Why Warren Buffett Should Keep His Money

Because he would have never given a company like Solyndra $1/2 Billion.  Why wouldn’t he?  Because it is HIS money.

The government has an inherent problem with managing other people’s money, and that is it is other people’s money – or more importantly NOT THEIR MONEY.

The is nothing wrong with what many in Washington want to accomplish.  Nothing at all.  The only issue most have, is that their methods aren’t very effective – or effective at all in some cases.

Warren Buffett may have an interest in “green jobs” too.  The difference is that Warren Buffett is going to insist that the company that wants to create good green jobs and wants his money to do it – has a pretty good chance of success.  Because it isn’t going to matter what good intention or story the company may have had to begin with.  The only thing that will matter in creating real jobs and real green energy will be success.

For sure, Buffett would have passed on Solyndra.  But, would we he have kept that money for himself?  NO!  That isn’t what he does.  Buffett would have found another Solyndra.  One that had a better business model and one that in the end – would have created real jobs around a real business.

That is the tragedy in all of this – Buffett wanting to send his money to Washington and have it go to more Solyndra’s.  Most people with common sense would see money in Buffett’s hands is just way more productive.

Who knows if Buffett is smarter than the guys in Washington – probably.  But that isn’t the point.  The point is that it doesn’t matter.  Some in Washington were actually very smart with regards to Solyndra.  They pin pointed the exact month that Solyndra would fail.  They did their due diligence just like any private sector Venture Capitalist would have done.  The problem was that the guy or guys at the top had other (political) reasons for throwing $1/2 Billion at a company like Solyndra.  Politics has never been able to pick winners and losers in the private sector and has never been able to create real jobs.  Never has – Never will.

The guys at the top in the private sector, for the most part, only win when they are right.  That is how they make money – long lasting money.  The truth is that it is hard to create long lasting money without creating long lasting jobs.  We’re not talking about the crooks and those that are making money by beating the system.  We are talking about 95% of the private sector that just shows up each day, puts in a hard days work and wins slowly over a long period of time.  Those are the ones (the businesses) that get Buffett’s money.

While the private sector only wins when it is right – politicians have the luxury of wining when they can convince people they are right.  They don’t have to actually BE RIGHT, they just have to SOUND RIGHT.

In nobody’s world is that a good system.

So we should hope that when the next Facebook or Amazon is out there looking for money to start their new idea, the money they need is in Buffettt’s hands and not Washington’s.

If creating real meaningful jobs and a growing economy is really the goal – let’s keep the money with the guys that know what to do with it.  On this one – the smart money has to be on Buffett.

Sorry Warren – you’re right, even when you are wrong.



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MBA Mondays from Fred Wilson on his AVC.com Blog (it’s like a cheat sheet for entrepreneurs)

One of the blogs I read the most is AVC.com.  AVC (I assume stands for A Venture Capitalist) is written by Fred Wilson (who is guess what – a venture capitalist).  And from the looks of it – a very good one.  He (actually his firm – Union Square Ventures) has funded all of the coolest things like Twitter, Boxee, Etsy, Foursquare, Meetup, Tumblr, Zemanta.


All that’s good and stuff – but the big reason I try and read his blog everyday is that he is real.  He loves his company, he loves technology and he loves his family.  And he shares real stuff about it all.  All the way from his frustration with not being able to find an email client that he really likes (can’t we all relate) and how he and his wife can finish each other’s sentences so much that sometimes they don’t even start them, to all of the inspiration he finds on a daily basis from his technology portfolio companies and their courageous founders and the love and commitment he makes daily to his wife (who refers to herself as the Gotham Gal – he probably gave her that name?) and his kids (who blog too – Emily and Jessica).


Not to often you get to see inside success and all that makes it and all that it comes with – ALL.


On to the topic.  Earlier this year the AVC blog started running something called MBA Mondays.  The series lasted for 21 weeks – I think he missed one or two – go figure.  But they covered all the topics that any startup business would ever need to know, from things, like the difference between cash flow and an income statement, forecasting, budgeting (in a small, growing and big company), Pricing, Metrics, and on and on…..


This series is like a cheat sheet for anybody about to or in the middle of getting a business off the ground.  They are things that I mostly knew about and all the definitions of – but had never really heard (or listened to) the meanings straight from an honest investor who is writing the check and getting involved.


Anyway – good stuff – both the blog and the MBA Mondays.  Check em both out.
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The 10 Golden Principles for Successful Web Apps from Fred Wilson at Union Square Ventures

Fred Wilson is one of the most informative and entertaining VCs on the web to follow. He lets you into not only his business thinking but the underlying personal drivers that makes him tick.

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