Is There Enough Innovation Going On In the Quad State Region?

By Jack Stephens

Can innovation happen without the involvement of the US Government? If they get involved, does their involvement help or hurt future Quad State business?

Are the Quad State region’s champions of innovation being given enough of the right exposure to the sunshine of capital and creative ‘soil’ for their ideas to flourish?

Every community college in our area with a functioning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs will want to smile at the future—and be ready to call their own shots on taking government help if things unfold the way they want.

We note with interest that the Forbes Magazine Reinventing America Summit program just finished up in Washington, DC. Their premise was that most innovation goes through state capitals rather than a federal program.

Panel participants included Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, former Virginia governor and CEO of a new start-up called, James Gilmore, and Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa.

Although we would have preferred a larger panel for the Forbes conference, there was insight aplenty going on with the broad topics of unemployment, education and immigration.

Governor Pence led the general feeling of many at the conference by saying, “States shouldn’t waith for Washington, While DC talks about these things, we’re doing them.”

Pence buttressed his point by pointing out how low income and corporate taxes are in Indiana. Michigan’s Rick Snyder used the Pence remark as a goal stating that with similar moves going on in Michigan, he looks to revitalize that state’s poor condition. He said his state “benchmarks against Indiana” standards and looks to aspire to them for Michigan.

We thought Governor Snyder, when asked if he felt as if his state was competing against other states for development of innovation platforms. “States are the laboratories. I don’t see us as competing. It’s open source economic development…You’re trying to help regular people,” he concluded. 

Great statement. However,  former Iowa governor and current Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack only ‘agreed in principle, but rather clung to the idea that the government could have helped him when he was in the state house. He did offer some cogent questions in asking, “Who is going to farm in the future. We have three times as many farmers over 65 than under 35.”

How Is Your In-House New-Product Innovation Coming Along?

Every market is a moving duck. Everything is looking to get better, cheaper faster real quick.

Knowledge generally doubles now every 18 months. Knowledge in technology markets double around 8-10 months. The point is that we all have to keep our survival ear to the ground to keep ahead of the next big thing in your industry.

Some of the experts in the Business Solutions Network ( can give you an extra pair of eyes with which to view your marketplace. And all at an amazingly low fees.

New-Product creation is the life blood of ‘the next big thing’ for your firm—no matter how small or large. We have something good going on in our Quad State Region…let’s support projects that involve STEM grads as well as future-casting in our own world.


Resources used in this article:

Business Solutions Network: (Outsourcing)

About Jack Stephens

John 'Jack' Stephens comes from a family of business owners, entrepreneurs and consultants to small businesses—especially in the technical area.

He enjoys working with CEOs in developing new products and services for both current and future markets. He considers himself a business futurist in the style of a Faith Popcorn as to looking at the big picture developments in trending.

Jack also enjoys seeing the serendipity of two (or more) businesses working together in a joint-venturing or strategic alliance relationship—and thereby creating a third entity in a marketplace.

He has consultant for clients of all sizes—from the Fortune 100 category in firms such as Pitney-Bowes and Boise Cascade and also to one person entities. He particularly enjoys working with businesses less than 50 employees—as well as the start up entity.

He loves coaching non-competitive small business owners in his private Google Hangout as well as teaching inside and outside sales techniques.

Jack has also worked with Steve Lanning in helping companies and their management teams craft new and revised business plans.

Jack also enjoys what he calls 'creative disagreement' discussions! Reach him at

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