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Opinion Show 9/28/11 (Guest: Mayoral Candidate Jim Vinall)

September 28, 2011
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3 Responses to “ Opinion Show 9/28/11 (Guest: Mayoral Candidate Jim Vinall) ”

  1. Andrew on October 8, 2011 at 7:00 am


    I agree completely with you on this. I *have* such a product *now* and must say that when I tried to get people excited about it–I fell dramatically short. Today you need a tremendous amount of start-up cash to make a splash today.

    I looked at the Tech Farm Concept earlier this year and what I saw was the possibility to get a tract of real-estate in an area strategically located to make use of this infrastructure you are proposing. This also takes cash — and a huge amount.

    I have been in the internet business since 1997 when I built a load balancer business in Chicago. We were listed in IBM’s RED BOOK solution catalog at that time, which led to our being purchased by Network Engines in Massachusetts.

    The Metronet is a very nice plus, but I don’t see this at the same level as being able to give a business the most basic things such as: four walls, start capital, and the right nudge in the particular markets.

    I surveyed the existing infrastructure and from the point of being a “DEVELOPER” there is enough bandwidth. Metronet is good when you want to get into “HOSTING” and that is already a over-saturated market. It isn’t required to own one’s own servers anymore. The new generation of internet services are virtually hosted in a far-off datacenters, which can seamless shifted geographically in a split second in the event of failure. That isn’t something that can be done by the Metronet.

    I hold that my position has not really been addressed by these remarks, other than the acknowledgement that smart people exist. If all the energy is being leveraged in bringing big businesses into town than how can any adequate resources be put towards starting new business? There is nothing in all this discussion that even broaches this — except in the form of a vague hint.

  2. jimv on October 2, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I believe the idea of the tech farm should be the incubator for any local entrepreneurs to establish their business. Our community has many talented individuals capable of doing this. Our local school system is working to educate our young people in this area. Local government should be on board to work with these people to do this. At the same time, we need jobs in our community NOW. Most starup companies need time to bring their idea to a point where they need more employees. By bringing outside companies to the area, we can establish jobs faster, even though they would do this for the purpose of lower wages, those wages would be much higher than many of those we now have.

    One last comment I would like to make is the Metronet is a very important part of this equation. To begin with, the current administration was not on board to bring affordable fiber to our city. Fortunately, the county took over and has been working hard the last 4 years to make this a reality. I will work closely with the county to make this a reality.

  3. Andrew on September 30, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Mr. Vinall has made many good points, but one thing that struck me a little odd was the comment about Companies from the East and West Coast saving money by having operations in the Midwest.

    I find myself wondering if the suggestion is being made that mid-westerners are incapable of innovation? I do realize of course that at present the trend has been that these companies have been in those two places, due largely in part to the vicinity of MIT (the whole area is tech there for almost 100 sq miles) and silicon vallay.

    About 15 years ago I launched a company that ended up interestingly getting sold to a company in Massachussets. In our literature (as it was an Illinois company) we used the term “Silicon Prairie” As at that time many tech companies were springing up in that are.

    My point is that people have to feel that they can do something and be willing to jump at it — rather than waiting for the big companies to walk in and give hand-outs for work. That is nice politically, but nicer would be that natives from the region could feel themselves empowered, rather cut off at the knees because this is something that only happens in the Valley, or the other coast.

    How about a plan for incubating small business with venture capital money to get them started?