Saturday, February 19, 2005

What an awesome time to be alive!

"Ours is a time of profound change that holds the seeds of almost unlimited opportunities for those with the vision, courage, and ability to seize them."

That is the opening sentence of the authors note for a book I plan to publish this Spring, Swamp Fox Insights, about how to create and manage high-impact organizations.

I have been working for several years to develop a network of knowledge professionals who can leverage the talent and technologies of the Southeastern Innovation Corridor.

I created an Angel Fund, called Capital Insights, in the 1990s that invested $14 million from 150 accredited individual partners in variety of companies with high-impact potential. We have made money on our investments overall, but by 2000 it was clear that more needed to be done to create an infrastructure to support the development of high-impact companies in our region.

A few years ago, I created Swamp Fox: News of the Knowledge Economy in South Carolina to document and promote sources of innovation and opportunity in South Carolina. I publish an e-mail update most weeks, and Swamp Fox has developed a loyal following.

I created the Carolina Crescent Coalition, which held six conferences to build relationships between knowledge professionals in industry and universities, and last year I created the venture capital conference, InnoVenture. This Spring, InnoVenture 2005 will combine those two initiatives, to help develop a greater capacity for innovation in our region, including wealth creating high-impact companies, around the major anchor tenants of our economy.

I am looking forward to using this blog to share my thoughts and observations with you. Most of all I look forward to your feedback, including how we might work together.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You use the phrase "high-impact companies."

What is your definition of 'high-impact companies' as you use it?

Swamp Fox said...

That is an excellent question. Thanks for asking.

A group of people I work with who think about how to move our economy forward has given very thoughtful consideration to the term "high-impact company," having debated it at length many times. For the professional service providers and other volunteers putting the time into entrepreneurial organizations, what kinds of companies are we trying to foster?

We want them to create lots of wealth that gets reinvested back into the community and creates a demand for all types of products and services those involved can provide. We want them to create lots of high wage jobs, because again this creates a pool of customers that stimulates demand for products and services.

How do you describe the type of independent companies that the community wants to foster that creates significant wealth that stays local and creates lots of high wage jobs? We considered several descriptors. "High-growth"? A company can be high-growth but not profitable, which doesn't work. "Wealth-creating?" That doesn't really capture it fully either. "Venture backed?" Not necessarily. So we settled on "high-impact companies" as the best description of the companies that we are trying to foster.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Warner, that was a good answer to my question regarding how you define your utilized phrase 'High-Impact' Companies.

But, your answer really does NOT serve to deliver any meaningful, much less concise, understanding of the phrase. But I'll leave that for another day's blog, or perhaps, a day that we happen to meet.

Your answer is "good," because you passed a test that makes me feel better about your character.

You see, a year or so ago I voluntarily forwarded some information to you via a 3rd-party. The information was regarding an array of topics that I am highly competent to discuss, and quite frankly, was willing to share with you and or your various progressive organizations; and do so, Pro-bono, I should add.

In that brief communique, I used the very catchy phrase 'High-Impact' to describe enterprise dynamics that I uncovered through extensive and personal research.

Although it was just a bit puzzling to me that I never received any subsequent inquiries from you or anyone representing your affiliated organizations regarding the communique & topics therein(e.g. more infomation, formal or informal presentations, etc.), however, I WAS surprised the following month when I noticed that you started using the phrase "High-Impact" in your publications.

I ratioanlized the surprise away by reminding myself that people often hijack other people's hard earned work, ideas and intellectual-captial, and then pass it off as their own. (that by the way, is why I do NOT publish books or bloggs). Anyway, I just wrote the experience up as a 'lesson learned,' and put you in the group among many such selfish, unscrupulous individuals that I would never collaborate with.

Anyway, by virtue of your "good answer", I now realize that I might have been too quick to write you off. That is to say, by your giving credit to groups you've discusse the "High-Impact" topic with, perhaps I was wrong about you. Perhaps the 3rd-party I refered to didn't tell YOU where the information came from, and even if he did, perhaps following the excitement of collaborative discussions, the source was immediately forgotten by one and all. It happens.

Anyway, I want to explicitly say here and now, I apologize for thinking badly of you. I know that you work hard for the causes you profess; and now, I am better able to beleive that you are alos a man of character.

And if we have a chance to meet one day, I will share with you what my definition and understanding is of 'High- Impact.'

In the meantime, I thank you for all your hard work and wish you the best of luck. The state of South Carolina needs many more people like you, and, the whole country for that matter.

Swamp Fox said...

I appreciate your confidence. For whatever it is worth, I have a presentation of the Upstate Coalition for Entrepreneurial Development that was made November 6, 2002, that defines its mission as, “The Upstate Counsel for Entrepreneurial Development (UCED) pro-actively facilitates the development of High Impact Companies in the Upstate of South Carolina.”