Thursday, August 6, 2015

How I Predicted Donald Trump's Current Success

Several years ago, I wrote a column for a local newspaper about why promoting Entrepreneurship was important for the economy's future. The editor was so impressed, he asked what else I would like to write about.

Since this was at the beginning of the last election, I said my next column would explain why the people will be begging for Donald Trump to run. I never heard from the editor again and then Trump chose not to run after all (something about his financials).

The editor obviously thought this was the most ridiculous thing he'd ever heard.

So why was I willing to go out on a limb about the Donald for that column?

First, let's understand that I wasn't saying that Trump would make a good president, that he would win or even that I supported him. I was just saying that people would be begging for Trump to run. The editor may have heard what he wanted to hear, but that is all I said.


The answer is that Trump spoke at the global level and he did it with big, but simple concepts. In particular, he spoke about how other countries see us. He talked about how they take advantage of our pieties, our political correctness, our petty fears, our blind spots and, most of all, the way we have backed off from a once fearless leadership.

We have gone from being a nation of doers, backed by laws, to one lead by lawyers who just talk about laws as a proxy for actual rick-taking leadership.

I have nothing against lawyers. We need them. But they live in a special, cautious kind of world. Just because they write and argue laws doesn't make them leaders any more than accountants should be CEO's or scientists should be salespeople. They could be, but not all of them.

Most politicians are lawyers and behave not, surprisingly, like lawyers. The better they are, the slicker their speech and we have gotten all too used to it. But once a plain-speaking, popular and successful person shows up, you see the difference.

My point was that once people hear Trump's big talk - his plain language schpiel - they will hunger for it. And they did.

My background with Entrepreneurs tells me that we see exactly the same with Startup pitches: a clear, boldly spoken pitch will win over a slick, incomprehensible mish-mosh that offends no one while sticking to some preconceived party line.

I can't say that I would actually support the Donald for President although I would definitely support for him long enough to keep the game of political refreshment going.

Trump may be the genuine bearer of America's future - unlikely as that may seem - or simply the jester who brings truth to the king's court. You decide.

What I can say is that, whatever he is, his is a voice we welcome.

In fact, people are begging for it.

My original article, predicting that Trump would be welcomed by public

Why Donald Trump Could Win in 2012
By Alan Brody   

We don’t want to elect politicians any more. We want to elect Superheros. At least, that’s what we are looking for.  Ordinary politicians need not apply.

Guess what, Donald has started to look like one.

Needless to say, Trump could be doing this for the publicity – he certainly has done it before. But this time its different. Not only because he might be at a point where he means it - but because the public could insist on it.

Trump may be tapping a perfect storm of trends that have never really occurred before.

1.     We want mythic creatures – not politicians. Take Barack Obama – who had never actually run anything, let alone a country, comes to us as the persona prophesied by Bill Cosby and then Nelson Mandela and godmothered by Oprah Winfrey.

Donald Trump comes to us by way of The Apprentice, with his remarkably sensible progeny and godfathered by Mark Burnett who somehow turned Trump the bombast into Trump the Solomon of managerial talent.

2.     The Age of the Entrepreneur. Nations are a product of who runs them and this country is almost entirely run by lawyers. Once, we were about robber barons and lawyers. Then we became mostly about corporations and lawyers. Thanks to the Democrats, we are now labor and lawyers - as well as Wall Street or high value companies that can afford to reward their employees handsomely. Corporations are now global and they can sidestep the lawyers if they choose. They no longer control the majority of jobs – small business does.

I     In other words, if this country is not really about corporations or labor, all that remains are small business and lawyers. Since small business is by nature fragmented, that leaves us with lawyers. Obama is not merely a lawyer but an academic lawyer - a professor of constitutional law. He is he lacking experience in the rapid decisionmaking of executive leadership – although he is not doing a bad job. He has no idea how to create the future of jobs. Trump is not just a businessman, he is an entrepreneurial figure. He has invested in many kinds of self employment companies like ACN. These are often controversial but they also create masses of independent moneymakers. No politician knows about these kinds of businesses but they are the future. Politicians can only dream of a better GM. Good luck, there!

3.     World Leadership. Once America stood for something. It may have been wrong at times and it may have been called ugly at times, but it was the alpha male of world countries. Not any more. We are so inept at deciding our economic reality that we are both deeply in debt, exporting jobs and importing people to do many of the remaining jobs. We are ravenous users of energy but have neither the courage to live with the environmental risk of our own energy and are terrified to stand up to the foreign countries that sell it to us. It is quite possible to ague that at a moment when a bunch white republicans came to the conclusion that a multiracial world just hates them, Obama looked like just that person to put everyone not at ease. Heck he even got a Nobel Peace prize just for showing up.

Yet his projection of the US on the world is not leadership. Its comradeship. When Obama went to Egypt to show the Muslim world a conciliatory face of America, he prattled on about freedom. Guess what – they believed him, and two years later when they revolted, he stood back. His one symbolic moment came with Qaddafi. Here  was the one dictator that we owed a bullet, whom nobody supported and Obama couldn’t make up his mind to take him out. Instead, he waited until he could put together a posse of NATO countries. This was not hasty leadership and the waste time cost us a quick victory and has delivered a slow, bloody struggle instead. [This was written prior to Benghazi.]

True leaders have to pick a few moments to strike fast and hard and he missed that. One could argue he did that with health care but so far the results have been a joke. Our rates have gone up dramatically and his supporters have been given free passes.

4.     So Rich You can Trust Them. As voters look at the future we are in a strange place. Wall Street has come back but unemployment is still high. We now compete on the world economy and regular politicians don’t seem to have a clue about dealing at a high level of strategy in the world game.

[This was never completed after it became clear that editor x wasn't going for it.......]

Boston Startup Winners: SeedCX: Medical Marijuana "Seeds" the Future in Boston

Winner: SeedCX

Finalists: Human, Spot, MyLumper and

The winnerSeedCX will be participating at the Private Equity Forum at the Yale Club in October.

HUMAN presents at Startupalooza Boston

SeedCX is a new futures exchange for hemp & marijuana growers and traders. They won because of the combination of excellent planning, appropriate background and the offer to participate in once-in-a-generation opportunity at its moment of substantial growth.

MyLumper was a finalist because they represented domain experts in an entirely fresh, payment processing field - truck loading - that had significant potential upside with minimal competition with the introduction of a disruptive solution and significant pain point. However, it is an unfamiliar area to most investors and so requires more due diligence.

Spot is the “AirBnB” of parking spots and lets people and companies rent out their underutilized parking spots - thereby turning empty spaces into hard cash and preserving city resources. This is a very well executed plan that is showing real numbers in the Boston area and could scale nationally. It may not work in all cities and it is not always clear there where the best opportunities lie are, but they are nevertheless, a close runner-up.

HUMAN offers a better way for users of Virtual and Augmented Reality to interact with all emerging platforms as well introduce the element of collaboration - especially in high value business and medical fields. There are patents pending and the team has much experience. Nevertheless, it is a crowded though growing field, where many competitors abound and their positioning is still not quite focused. is a travel website and mobile app for Muslim travelers in the west with a special focus on visitors from the high value Gulf States. It has special features that offer unique value to these well-heeled travelers. However, the financial model is all advertising and therefore limited, while there is a clear opportunity for a higher value “Freemium" model offering specialized high cost services for the higher-end travelers.

Next Boston Startupalooza: Sep. 29th Register here.