in the paper, but there’s a first time. Please take my comments with well meaning, as that is what I intend. I cannot believe what you are suggesting and are very disappointed for the following reasons.

1. Do you really believe that a government-funded Incubator would be better at selecting entrepreneurs than a privately-funded venture where people are making decisions with their own money?

2. Do you think that taxing me more (or not reducing taxes) in order to pay for this would help my high-tech business?

3. Do you think a bunch of “Consultants” and other advisory staff who have nothing to lose in the deal would really achieve anything?

4. Do you think that the entrepreneurs would care if the venture failed when it wasn’t their money paying the bills?

Now, criticism is easy so let me stick my neck out and say what I suggest.

1. The government should be making it easier for companies in business. That means less complicated paperwork, less rules, less, less, less. It is difficult enough taking a product to market without the government adding to it.

2. Realize (like Communist push economies eventually did) that the market will do a better job of allocating capital than the government. Don’t take my money and give to another company because you know how to allocate capital better.

3. Stop babying the people and show them what life is like in the real world. Let them overcome the challenges of creating a company, a product – it will make them stronger. The government can’t add value to the company, only the people can.

4. Stop restricting capital. For example, the foreign content of my RSP is restricted. That means I have to invest in inferior local investments. That means that local businesses don’t have to perform as hard. The music industry is another example of this. Go free market and the businesses will respond to the challenge.

There, I’ve vented. Thank you.

Paul Doherty

Victoria, B.C.