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Posted April 10, 2001
Most of what is written about the new economy focuses on how to become an entrepreneur or to make investments. Government is one way that communities are represented as a stakeholder with businesses. This book provides a solid framework by explaining the differences between new economy and traditional manufacturing and service companies, and outlines some of the current ways that legal jurisdictions are wooing these companies. In doing this, the book nicely summarizes the best books on the subject of the trends involved in the new economy. The book's main weakness is a failure to describe or propose a process for creating a new economy friendly governmental environment. Be sure and bring your magnifying glass, too. Many of the exhibits are extremely hard to read because of the small type used. The first half of the book is background, and it explores the familiar territory of improved communications, rapidly evolving technology, globalization, and cascades of cost reduction in the context of knowledge-based enterprises. If you are pretty familiar with the new economy, you can skip this material. If you are not, it is a good and accurate summary of current thinking. The second half of the book is the unique part. It suggests four ways that governments can benefit from the new economy. (1) Make the place where new economy companies will be located more suitable for the needs of their employees. (2) Make government operate along the lines of new economy principles. (3) Focus government spending on areas where it will create a more fertile environment for individuals and companies to prosper in the new economy. (4) Help to coordinate local efforts to create an effective clustering of specialist business activities from education to venture capital to fostering an entrepreneurial environment. Each section has many examples of what governments have been doing in these areas in the past. The tendency for most who read this book will be to try to provide some of everything on the list. That's probably not a good idea. A good first step is to spend time with new economy companies to find out what problems they have which government can help overcome. A good second step is to try some low-cost experiments to see what works, and what doesn't. A good third step would be to evaluate the potential benefits and costs of making these changes. I suspect that most governments can get the bulk of potential benefits from doing a small subset of the lists here. And, not all of the important items may be on the list. But this book is certainly a good introduction to some of what governments should be thinking about. If you are working in a new economy business, you should take some time to acquaint your legislators about the problems and missed opportunities that state and local government present for you now. That communication process is all too often focused solely on taxes and getting rid of excess regulation. But your needs are probably greater elsewhere. Until you share that information, the agenda will be swayed in the wrong direction. I also think that similar books need to be written for educators, heads of nonprofit enterprises, and those who administer governmental activities. Done properly, this can be a case of building a bigger and better pie for everyone. Find better ways to support one another! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent SolutionWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.