Trump’s Advisors: Young Innovators and Successful Entrepreneurs

DLD 2015, Munich, Germany, 18 January 2015. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media - || Creative Commons 4.0

I am not the biggest fan of president-elect Donald Trump, naturally. However, some news coming from the United States of America are, let’s say, very promising. Like the one that the next U.S. president has demonstrated he respects the development of the digital economy and new trends in the industry regarded as a key to economic competitiveness. Trump said he will carefully listen to young successful entrepreneurs, experts and visionaries. And so he did. A group of Trump’s strategic consultants at Technology Summit in Silicon Valley, the global center of technological innovation, has grown by two venerable names: Elon Musk and Travis Kalanick.

Not familiar with these names? What a shame! Elon Musk is a successful American entrepreneur and innovator. He co-owned a payment system PayPal, he conquers the world through own electric car company called Tesla Motors and also shows that a monstrous state agency funded by billions of taxed dollars is not necessary for successful aero cosmonautic projects. His private company called Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) has successfully developed rocket launchers, which carry satellites to the space during commercial flights. In short: If you looked to a glossary for a meaning of the term INNOVATION, well enough there could be a photo of Elon Musk instead of the explanatory text.

Travis Kalanick is a legend of sharing economy. This is not only because he co-founded UBER in 2009, the most valuable startup in the world that allows drivers with free seats in a car to find people interested in transportation from point A to point B, and inspired thousands of entrepreneurs worldwide by this action. Already at the turn of the millennium, Kalanick has started to believe in sharing of economic assets – he developed a platform for sharing large data files between remote computers and got the first big successes and also big criticism (that people could share illegal files). Nothing special for a great visionary like Kalanick – it is quite usual that such individuals have many opponents, because their ideas lower rents and profits in traditional branches of economy.

Well, two young and successful entrepreneurs in a team of the U.S. President is undoubtedly the best thing that could happen to United States. Especially if you take into consideration the fact that neither Musk, nor Kalanick, were Trump’s supporters. Carefully put, both of them were presenting mixed feelings towards Trump during the campaign. Musk said that Trump “is not the right guy for the White House, because he has not type of character that would reflect the needs of the United States”. At a meeting with college students, Kalanick said: “Oh my God, Donald Trump wins! I move out to China if Donald Trump wins!”

Trump swallowed his pride and asked both of them to attend regular meetings, during which Musk and Kalanick will assist in identifying key issues and needs of American industry. “My administration will work together with the private sector to improve the business environment and make it attractive for companies creating jobs across the United States, from Silicon Valley to the heartland”, Trump said and added to his advisors: “Whenever you need something, call my people. Or you know what? Call directly to me. No unnecessary formality”. In this respect, it is indeed a good example for you, dear European presidents!

Liberalni Institute