Jobs: Collateral Damage of Investment

Nov 15, 2012
Vote on Hacker News

The following is a guest post by Business Angel Jerome Camblain, who runs Camblain Advisors. He previous wrote about how startups in France need to worry of a funding gap between angel and VC funding.

Collateral-DamageThe collateral effect of a investing in a startup aiming at a capital gain is accidental and unintended but almost inevitable jobs creation! Unfortunately, as ruthless as capitalism may be, value cannot be created without a dedicated group of hard working and rather well treated people. The better the team is aligned with the investors gain, the more secure is the investors money. So smart investors let employees get rich in the process.

Also very few people wake up in the morning and ask themselves: “what can I fail today?”. Human nature is largely positive and a very fertile ground if well nurtured.
Innovation is a people business, that what is great about it.

To be provocative, I would argue that a technology company creation is a work of art. How else can be considered a project best described as a vague idea that creates many new jobs in area that did not exist before? It should then be taxed accordingly with a 5% capital gain tax applicable to artworks.

With the French new proposed tax regime, a non-sense new habit is now to congratulate entrepreneurs when raising funds.

We are a nation of great cooks; who congratulates a Michelin starred chef for buying the ingredients? The execution should be the hardest part of the exercise for which success should be celebrated, not the financing. This is what is very wrong about the new French tax proposal getting voted now.

I know a thing or two about fund raising. It is competitive, challenging and time consuming. It is also very difficult to time: too early and you can kill your company with too much cash to market an unfinished product. Too late and you let competitors steal your market away.
Does job creation really needs to be made even more difficult with tax repellent measures?

Is it such a big deal that risk-takers financing job creation out of thin hair get their profit taxed (when there is profit!) at a fair non-punitive level?

In startup world, the joke about the glass half filled with water goes this way: the optimist sees it half-full, the pessimist half-empty, and the engineer sees the glass to be the wrong size. For the sake of French jobs creation, investors success proposed levy is the wrong size. The dogmatic political angle (optimist and pessimist in my metaphor) is grandly irrelevant.

Fighting French unemployment is central here. To create jobs, we have to create firms that are well capitalised, and everything else is “hors-sujet”.