Europe’s other problem: where are all the tech startups? European leaders want you to ‘test your own wings,’ but there are systemic headwinds getting in the way – at The Verge:

As noted in The Verge article, regulatory fragmentation is a big part of the problem in Europe – the need to comply with a patchwork of diverse regulations across the continent. This is also increasingly becoming a problem here in the United States with, for example, both federal and state-by-state privacy, data and similar regulations, which impose significant legal, compliance and related costs on startups.

Want To End The Litigation Epidemic? Create Lawsuit-Free ZonesLawProf Eric Goldman at

”[F]inding ways to dial down litigation might be the best ‘jobs stimulus’ effort our legislators could undertake. The way to create lawsuit-free zones is through ‘immunities’ and ‘safe harbors.’ Immunities categorically eliminate legal liability in the specified contexts. Safe harbors allow defendants to avoid liability if they take the specified steps. Both help motivate socially beneficial and job-creating activity.”

[T]his ‘anticorporate’ agenda of ramping up regulation is actually pro-corporate. Stringent regulations tend to protect incumbent firms from their greatest fear — innovative start-ups that could drive them out of business … [N]ursing firms tenderly is only one way to spur firms to invest. A better way is to threaten them. Not with antitrust actions or NLRB rulings, though — instead, by making them face their strongest and most feared competitors in open combat … [R]egulations are a moat that surrounds corporate America and protects its profits … Unleashing entrepreneurs will force rich and powerful incumbents to spend money on inventing new products and processes that will help them maintain their edge. Lounging timidly on a mountain of cash will no longer be an option when new firms show up to compete and siphon away hefty profits.
Op-Ed by Reihan Salam in The Daily: Protecting the Big Guys (Regulations Don’t Hurt Established Corporations – They Keep Them Powerful). As they say, read the whole thing. (via john carney and pegobry)

I’ve always thought that one of the more serious policy mistakes of the past few decades was permitting publicly-held corporations to adopt poison pill takeover defenses, shielding poor performing firms and their managers from the discipline and focus that stems from the risk of loss of corporate control.