With President Obama formally endorsing Hillary Clinton this week and Donald Trump continuing his controversial run as the presumptive Republican nominee, it's pretty clear who the real-world choices for the general election will be. But no one's perfect.

Even if you're rooting for Clinton to shatter the ultimate glass ceiling or hoping to see the panic and terror of Trump riding into Washington (or even still feeling the Bern), there's no doubt something about your candidate of choice you would change. But what if you could design the perfect candidate for business owners, borrowing bits of both parties' platforms and adding ideas of your own invention? What would the ideal platform for entrepreneurs look like?

That's the fun and thought-provoking thought experiment that launched a recent Medium post from founder-turned-VC Jason Lemkin. "These are the issues that hold us back from Doing Even Better," he writes before outlining his top policy proposals, including these ideas (in his own words but with links added by me):

  1. No non-competes. Complete labor flexibility. This doesn't mean you can steal trade secrets. That's wrong. But you should be able to take a job wherever, and however, it finds you. Non-competes in many states punish you for taking a risk and a job and getting good at something.
  2. No tax on ISO or NSO exercise. Period. Folks will pay their full taxes. But when they sell. The current system is completely unfair to everyone but the super-rich. And it's especially unfair to employees leaving start-ups.
  3. Fix immigration. Period. Let all the good engineers in at least. At a minimum, let any engineer in with an $80,000+ job. But we can do even better than this. Let all of the well trained ones come here. All of them.
  4. Make CS a core curriculum. Like Spanish.
  5. Unlimited founder visas. Can get one in 14 days, lasts 2 years, can auto-renew if startup is created.

You may or may not agree with each plank in this startup platform (and there are several slightly more niche ones in his post) but the idea of crafting the ultimate policy prescription for entrepreneurs is a fascinating discussion starter -- even if the resulting conversation is bound to be contentious.

Would you raise the minimum wage (and by how much)? What would you do about healthcare? Family leave? (But please, let's do SOMETHING about that.) What other issues are most pressing in your mind?

 

If you could draw up the ultimate startup platform, what would it look like?

Published on: Jun 10, 2016