Could Bills Aimed at Technology Companies Hurt Louisiana Entrepreneurs?
In Congress, there is little agreement on how to address concerns about large technology companies. One recent proposal would prevent mergers and acquisitions by large companies or prevent a deal if it was over a certain size. This legislation may seem focused on companies in California, but a change to the merger and acquisition process would have negative consequences for Louisiana’s technology entrepreneurs.
A few weeks ago, LSU hosted an event for students who wanted to learn more about the mobile app industry. The event featured many compelling speakers including those who created multimillion-dollar apps. LSU students were eager to learn how to create an app of their own and find similar success.
One of the most insightful comments came from an LSU graduate who had successfully started up a cloud security company. He told students not to focus on building the next gigantic technology company but focus on making a successful product. If a product is valuable, most often it will be acquired by another company allowing the founders to cash out and build something new. The speaker had experience in the area as he sold his cloud security company for 450 million dollars and is now using that money to invest in building new companies in Louisiana.
What the speaker experienced is common in the technology industry. For many companies, being acquired is the strategy for long-term success. Especially in a state like Louisiana without large investment ecosystems for technology companies, mergers and acquisitions provide a pathway to success.
The factors that have made America a leader in the technology sector are complex. Oftentimes, politicians look to tackle one problem without understanding the consequences it could have for other people. The proposed legislation is just one example. While it may seem like the technology issues being discussed in Washington D.C. will have little to do with Louisiana, nothing could be further from the truth. If Louisiana ever wants to build a successful technology sector that creates jobs and opportunities for the people of the state, it will need to rely on homegrown investment in the state and has the potential for mergers and acquisitions. Congress should continue to let small tech companies thrive instead of stopping an avenue they can take to become a successful businesses.