Did I or Government Build My Business?
Thursday night, the Republican National Committee nominated Mitt Romney to be their 2012 candidate for President of the United States. Being an entrepreneur myself and having worked with investors from within the private equity community, Mitt Romney’s professional life in starting and building companies is a world I have been fortunate to experience.
At this time in our great society, a debate is brewing over whether an individual’s or business’s success should be attributed to society or the individuals who founded and built the business. President Obama recently made his infamous statement “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” That ‘somebody’ else to Obama is government. Romney and his campaign responded with a campaign slogan and bumper sticker that reads “Government Didn’t Build My Business, I Did.” Whether you support Obama’s or Romney’s view on the origins of success, the fact remains that building a successful company is difficult.
For the past 2 years, Jarret Hamstreet and I have experienced this first hand in our attempt to build Post.Bid.Ship., a company we founded in 2010 after graduating from the top ranked McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at The University of Arizona. Post.Bid.Ship.’s goal is simple: Just like Priceline.com sells empty hotel rooms and airline seats, Post.Bid.Ship. helps trucking firms sell empty trailer space.
Jarret and I believe we can help commercial truckers, an industry made up predominantly of small businesses with 98% owning 20 or fewer trucks, make more money. We do this by helping these firms sell empty trailer space that would have otherwise made the journey unused. As a result of this optimization, Post.Bid.Ship. not only helps truckers make more money but also helps commercial shippers reduce transportation costs because truckers often sell their excess trailer space at a discount. We even play a role in lowering the carbon footprint and environmental impact of the shipment by consolidating multiple smaller shipments into a single shipment.
In the spirit of President Obama, I thank The University of Arizona for providing me the facilities and staff that made earning my MBA in Entrepreneurship possible, the United States tax payers for providing the highways and interstates our trucking firms use to haul freight, the telecommunication companies who built and maintain our Internet’s infrastructure, the State of Arizona for selecting Post.Bid.Ship. for an innovation award of $139,000. Lastly and most importantly, I thank the over 40 investors who invested more than $1.3 million into Jarret’s and my dream for helping the commercial transportation industry become more efficient by harnessing the power of the Internet to connect shippers and carriers.
And in the spirit of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, at the end of the day it will be Jarret and me that must wake up and forge ahead making the tough decisions that either help or hurt our company in ‘crossing the chasm’ from successful start-up to successful company. (To learn more about crossing the chasm, click here.)
Jarret and I are indeed fortunate to be citizens of one of the most innovative and entrepreneurial societies this world has ever produced. But the fact still remains that 9 out of 10 of even the most promising businesses will fail. Yes, a 10% chance is not a lot but to Jarret and me, along with our supportive investors, our quality team members, our friends’ and families’ prayers plus a little luck along the way, 10% is enough!