With one click of a computer’s mouse, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg became one of the richest people in the world, if not in history when the company he founded became public last week. And as most know, Facebook was created among the confines of a Harvard dorm room utilizing nothing more but an ingenious idea, entrepreneurial drive to succeed, and discovery of a golden niche revealing the thirsty desire people have to connect and share their lives with others. The young Grandfather of social media is definitely the wonder boy of new-age business, probably carrying both the admiration and jealousy of business people everywhere. But here’s the thing, Facebook, in my opinion, represents what can be done when ingenuity, creativity, drive, and business freedom all come into play. Now, here’s my question: How successful do you think Facebook would’ve become, especially during its short timeline, if it was a government run program? Do you think it would be worth, billions? Hmm, I’m guessing you’ve already mentally voted and overwhelmingly stated it would be a budget-busting, heavily regulated, years-behind-schedule idea still being discussed among the lengthy hallways of Washington. And its net worth right now? More than likely it’d be nothing more than red ink spilt over endless thick booklets of bureaucratic rules dreamed up by career politicians all fighting over their piece of allocated taxpayer’s dollars. It would run years behind schedule, be stalled among long-winded regulatory boards, and probably employ hundreds of unnecessary government workers all busily writing algorithms favoring the acquisition of user’s personal information. In other words, it would be a pro big government, horribly inefficient, socialistic nightmare. And I don’t know about you, but if Facebook was government run, I’d be the last person who’d want to log on and feed my personal thoughts to a hungry, information-gathering program. Although we all realize big brother is probably keeping an eye on things anyway.
I’m a huge believer in entrepreneurship, creating something from nothing, small government, and financial accountability. And why so many favor making government bigger escapes my way of thinking. But, it all goes back to the tired old theory that government has a duty to fully support its citizens financially and take care of your every need, therefore discouraging innovation, ingenuity, inventiveness, and a desire to personally succeed. Well, all I can say in the words of Dr. Phil and observing the results of big government in action is, “How’s that working?”
When I was in my very early twenties I quit college to start my own business. It was a carpet cleaning start-up beginning with nothing more than an idea, a wooden trailer, some flimsy equipment, and flyers which I delivered on foot to the houses in my neighborhood. I paid for all of this with a loan from the local bank my parents co-signed. At first, as you can imagine, things were slow. I’d get a job here and there but I kept going, eventually trying my luck with commercial buildings and restaurants. As things picked up more equipment came, longer hours, more sweat, and the hiring of a few employees. At the age of 25 I was making more money than those twice my age. After a while I sold the business and went on to do other things, but look back upon those days as some of the best in my life. I had the freedom to work for myself, had no limits except for those self-imposed, and saw the future as limitless. My point: I did that with nothing more than an idea, a small loan, desire, and NO help from the government. Many thought I was crazy to leave college and strike out on my own, but it was an amazing experience and taught me the value of entrepreneurship, hard work, and willingness to thrive. And for me, it goes along with what our founding fathers wanted for our nation: The freedom to succeed on our own!
It’s very rare that a company like Facebook streaks across our business landscape. Apple Computer, Microsoft, and all the other mega-successful companies mostly started with nothing more than an idea scratched on a piece of paper. And for a guy the age of Mark Zuckerberg to be worth tens of billions really boggles the mind. But, for those who look at him and those like him as lucky, an enemy to the occupy nation demonstrators, a threat to anti-Capitalism, I say this, “I’ll just bet you wouldn’t mind changing places with him for a day. To have his financial freedom, creative mind, toys, and status in the business world. To run your life on your own terms, have the financial ability to be a lender and not a borrower, help others, and never be forced to depend on government to supply your needs.
I wonder if Mr. Zuckerberg ever called the White House or any other government agency for advice while starting Facebook? I think I’ll let you answer that one.
Thanks for listening…