Venture to Change Regulating

Dr. John Bartlit
New Mexico Citizens
for Clean Air & Water

Column of May 1,  2016,  Los Alamos Monitor

Image The time has come for regulation to be more businesslike. A healthy dose of market zeal has been missing for too long. Regrettably, politicking will not bring needed change.  

One old campaign banner says regulation is the scourge of free markets. But that reading forgets that large-scale “free” markets owe their steady success to regulations. Long-thriving markets are built on the bedrock of rules that standardize weights and measures, rules of contracts, and rules to enforce both. After government had established these necessary parts, trade could reach across regions.  

Another old snapshot says regulation stifles innovation. Whether it was true at one time, it is distinctly untrue today. Regulation today is a storehouse of unmet needs for inventions.  

In the Digital Age, entrepreneurs search far and wide for new markets. The searches skim past regulation, as if it were fine as is. It is not fine. Good prospects to innovate are overlooked, which leaves regulation encumbered with hobbly methods that innovations crowd out of other fields.  

Regulation is further slowed by a jungleful of legal verdicts. Such history has made regulation an untapped market for the agile systems used widely in other businesses.  

Manufacturers use new tools to inspect their products better and faster; regulators need to inspect things better and faster. The systems that do tasks better for less in business would do the same in regulation.  

The tools exist now and more inventions come at a fast rate. Groups of entrepreneurs turn their talents to market sectors, such as smart home-protection systems. Others are busy marketing smart devices to use in hospitals, farming and trekking the wilderness.  

Still others have earnings from web sites that gather and spread data and news. Familiar names include eBay, Carfax, Facebook and many more. In broad terms, these sites earn good money by their powers to spread information farther, sooner and more cheaply.  

Words about smart tools fill the day’s business news, while the words appear little in political campaigns. The major parties ignore smart tools as a means to regulate better at less cost. Politics, by long practice, is a rocky path to agile systems.  

In contrast, entrepreneuring is a race to bring out better products and services to fill needs. The fastest and best of these end up as new companies, called startups. The time is right to start up faster, better tools in regulating. 

Entrepreneurship has evolved into a new, teachable discipline. Students can major in skill sets related to entrepreneurship at schools of business and/or management. Centers for entrepreneurship are found in universities large and small.  

One essential skill in starting a business is teaming. No one person has all the talents needed in leadership, management, invention, technology, marketing and finance.  

A popular teaching tool is a two- or three-day event that goes by titles such as “Startup Weekend” or “Inventors & Entrepreneurs Workshop.” An event often aims at certain categories of business prospects. All the while, regulating stands unnoticed as a ripe field to prospect in.  

The competitive event begins with dozens of entrepreneurs, young and old, each one making a 60-second pitch for their big idea. Volunteers with needed skills form teams to work the best ideas into full proposals. For the finale, the proposals are judged and cash prizes are given for the best prospects.  

Prospects is the word. Our nation has been served long and well by the constant force of inventing tools, methods and systems.  

A whiff of market zeal for the business of regulating starts the mind.