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Venture capitalist experience no qualifier for White House

Published June 24, 2012 11:47 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

By Jeffrey johnson romney Clawson

As the head of a reasonably successful business, I offer my insight on the value of venture capitalists, based on my experience the past 25 years.

Let's cut to the chase. The goal of the venture capitalists (called VC) is to take over businesses like mine and spin them into big short-term profits for themselves. There is no other purpose — whether that is right, wrong, or indifferent.

The following are truths that I, and a bunch of my corporate friends, seem clear about:

1) The VC can take you public and make you, the owners, a ton of money — or so they say. The unmentioned downside is you will now answer to share owners, and often new, inserted management people, whose only care in the world is making a profit. They ignore the mission of your company that got it to the point of a desired takeover.

If saving choking babies is your core, and then this activity doesn't make them quickly richer, you must change, whether or not it lets the babies die, as long as it makes more money.

On the other hand, if saving them makes money, then great — no babies would be lost in the spinning of that company.

2) Next, don't think long term — even if planned, incremental growth (including "doing good") is your proven method of success. The VC will buy the business, change it, "profitize" it and quickly sell it to make a bundle. This is what they are all about.

Many companies are "lured" into getting "more capital" that will supposedly make them more successful. What the VC really mean is "more profitable," regardless of core product outcome or company mission success.

3) If making more money for the privileged few, who already have enough money to risk speculating on this stuff, trips your trigger, either you are already rich or you don't give a damn about the rest of us who lose — as long as you win.

Have you heard my relative, Mitt Romney, say his "business experience" is necessary to improve the economy?

There is no way that Romney's Bain venture capital "expertise" is remotely applicable to leading an entire country forward.

The economy is a sum zero system. If the rich get more, you get less. Do the math.

The uber-rich bankers, the Wall Streeters, and big corporate boys, have gotten two to three times richer since the beginning of the 2008 recession, not poorer like most average Joes.

Some think we should elect a venture capitalist to lead us to the promised land.

I have some beach-front property on the Great Salt Lake I would like to sell them … flies, stink and all.

Jeffrey Johnson Romney Clawson is a Salt Lake physician.