President Trump’s Anti-Regulation Policies Might Actually be Good for Tech Startups

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‘I know, I know. But I’m begging you to read this till the end, and not take me out of context.’

Ashu Garg is a general partner at Foundation Capital, where he invests in B2B software across the stack. He currently serves on the boards of TubeMogul, Localytics, Conviva, ZeroStack and Yozio, among others. Reach him @ashugarg.

Ashu Garg writes: Well, it happened. I thought it was a joke when he started campaigning, and I was aghast when he was elected, but that’s all history at this point: Donald Trump is president. Rather than spend time on sour grapes, I think it’s more productive to make a clear-eyed appraisal of what his administration might mean for my industry. I know that what I say next risks being taken out of context, but from my vantage as a longtime tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I believe that there’s a real chance Trump will be — I’m begging you to read till the end and not take me out of context — good for startups.

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“The most significant reason Trump might be good for early-stage companies is that he is very anti-regulation.”

First off, change in general is good for entrepreneurs, because it creates new circumstances for them to exploit or gaps for them to fill. Regulatory change, more specifically, is ripe with opportunity. Moreover, Trump has historically made a lot of pro-small-business noises, and has signaled that he will shake up the Small Business Administration.

[Read the full story here, at Recode]

Professional-wrestling magnate Linda McMahon is potentially taking over, and may be receptive to the type of changes that would allow emerging enterprises — in tech and outside it — to grow, including making it easier for first-time entrepreneurs to access startup grant funding.

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“Trump has promised to make huge investments in infrastructure, largely to be funded by debt — for entrepreneurs, this will create enormous possibility.”

The most significant reason Trump might be good for early-stage companies is that he is very anti-regulation. The White House has already issued a freeze on new or pending regulations to all executive departments and agencies, for example. One can argue whether less regulation is good or bad for society. But it’s only good news for startups, which are always in a hurry to ship their ideas into the real world. Read the rest of this entry »


Baltimore Rioting Damage: $9 Million

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Damage from rioting in Baltimore over the death of a black man from injuries in police custody is estimated at $9 million, a U.S. government survey showed on Wednesday.

The survey by the Small Business Administration found that more than 30 businesses and one home sustained major damage between April 25 and May 3 in unrest sparked by the death of Freddie Gray, 25.

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“The Baltimore Development Corp, a non-profit group that promotes economic development, said 351 business reported damages and inventory loss.”

The survey also found 254 businesses and one home experienced minor damage.

Damages to businesses totaled $8,927,000, and to homes $60,000, a Small Business Administration spokeswoman said.

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“The mayor’s office has said 144 vehicles were set ablaze.”

Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, in a letter on Tuesday also signed by fellow Maryland Democratic Senator Ben Cardin and U.S. Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, called on the Small Business Administration to help with the creation of disaster centers.

They also urged the agency to come up with a plan to inform business owners who are eligible for benefits about how to apply for disaster loan assistance.

A spokesman for the Baltimore Fire Department said the city recorded 61 structural fires over April 27 and 28, during the height of the arson and looting. The mayor’s office previously said that 15 buildings were burned.

The spokesman had no update for the number of burned vehicles. The mayor’s office has said 144 vehicles were set ablaze. Read the rest of this entry »


Morale plummets as wave of retirees leave federal workforce

Wave of retirements hits federal workforce - The Washington Post

Damian Dovarganes/AP – Many of air traffic controllers are hitting their mandatory retirement age of 56.

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A wave of retirements by senior federal employees has begun rolling across the government as aging baby boomers who held on to their jobs during the economic downturn are increasingly calling it quits.

With retirement accounts on the rebound, many veteran workers are finding little reason to remain in government, especially at a time when agency budgets are being slashed, workers are being furloughed and morale is tumbling.

The number of executive branch employees retiring this fiscal year, which ends next month, is on track to be nearly twice the total who retired in 2009, according to government figures. And the rate looks certain to accelerate. In 2000, about 94,000 people age 60 and older worked for the government. Last year, the number was 262,000. Read the rest of this entry »