An Entrepreneur’s Letter to President Obama: Give Americans a Great Challenge to Pursue

by: Matt McCormick

Dear Mr. President,

Like so many of my fellow Americans, I was raised to believe that Americans are capable of anything we put our minds to. This has been proven time and time again through our history. From defeating the most powerful army in the world in 1777 to putting a man on the moon to building a powerful computer that fits in our pockets. Americans have accomplished great feats in politics, business, humanity, and engineering for almost 250 years.

But today, something is missing. Something important that you are in a unique position to give us. We are missing a specific cause to unite behind and pursue. Instead, we are wandering in the desert of generalities. Better health care. Better schools. Energy independence. These are nice statements, but they lack a specific end goal. We need a big and well defined pursuit that we can chase together as a nation.

Think about your greatest predecessors. Abraham Lincoln had a single-minded vision: Preserve the Union. Franklin Roosevelt didn’t really become great until he united America behind the cause of ending Fascism and Imperialism. John Kennedy asked us to put a man on the moon. Ronald Reagan was hell bent on winning the Cold War.

Yes, these men pursued and accomplished other things. But they are remembered for their one or two big achievements. They are remembered for uniting America and unleashing its potential on the world. We put a man on the moon! Can you imagine the Herculean effort that took with 1960’s technology? Yet, we did it. And why? Because we had a clear vision of what we wanted to accomplish. That is our greatness as a united country.

Mr. President, I am all for energy independence, affordable health care, lower unemployment, and better schools. But tell me, who isn’t? Affordable health care is something we desperately need. You need to keep working on it. But it hardly stirs the blood and unites the men and women of this country.

So I have a suggestion for you. Let’s build a car in the next 10 years that gets 100 mpg and costs less than $20,000. That’s something inspiring – and incredibly useful. It will also be amazingly profitable for American business and create a lot of jobs.

Maybe you have another idea. That’s fine. Just give us something specific and grand to shoot for. Trust me on this – America is a country of entrepreneurs, and we can accomplish it if you just present us with the challenge.

About the author Matt McCormick @Technori
Matt McCormick is founder and owner of JCD Repair - an iPhone, iPod, & iPad repair store with locations in Chicago, Seattle, and Madison, WI. In previous lives, he's run a one-man company building websites for small businesses, been a developer at Microsoft, lectured on operating systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and spent three years selling robotics equipment. He has a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering and a Master's in Computer Science. He also reads too many business books and is frequently up for a beer.

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