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Possum Skins

Entry 1016, on 2009-05-22 at 20:44:59 (Rating 4, Politics)

Everyone is looking for a way to escape the current financial crisis. Its clear to me that the best long term answer is to build a new financial system which doesn't put greedy, mediocre fools in charge, but its unrealistic to expect that to happen immediately, so what can be done now?

A team of "high-flying entrepreneurs" gathered together in Auckland today to try to find some ways that New Zealand can lift itself out of the recession. So what did they come up with?

Well it seems the top idea was: "Give it a go, bro" a proposed marketing and educational campaign to change attitudes. They say the "number 8 wire mentality" (the ability to do things ourselves with low-tech solutions) is being lost and we need to regain a more positive outlook on things.

Number two was a "KiwiCard". The idea is to offer free return airfares to tourists who buy a $10,000 debit card that can be used only while they are in New Zealand.

Third was "Harness the Possum". Presumably this involves using the glut of possums, which are a noxious pest in New Zealand, in some commercial venture. The details of how this would work or how it would differ from past efforts doesn't seem to have been explained.

Fourth was the "Flying Kiwi Fund", the idea to create a venture capital fund to help new businesses to grow. Maybe there are more details somewhere but I doubt whether there's anything involved which thousands of people haven't already thought of.

Finally was the idea of better co-ordinating the $760 million available for research and development and making research institutes' intellectual property available to entrepreneurs.

So that's it apparently. I'm so underwhelmed. If this is the best this pack of self-righteous, egotistic idiots can come up with then I'm not surprised our country, and the whole of western civilisation, is sinking into the mire.

The photo associated with the story shows a few of the entrepreneurs, obviously overwhelmed with their own self-importance gesturing and basically ignoring each other.

According to the article "this group of blue sky thinkers may not have saved the world yesterday, but you've got to admire their outlook on life". Well I wouldn't. The people I admire are those who make genuine, long term contributions to society instead of running hair dressing salons, for example, like one of these geniuses does.

But its easy to criticise, what about a positive suggestion myself? OK, I suggest this: we introduce a Kiwicard to give free flights to people who will come to New Zealand and put $10,000 into an investment fund which can be used to research new ways for New Zealanders who have positive attitudes to set up businesses to export possum skins!

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Comment 2 (2051) by OJB on 2009-05-28 at 21:38:13: (view earlier comments)

So we agree. I, of course, will take it a bit further and say that, in my experience, almost all so-called entrepreneurs are equally mediocre and unimaginative. Yet we live in a society where we are expected to have a lot of respect and admiration for them!

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Comment 3 (2059) by SBFL on 2009-06-04 at 07:40:11:

We agree again? What's the world coming to?!

Weren't the founders of Apple entrepreneurs? Let's not generalise on a loose grouping but tear apart the chaff from the wheat.

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Comment 4 (2070) by OJB on 2009-06-04 at 20:46:49:

Well it sort of depends on what you mean my entrepreneurs. Apple (and all other innovative companies) progress through technical brilliance more than business skill, although that is also important of course. When I think of entrepreneurs I think of fairly average people who are good at exploiting someone else's brilliance or are just in the right place at the right time. Could be just my bias against business types though.

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Comment 5 (2080) by SBFL on 2009-06-05 at 10:16:57:

And what would you know of business skill...you don't even know what procurement is.

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Comment 6 (2085) by OJB on 2009-06-05 at 17:35:16:

I do know what procurement is! I have worked in private companies. I have set up accounting systems for small and medium sized businesses. I have written accounting software! I just wasn't sure what a "private purchase adviser" was. And even then I could guess - the question was basically rhetorical!

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