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On last week's "Re:NEW Michigan" radio discussion (WLBY am 1290), I reviewed with host Lucy Ann Lance the steady forward movement Michigan is making in its quest to bolster the state's economy with new technologies and businesses spawned by the infrastructure and investment progress.


Here are comparisons we discussed, some based on observations of the noted Michigan private investor Terry Cross who was in venture capital and banking in San Francisco and New York before returning to his home state of Michigan several years ago.


Rules in Silicon Valley are made to break.  People pay fleeting attention to rules and many are starting to do that in Michigan.  It is called risk taking and has always been counter to Midwest culture.  But we see the kind of activities that Dug Song, the noted Ann Arbor high tech pioneer, discussed last week coming more to the fore as young people propel their desires for change and those become more of a part of the action.


Failure as an honor, or merit badge.  Not as a failure, or scarlet letter, as the existing Midwest culture holds.  There is solid recognition that all experience is a good thing and willingness to accept others' ways of thinking that differ from existing ways are good to ignite change.  Failure makes you win because you learned the right ways by doing things the wrong ways and learning.


Diversity as the road to greater achievement.  The Valley has opened its doors and collective mind to diversity over 35-40 years since its inception.  This has propelled achievements and recognitions for many companies like Oracle, H-P, Google, Cisco, Sun - all large flourishing businesses.  We have some smaller starts at this direction in Michigan but need government, education, businesses and technology centers to collaborate in the quest to build large and more thriving firms that learn from each others mistakes and successes because they are not simply trying to protest their own covetous ways and fiefdoms.


Long hours and no watch the clock mentality that has long existed in companies where you punch in, do your tasks, take breaks and punch out.  Nothing wrong with this as manufacturing operations grew.   But the broader thinking that comes from entrepreneurship is next in the queue as we work toward creating more of a "learn from others' mistakes" atmosphere.  And ignite the culture that says success comes from hard work, long hours, using the now at hand communication skills available to all to communicate regularly and often through tools like Google Docs, Skype, Go to Meeting, Face Time.


Collaboration.  A simple word and a necessity to rid ourselves of the protective mentality that says "if I did not do this, it is not worth anything."  Our willingness to accept successes created by other groups has to become the norm.  Regional mentalities that do not incorporate collaborations into their operations just do not work any more in this new age of information availability and tools mentioned here.


Discussion by Lucy Ann Lance and Larry Eiler on the "Re:NEW Michigan" segment of her daily show on WLBY, am 1290, Tuesday October 7. Comments from Michigan investment executive Terry Cross included.  Go to and click on the Re:NEW Michigan section.


Larry Eiler






Communication between the young, emerging new Silicon Valley nerds and their older, more experienced mentors and cohorts has reached a not very good impasse in many cases because these two groups are not on the same page.


These groups are "messing with each other" and their self concerns have created rifts between the two groups because they do not talk to one another, much less "get" the ways the others state their cases.


This churn, enunciated by friends and clients alike throughout the "Valley," is a problem. The more experienced parties in this rift believe the improvements in infrastructure are imperative to create the culture. The opposing thoughts voiced by typically younger voices, reports Yiren Lu in a New York Times Magazine piece, are focused on new web apps.


This is leading to an update on the ages old dilemma between older folks who feel their way works, so why change? And younger people who have the picture that plunging ahead and not necessarily communicating with others, is the way of the future.


We have all encountered this question of opposing viewpoints. It requires sanity to prevail on both sides and people to work together by weaving different thoughts together, revisiting the issue over time and resolving that both are right - but not 100 percent.


Larry Eiler











I will have the pleasure to introduce Governor Rick Snyder at the Small Business Association of Michigan's Leadership Conference October 17, 2014 at Crystal Mountain Resort.


SBAM has supported the Governor's leadership to create and introduce the concept of economic gardening and supported the repeal of the Michigan Business Tax and the Personal Property Tax during his first term.


SBAM is the only statewide and state-based association that focuses solely on serving the needs of Michigan's small business community. It has more than 23,000 members.



Larry Eiler


Eiler Communications · 4712 Breezewood Court· Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103 · Map
Phone: 734-761-3399 ·