I had a 'Called Out Comment' to an article on Forbes by Haydn Shaughnessy the other day and thought I'd repost it to my blog. (Why Facebook Town Hall Shows Obama is Missing the Point on Innovation) I watch with admiration as guys like Steve Case champion innovation with Start Up America and as an entrepreneur have always wanted to build a business in the US; but what value is all that effort if you erode the trust of your foreign markets by turning a convenient blind eye to increasing abuses of digital power or at least allow the implication that your are beholden to those abuses for re-election? Anyway my comment with great sadness was:
"America’s innovation is reliant on sustaining a demand from the global market. On current balance and with Obama stating at Facebook that he doesn’t want bright Chinese kids building the next Intel in China, but coming to the US to build it I believe that innovation isn’t your problem, rather your global public image is what really needs massive investment. Given that Facebook state that 70% of their users are outside the US and they show little or no respect for their rights as digital persona or their privacy, Apple are now found to be stalking every iPhone and iPad owner and Google also not squeeky clean, then it does look a bit like brand US and screw the rest of you whatever the moral cost.
I recognize that innovation is at the heart of growth, but when 70% of users wake up and realize that they are feeding an attitude of domination not free market globalization and integration, then they and the rest of your world markets are going to start ‘unfriending’ you at a staggering rate.
I love America, but what Facebook, Google and now Apple are doing would, in the days of a free media and unfettered journalists, be the stuff of Pulitzers and ‘….gates’ and for your President to stand next to them and imply his endorsement because he’s beholden to the machinery for re-election makes many of us around the world both anxious about the future and very disappointed with brand US. And rest assured we will also innovate twice as hard against it!"
America as the 'beacon of the free world' used to have a nice ring to it, but the light for me is fading...
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