from the kicking-the-slumbering-beast dept
As you may recall, a few months ago a few of us involved in the startup world started talking about how ridiculous it was that folks in Washington DC keep pushing ridiculously bad legislation that impacts innovation and competition in a really negative way -- without recognizing the damage this causes. The end result was that, in almost every instance, legislation that was going to impact the true engine of innovation and economic growth in this country was being crafted and implemented without hearing from those actually doing the innovation and creating the economic growth. This was most immediately seen in the mess created by PROTECT IP and SOPA, but involves a variety of other topics as well: immigration, broadband, privacy, patents and many other issues all impact how the startup ecosystem (including not just entrepreneurs, but inventors, innovators, investors, technologists, advisors and additional supporting players and infrastructure as well) can and does grow and contribute to the economy.
Traditionally, this crew has mostly ignored what's happening in Washington DC -- and for a good reason: they're busy innovating. Too often, it's the businesses that are trying to hold back competition and change that spend time in DC, while those who are actually changing things are much more focused on executing on their vision. That leads to bad legislation.
With the PIPA and SOPA fight blowing up so quickly, some of us worked together to put together an initial entrepreneur's letter signed by 135 entrepreneurs asking Congress not to approve PROTECT IP. Today, we're sending an updated version, which also covers SOPA, and is now signed by over 200 entrepreneurs, all concerned about the impact these bills would have on their ability to innovate. A similar effort was put together by some of the top venture capitalists around. Soon after that, some of the signers of both letters teamed up to go to Washington, DC and speak to Congress about the bill. Since then, we've helped others in the startup world go to DC as well.
Out of all of this came the idea to build this loose coalition of those involved in the startup world, which became Engine Advocacy. It's an exciting group of entrepreneurs, investors, advisors and others who are very involved in driving new innovation via startups. We want to make sure that the voice of the entrepreneur is being heard in Washington DC -- and that those in the startup ecosystem are aware of what's going on in DC. We have big things planned over the next few months, and if you're interested in being a part of this, we urge you to sign up on the website. Let's make sure that the engine of innovation, jobs and the economy is not stifled by politicians who simply aren't aware of what the consequences of their actions will be.