When we think about private companies taking government funding, images of corporate greed and unaccounted for money spring to mind. Government funded bodies, on the other hand, are viewed as public knights that battle heroically against their limited budgets. They scrape by because their crusade is viable: but their vision is sometimes lacking. Entrepreneurs live and die by the success of their ideas. If their business fails, they lose their job, their mortgage, and their dreams. Public bodies must relinquish their need to control every minute step, and learn to delegate niche tasks to people with in-depth knowledge of the subject. If they can ride atop the expertise and creativity of private companies, they are much more likely to win the battle.
Tech is always best developed by hungry entrepreneurs; people who make substantial financial, personal, and, possibly, marital sacrifices to get their business off the ground. Their business is their baby. They will nurture it, stay up all night for it, and do everything in their power to help it grow. Their passion allows them to develop a strong niche. They may spend years perfecting their specialism. They will not claim to know everything, but when it comes to the exactitude of their niche: they are a walking encyclopedia.
Innovation is key to progress
Tech defines our era and is continually evolving. It solves problems every day (and sometimes it creates new problems). There is a constant need to discover better, faster, smarter ways of working. What is relevant today may not be tomorrow, so it is crucial that a company innovates to avoid stagnation. Take Richard Branson, who founded Virgin Records. If he had been comfortable with his original business, he would be virtually bankrupt (like HMV) by the introduction of CDs, mp3s, and now Spotify. Instead, he has transcended genre; progressing to transport, to condoms, to cola, to trains, to media, to gyms, and now to space. Some of these ventures have been more successful than others, but he has undoubtedly stayed relevant and rich.
Room for creativity
Government bodies are shackled by regulations and restrictions, meaning that ideas that are “out there” remain “out there.” Branson claims successful companies “start small and think big.” A start-up has nothing to lose but hopes and dreams. With no rule book and no governing body to adhere to, entrepreneurs are free to experiment. In fact, it is their individuality and creative thinking that makes their ideas viable and successful.
Targets are ambitious
When public bodies receive a sum of money, they frequently see this as a prompt to spend the entire amount. The government monitors their spending, flagging any move that seems too radical. The result is that money is invested into tried and tested routes that will provide safe results. Private companies usually spend excess profit on new developments, with success triggering further success. Private companies give their employees ambitious targets, keeping them engaged and enthusiastic. When spending your own money on your business, you make damn sure that you are maximising profits.
PayPal co-founder said to a humble tech entrepreneur: ‘In a world that’s changing so quickly, the biggest risk you can take is not taking any risk.’ That entrepreneur went on to create Facebook. Businesses take risks every day: some of them pay off, and some of them set them back, but it is the nature of survival and growth. For public bodies, outsourcing may seem like a big gamble (as funding could be pulled if a strategy fails). Nonetheless, if a company is expert in their field and appears to have the solution to a problem, is it really such a daunting risk? If you discovered a tumour in your leg, would you try to remove it yourself? In our opinion, choosing to outsource is the less risky option.
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