East Lansing-based Enliven Software's COO Matt Dugener was one of several presenters at the idea-sharing event TEDxDetroit.
According to excerpts from the article:
Dugener said entrepreneurs are a subset of enterprising persons, those who come up with new ideas. He said Michigan must create a culture where both types can survive. And that hasn't been the case. Dugener cited the case of one friend who had a great business idea, thought about starting it in Michigan but eventually started it in Texas. Dugener, working for the Michigan Economic Development Corp. at the time, asked the friend why Texas got the company.
Replied the friend: "In Texas, when you're an entrepreneur, you're a hero. . . . In Michigan, when you're an entrepreneur, you're treated like a criminal. 'You must not be able to hold down a job.' 'Why aren't you working for one of the Big Three?' 'You have an MD PhD, what are you doing starting a company?'"
Dugener used a quote from economist John Maynard Keynes, "Most men love money and security more, and creation and construction less, as they get older," to explain how Michigan has for decades trained its children to be employees, not employers. Michigan is a state built on command and control, he said, where a few people at the top get to have all the ideas, and everyone else has to merely implement those ideas like a good drone.
Obviously, that must change for Michigan to survive.
Read the entire article here.