Government Investment

Do you remember back in the late 70's, when the economy sucked, and no private entity would fund new technologies like computer startups Apple and Microsoft, so the government had to step in to provide the needed investment?  Yeah, neither do I.

  • Captain Obviousness

    And if the government did step in with public funds, they probably would have invested in a startup electric typewriter company instead.

  • Neal

    Yes, I remember back in the 70′s, when the economy sucked, and no private entity would fund new technologies like computer startups. But I don't remember the government stepping in to provide the needed investment.

    I worked for three startups between 69 and 83. Through the late 70s, you largely funded your startup with your own money (including having to take a second mortgage on your house). There were a couple dozen venture capitalists, but the amount of money they had to throw around was in the low millions. People who think there was a lot of money around are merely projecting later conditions onto this time period.

  • John Moore

    Yep - we started one in the late '70s - no VC until our second go-around mid 80s.

    The gov did invest - Jimmy Carter put lots of money into synfuels, which were uneconomical and died when the Saudis flooded the market with oil.

  • Mark

    In the 60's the government financed the development of Tang. Where would we be today without Tang!

  • DavidCobb

    If the government wants to fund projects it sould do so competively. Say they want a cleaner more efficient car. they should sponsor a San Antonio to San Diego road race. winner determined by points for fuel use, pollution and time. 10 million for 1st prize 1 million for the next five placers and 100,00 for the next twenty. This would remove lobbyist from the picture and showcase promising technologies to venture capitalist

  • Most of your readers know private investment was sufficient to boot the personal computing revolution; some may not know that governments stepped in to block private investors in Apple Computer. http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2010/04/when-is-a-new-financial-product-too-risky.html.

  • Ted Rado

    Let's face it. The government has about as much business skill as a bag of rocks. One would think that after gezillions of screwups, they would shut up and sit down. No such luck.