Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Starting the fresh

A couple of stories of interest on the front page of the Wall Street Journal today.  One on alternative lenders who are cropping up to loan to small businesses that are underserved in the risk-averse, post Dodd-Frank, ZIRP world of a shrinking ecosystem of traditional lenders.  Of note in this article are alternative underwriting and payment techniques used by the lenders, as well as the higher annual interest rates they charge.  Down in the right hand corner, there's another about some guy pseudonamed Russell Blake in a Hawaiian shirt and dark glasses who writes and self-publishes a novel every 5 weeks or so on Amazon's platform.  Sounds like he's working his butt off, but making good money and creating a whole new business model.  I may have to sample a book, just to see.

I love this stuff, am continually amazed by entrepreneurial creativity.  Of course, this kind of thing was highly valued in my household when we were growing up, what with mom being a leader in women's small business circles and dad's general disdain for large organizations and groupthink of any sort.

So you'd think I might be more inclined to wanna be starting something,  got to be starting something.  And, indeed, I have business ideas flash through my mind occasionally, but I typically don't follow up on them, or do so only half-assedly.  Probably that's because of my continued experience of hearing my dad talk up this crazy idea or that, and never seeing anything coming to fruition.  Being a sole breadwinner is probably part of it too.

I have seen the idea bandied about that Obamacare, far from being a dead hand on the business community, will actually in time facilitate a more robust startup culture, insofar as it decouples individuals' healthcare from dependency on employers.  By sometime around 2017-18, we should see how this is panning out.  If individuals can insure themselves (and self-insure themselves by living and dying smarter) affordably, it should work.

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