There has been a silent epidemic in our country for many years, and it’s time to confront it head-on. As our economy slowly but surely improves, it seems that the contagion is continuing to spread. What can be done to stop the spread and find a cure… for entrepreneurship?
The symptoms are typically not that difficult to spot – uncontrollable creative energy, increased heart rate from incremental progress, clarity of vision and hyper-focus on business mission and goals, mild paranoia regarding customer feedback, dilated pupils from wild-eyed excitement and occasional sleepless nights. And worse, the incubation period for the contagion seems to have no defined time limit. It slowly but surely festers and grows until it can no longer be contained.
Most treatments have not proven effective, as creative entrepreneurs seem to have developed a resistance to traditional methods. Over the counter remedies such as 5 Hour Energy shots have only made the problem worse, stimulating even more creativity. A necklace of garlic will not stop this persistent and rapidly growing phenomenon. Herbal remedies? Not a chance. Even a wide variety of medications, potions and adult beverages designed to dull the senses have proven to be no match for the voracious entrepreneurial spirit. Hangovers simply beget new miracle hangover cures, or worse yet – blockbuster movies about hangovers.
Attempts to isolate the infectious startup bug have seen similar ineffective results, as entrepreneurs pivot and adapt, evading failure and quickly finding new and expanding markets. Taking extraordinary measures to separate and isolate groups of creative people, researchers initially suspected that the method of transmission could be airborne. But in fact more recent research has shown that extreme isolation often exacerbates the situation, as entrepreneurs exploit the temporary solitude to stop and think, often finding even more creative breakout ideas in the process. In fact, the most recent evidence supports the theory that ideas can be developed simply by talking them through, using verbal and written communication as seemingly benign as a text or tweet. Oh, the horror!
As a result of these unforeseen complications, a recent focus on cognitive behavioral therapy showed some early positive signs of progress. But reports soon emerged of isolated instances of countertransference, in which the therapists eventually were somehow cross-contaminated and succumbed, quitting their jobs in larger company clinics and opening their own individual practices.
A recent groundbreaking finding from the prestigious Center for Researching and Explaining the Obvious concluded that, even during a severe economic downturn, entrepreneurial proclivity may surface at any time, even in the most unlikely, unsuspecting, and unintentional entrepreneurs. Some extreme cases were so severe and so driven to succeed even in tough times, those infected soon realize that, rather than fighting the crowds to find a job, they could actually find the courage to create jobs, both for themselves and others. What in the world were they thinking? Why go to that trouble? Just get a job, dude!
Without some way to slow it down, this unrestrained growth of entrepreneurship will continue to spread across the nation, and fears are mounting, as cases have been reported in other markets around the world, even including those countries who have forcefully and effectively prevented it in the past. We haven’t seen such rampant innovation since Al Gore invented the internet! In fact, it seems that entrepreneurs globally have often found synergistic mutations through collaboration, finding exciting new scientific discoveries and even cures for diseases far worse than the insidious spread of entrepreneurship. If we are unable to control this outbreak, we are doomed to face the serious implications of breakthrough innovations, rampant technological advances, an economic rebound, and its resulting consistent job growth. Are we prepared for this fate?
But there is hope, and you can help. We have some important tools in our arsenal that may serve to slow down the spread of entrepreneurship. One possible remedy is to allow our education system to continue its decline, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. That should really help put the brakes on the epidemic of disruptive innovation. I mean, who really needs a smartphone, right?
Another effective tactic could be to continue to create regulations that stifle new business startups – adding legislation, regulations and ordinances that limit small business financing and operations. Oh, and don’t forget oppressive taxation! That’s sure to help! And of course, if we can convince our elected officials they should, in fact, support it, they will no doubt find new and creative ways to slow entrepreneurship even more.
These and other options may help slow and contain the spread, but I am frankly not optimistic. Entrepreneurship is a strong and resilient force – one not easily stopped by conventional methods. It may very likely continue to morph and mutate, creating new discoveries, products and services we cannot possibly imagine.
Are you ready for that?