Election rhetoric focused on struggling small businesses completely ignores the tidal wave of creative, innovative startups sweeping the country. Fast Company’s editor-in-chief bears witness to the groundswell:
“Are the presidential candidates living in the same America that I am? Apparently not.
I don’t know what statistics Obama and Romney look at when they are assessing the state of small business in America—and I really don’t care—because they are missing something. And it is big.
For all the concerns they cite about the plight of small business, from tax burdens to health care costs and so on, what pols of all stripes are missing is that America is experiencing a wave of entrepreneurialism unlike anything we’ve ever had before…”
DJ Patil pulls a two-foot-long metal bar from his backpack. The contraption, which he calls a double pendulum, is hinged in the middle, so it can fold in on itself. Another hinge on one end is attached to a clamp, which he secures to the edge of a table. “Now,” he says, holding the bar vertically, from the top, “see if you can predict where this end will go.” Then he releases it, and the bar begins to swing wildly, circling the spot where it is attached to the table, while also circling in on itself. There is no pattern, no way to predict where it will end up. While it spins and twists, with more velocity than I’d have imagined, Patil talks to me about chaos theory. “The important insight,” he notes, “is identifying when things are chaotic and when they’re not.”