Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pleasant After-Work

Spent a very pleasant couple of beers with a fellow Bloglodyte yesterday.

It's refreshing to spend time with someone who has a plan to make things happen--even if it's not going to happen locally.

The sad thing is that it won't be local; it will, instead, be in an area which has some "Wild West" atmosphere--a lot of entrepreneurialism, blessings from the Gummint, and little-to-no Gummint-mandated "sharing" of the wealth with--the Gummint.

We also discusssed "the Milwaukee Seven" a bit, as a corollary.

There are some very interesting opportunities for the M7 to play with, so long as they understand that Bright Young People (and bright old ones) go toward opportunities. It seems that they have that understanding, at least by-and-large.

But how to create the opportunities? Begin with capitalizing on the existing base.

In Milwaukee (of all places) the existing base includes medical-hardware technology, small-engine technology, hydraulics technology, storage-battery technology, industrial-control technology, heat-transfer technology, and financial-institution-IS/network technology.

Those are the big ones. There are others.

It's important to get The Players to play in our sandbox. If that means spending some bucks on a new UW-Milwaukee Engine House and recruiting some appropriately-talented R&D faculty, that's fine--so long as The Players commit to stay in our sandbox for a long time.

The spinoff possibilities are mind-boggling. The "low-tech" manufacturing jobs which can be created are significant; the combinations of some of those tech-areas (e.g., batteries and hydraulics with sophisticated control-systems for short-commute-vehicles) could be very interesting.

But there are the tax questions. At least one Major Player (in a field not mentioned above) has its R&D ops in another state--despite the synergy it could have with UW-Madison's agri-bio engineering. Why?


The M7 has a serious challenge, which is to shed the DarthDoyle/TommyThompson "Tax/Spend/Tax More/Spend More" model. Then there's another serious challenge--getting the Major Players into a room, and emerging with an agreement.

It can be done. It should be done, too.

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