Saturday, January 10, 2009

stop saying there is a lack of technology talent

I've been trying to stay away from this discussion on techhui about Are Hawaii's Tech Tax Credit Worth the Cost?, because I don't particularly think its that productive and has a far too negative tone. But, I decided to chime in because of this comment:
As a whole, in software/IT, I don't think the local talent compares with the level of global competition a startup has to face. (This is the same point Guy Kawasaki essentially made.) Because of the talent deficiency, funding such companies is almost inherently a high/bad risk. Money is a very inefficient way to compensate for talent. Using state funds to subsidize this is very likely to be wasteful.

Here are a few comments:
(1) did i miss the state wide talent evaluation survey that allowed you to make this claim. perhaps people should stick recounting their own experiences and refrain from making broad claims. besides i really don't think the talent thread you keep pointing to had very much careful and analytical examination of talent. i know a lot of these software and IT people that you are calling talent deficient and i think thats very wrong and inappropriate. perhaps all the talented people are avoiding you. or perhaps its the senior management, entrepreneurs, and executives that aren't getting the job done. i'm being sarcastic, but i think my statement is just as plausible.
(2) i actually think Guy Kawasaki is a little mistaken in his comments. we do have awesome professors and students in the College of Engineering (he actually is forgetting about the Department of Information and Computer Science where most of the software and technology graduates comes from). but, the problem is that the startup industry is too small of an industry for them to target to transition into. i recently had a conversation with a professor that said we want to grow the startup mentality in his students. perhaps Guy should visit the College of Engineering and Dept of Information and Computer Science and help build and transition the "supply".

anyway, say what you want about the actual tax credit program, the facts, the reports, the investors, or even the companies. but stop calling the people in hawaii's tech industry talentless.

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