Some huge percentage of startup companies in this country are founded by immigrants. Not surprising. It has always been that way in America. But in the wake of 9/11, we've shut our borders and become intolerant of people from other cultures. Over time that will result in the sclerosis of our economy and the decline of america as the locus of capitalism and the american dream.

Last year, right after our firm and one other VC firm invested $3mm into one of our portfolio companies, the founder was forced to leave the country because his visa ran out. The jobs that $3mm were intended to fund didn't get created. The innovation the company was working on was delayed. Is that good policy? No it is not.

The startup visa movement was born out of frustration over stories like this and thousands of other similar ones. The premise of the startup visa is simple. If an entrepreneur can get funding to start a business in this country, he or she should be able to get a visa. Creating companies and jobs is a patriotic act and should be rewarded by legal status. The logic behind these ideas is irrefutable. But over the past year, the startup visa movement has run into a series of roadblocks. Politcs and goverment has a way of turning good ideas to mush.

Like a good entrepeneur would do, the movement has persevered. It has adapted, taken feedback, rethought certain ideas, and come back stronger. Yesterday, a redrafted startup visa bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Lugar, Kerry, and Udall. And one of the harshest critics of the initial startup visa bill, Vivek Wadhwa, has concluded that this new version of the bill is "is even better than I had hoped for."

If you'd like to help promote this idea, you can use the votizen service to send a message to your elected officials. The more they hear from us on this issue, the better off we will be. And if you want to keep up to date on the startup visa movement, you can follow it on tumblr and on twitter.

This is an important issue for america, its economy, its vitality, and its entrepreneurial culture. Please help get the word out and make the startup visa a reality.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. kapauldo

    “some huge percentage” is a lazy, sensationalist opening. Try harder Fred.

    1. fredwilson

      try writing a blog post every single day of your life. that is not lazy.

      1. Ed Cooke

        Damn right.

      2. baba12

        Oh man “Diplomacy is when you tell a person to go to hell, and they look forward to the visit.” Mr.Wilson you are being very polite and diplomatic. :)I may have said something that would be harsher possibly like “up your nose with a rubber hose” :)…

        1. fredwilson

          working the comments for years has given me thick skin

      3. udeme

        Nice comeback, but he has a point, Fred

        1. RichardF

          which point was that then, that Fred was sensationalist, lazy or needs to try harder.There’s plenty of debate going on in this thread but it’s civilised here.His comment belongs on TrollCrunch

    2. David Semeria

      Harsh critic, reveal thyself.

    3. Vivek Wadhwa

      From 1995-2005, 25.3% of all the tech and engineering startups across the U.S., and 52.4% of those in Silicon Valley were founded by immigrants. That is a pretty “huge percent”.

  2. RichardF

    What’s the likely time frame of this happening Fred? (if it happens)

    1. fredwilson

      it needs to happen this year

    2. Donna Brewington White

      You thinking about crossing the pond? We’ll save you a seat!

      1. RichardF

        Definitely, Donna (West Coast or maybe up over the border to Vancouver) and thanks very much for the seat! Liked your tweet by the way, I’m definitely more banter than chatter.

  3. baba12

    It is the bourgeois versus the proletariat fight. The rich folks of this country would like to continue to create more wealth and rightly so. To them having this visa program or some other thing would be great as it allows them to invest in people who can make them more money.Problem is there is also the bottom of the pyramid to look at.There is a big underground economy that sustains the country with cheap marginalized unskilled labor that is needed. For the many at the top of the pyramid that labor pool is non existent or invisible. They don’t see the work that goes into preparing their food when dining at restaurants or realize the supply chain that made it possible for the steak and fresh produce they get at Whole foods was made possible due to many who work to deliver these goods and services while living in the underground economy.When we have the capabilities to fly a Predator drone 15000 miles remotely and deliver a Cruise missile on target, we also have the capacity to apprehend the people living in the underground economy. Yet we don’t do so as it serves the interests of the people at the top of the pyramid, it is not a good idea for businesses to pay a fair wage or to have people on the books if they can avoid it. There is a demand for such labor services, there is a supply of such labor services yet there is no desire to make it legal as that would unbalance the equation.If we go for the startup visa program or anything else to attract/retain entrepreneurs who hope to create successful companies then we should also seek to get those living in the underground economy above ground, increase our tax revenues and make our society a bit more fairer.But that won’t happen with the prevailing winds blowing in the direction of protectionist isolationist agenda.

    1. natekronn

      Oh, don’t worry, getting more entrepreneurs in will also mean an increase in the number of “underground” workers you’re referring to, due to them seeing the increase in legitimate jobs and trying to get in on the train, just like they do now.Base workers will always be there, it’s just that the top of the pyramid is getting empty, quickly, right now, and that needs to be fixed.

    2. ShanaC

      Honestly, I think the bourgeois v proeltariat idea is dated – while i think there is truth to top and bottom issues, largely at this point i think the issue is about nativism versus what a lot of natural born americans will do.

      1. baba12

        The bourgeois vs proletariat maybe dated but if you look at the data it shows income gap that has increased. My use of that as an opening line was to state that this discussion of visa regulations will come down to a fight between three groups of people, those who oppose any and all forms of immigration, those who are supportive of immigration of a certain kind and those who will want to find a way to bring those un-documented people who live in the shadows of our society.I am not sure how it is going to play out.

        1. ShanaC

          I wish I could tell you too. I do think part of the problem is the move of college as a certification, rather than a degree (i’m still trying to figure out why there is such thing as a finance major, or a marketing major. Either do a low level math or economics degree, or take english and learn to read and write….) So we ended up delaying getting people into jobs…and those with a bazillion certification/degrees tend to be the ones that get to hoard the wealth. Unlike a good friend of mine, I am not a policy watcher, nor do I tend to make good speculations (because I am not a policy watcher). SO I wish I could give you a better viewI have to say, one of the issues that I really want to see resolved that relates closely to this issue is Pell Grants, Staford Loans, and proper visas/citizenship for children of illegal immigrants. I know this is an issue in California because of the UC system. I do find it totally interesting that we could have an essentially native born population that wants to be college educated and contribute that is being locked out. More than startup visas, I really want to see a positive resolution.

          1. Mark Essel

            couldn’t agree more Shana.part of the issue with the job market is overly expensive university educations. My wife is still spending much of her yearly income on paying off loans. I was fortunate to go to a state school and to have a job which paid for my graduate school.What’s incredible is that colleges are not the ticket they used to be to get the rare few cushy jobs. Cushy jobs aren’t good for us, our businesses, or our economy. In contrast to expensive colleges some of the finest web hackers I bump into online are self taught. Add to that many universities are embracing open source education with free online lectures and ebooks.The job market, much like other financial markets is impossible to predict.

    3. Alexander

      “Increasing tax revenues and make our society a bit more fairer” is an oxymoron.So many things you could do to make things better: Stop war, stop weapon manufacturing, stop spending billions on anti-drug programs (plus the billions spent on maintaining the prison system for the so-called drug criminals), stop getting in the way of free commerce and trade, stop funding foreign dictators and armies (egypt, israel, etc), stop devaluating people’s money and savings by printing more money to give to a few bankers and other rich people (which is in no way real capitalism, but vulgar corporate welfare), stop making international enemies, etc etc etc. but noooooo your preferred way to go is to “increase tax revenue”. Brilliant…All the revenue (billions and billions and billions) currently used for war on drugs, weapons, funding of foreign armies and dictators, could be redirected to the poor and elderly in the country, while taxation of the entrepreneurs could even be lowered (and thus more business and employment), and no person in the country would be left out, and real markets and competition directed by what people actually want would arise.So, how about practicing real capitalism and free trade, instead of corporate welfare and market fascism (which is what the US actually is), for a change?

      1. baba12

        I was specifically talking about the underground economy that exists and bringing the people out in to the open would bring in tax revenues that previously haven’t been collected. Everything else is not pertinent to this post.

  4. gorbachev

    I read Vivek’s article about this on TechCrunch yesterday. What I found most interesting in it was Senator Lugar’s willingness to reconsider his bill.It’s too often that politicians stuck with their dogmas no matter how much evidence to the contrary people present to them. Let’s hope the usual barking dogs don’t attack him for “being weak”, because he dared change his mind on something.

  5. Tom Labus

    There has also been a major shift in attitude about coming to the US (from India in our case) over the last 10 years. The US is no longer considered a “prime assignment’ as it was in 2000 or so.This is a bigger issue then just visas but addressing it will go a long way in helping correct our political/economic missteps.

    1. natekronn

      This is exactly the reason why new laws (like the Startup Visa) must be made, to keep up with the times. Other countries are getting ahead of the US in many sectors, and a lot of times, it’s easier to setup a company in say, Germany or Hong Kong, closer to home (or even at home), and ship products worldwide, including to the US, driving even more revenue out of the country.Another interesting thing I’ve observed is that a lot of infrastructure (and various established business practices and culture) in the US is outdated, and it’s much more expensive/harder to upgrade it than it is for other countries to build their own with the newest technologies available. That’s why France, Germany, Japan and other countries can afford unlimited worldwide 100 Mbit/s home Internet connections for ~$70/month, while American citizens need to pay much more for less (and don’t even get me started on the situation in Canada :-).

  6. CliffElam

    Ouch, I bet that is now on the due diligence checklist!-XC

  7. andyswan

    Honestly, I think the premise of this entire article is nonsense. I’d love to see any facts supporting the first paragraph at all. Everything I’ve read suggests the exact opposite.I don’t know why articles like this need to start out with an unsupported, unsolicited attack on America.There is so much greatness here. So much opportunity. People are banging down the doors for a reason. We need to get smarter about letting the most productive and ambitious in….but more importantly, we’ve got to get pro-business policies back in place to UNLEASH the dozing talent and ambition of both citizen and immigrant!!!End the policies of distributionism, protectionism and this class-warfare nonsense. Unleash the awesomeness within and say COME ON IN!!!**Edit** I’m a supporter of letting startup founders with full-time employees stay. I do NOT support a system whereby only those who sell a piece of their company to government-approved investors are allowed to stay.

    1. fredwilson

      I think the entire premise of your comment is nonsense

      1. andyswan

        I am rubber you are glue?Fair enough….I’ll back up my premise with facts:From what I’ve found in a few minutes of googling shows that visa issuance has been pretty flat since 2001, with a dip during the worst part of the recession.http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary…I’ve also found that immigrants are almost 2x as likely as natives to start a business, but with 1/10th of the population that would translate to “nowhere close” to “a huge % of companies started”.As for the intolerance jab….the only places I’ve seen a rise in that are in the supposed “melting pots” as they react to intentionally provocative proposals. I mean….Indiana and Ohio voted for “Hussein Obama” 7 years after 2001 and 4 years after voting Bush. I may disagree with their choice politically, but I’m pretty damn proud of the majority in this Country’s ethnic acceptance.p.s. I am a supporter of the startupvisa movement….I just think it needs some major public discussion and revision and it DOES NOT need to be sold as an antidote rather than an opportunity….so I’m glad this topic is being pushed for discussion. Unleash the entrepreneur within!

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          In addition to the “2x as likely”, we have to remember the majority of those getting into the US have nothing to lose and/or everything to gain via a start up.This means we have to be careful how points are presented because reality is more jobs connect to motels and lawn care vs. big corporations. I know you have to expand the pool to attain the future big corporations (employing US citizens….).I can see some who will change this into the usual “take American jobs” vs. “it is the absolute cure for jobs” in the media (Limbaugh vs. Sheila Jackson Lee).The push for StartUpVisa needs to be concise, written in a way the Average Joe can understand…this coming from the long winded one ;d

      2. Dave Pinsen

        He’s right about your first paragraph. We have in no way “shut our borders” since 2001, and saying we’ve become “intolerant” of other cultures is a false claim as well. According to the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute, annual immigration to the U.S. averaged more than 1.8 million people between 2002 and 2006.No country is more tolerant and welcoming of other cultures than this one. That said, many Americans have legitimate economic concerns about immigration, which swells the ranks of job-seekers while unemployment is at its highest levels since the Great Depression.It does make sense to welcome talented and funded entrepreneurs who can create jobs for Americans, but if you want to rally support for the start-up visa, calling Americans (most of whom, unlike you, can’t afford to insulate themselves from the negative effects of immigration) “intolerant” isn’t the best tack. A better tack would be to show more concern for their legitimate economic concerns. When, as Andy Grove pointed out, 10 tech jobs are created in China for every 1 job created here, average Americans can be forgiven for wondering why they should reflexively support the policy preferences of plutocrats.

        1. ShanaC

          Educated job seekers have a tough time. I have a friend here with a medium sized computing company on NAFTA. He’s been here since college, and basically can’t change his immigration status because NAFTA isn’t green card. He’s in the top 5% of earners in the US and can’t vote and doesn’t take job risks (that’s partially a personality thing with him)We need to fix things so that he can be naturalized…

        2. William Mougayar

          I was going to stay away from this debate as a Canadian who loves the U.S. but…Re:”No country is more tolerant and welcoming of other cultures than this one.” Dave, Don’t forget Canada. At this point, probably is more tolerant and welcoming of other cultures than the U.S.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            Canada’s immigration policy (largely limiting immigration to skilled immigrants) certainly makes more sense than ours.

          2. John Rorick

            In some ways. But you can also essentially drive across the border, renewing a TN visa each year, as long as you have a well written offer letter and can shoehorn your job title into any one of the broad categories they list, including “management consultant.”. In some ways I’d argue it is too simple and I put little stock in the approval process which is done on the spot at the border by a customs officer. On the flip side it has been useful in some cases when looking for alternatives to a capped visa list. But a drive through window for immigration, I do not think that is a place to look for reform. IMO

          3. William Mougayar

            Replying to John Rorick (don’t know why the Reply button isn’t there)John,- bit of education. The TN visa is only 1 of several types, and it has its well defined limitations. Most importantly, it’s a reciprocal method/visa based on NAFTA. A US person can do the same into Canada, under the free trade agreement.

          4. John Rorick

            This is actually in reply to William (having same reply issues).I was sharing the TN visa as one of the ways the Canadian immigration policy is applied. I am well-versed in immigration/global mobility programs. Did not say it was the only visa. I was sharing my consistent experience and am aware of the NAFTA roots. I understand it goes both ways but this post is about immigration to the US. To claim, and I used the TN visa as an example, that Canadian immigration to the US has well-defined limitations…I would beg to differ based on my corporate HR and workplace staffing experience.”Management Consultant” is not well defined in my opinion and like it or not, the ability of applicants and companies to utilize the TN visa in the manner I described is done often and with few hiccups. An offer letter written the correct way is about all that is needed (exaggerating a bit of course).US companies look toward Australia as well and their renewable visa programs to do the same end around. Simply a fact.

          5. andyswan

            Ha….you’re right. We still consider you our cute hat though.

          6. Matt A. Myers

            The brain is located under the hat, right? ;)And thanks for calling us cute. 😛 *wink*

        3. FAKE GRIMLOCK


        4. John Rorick

          I think you could take the intolerant comment in a political light, as few if any elected politicians have wanted to be seen as raising their hands to allow ‘outsiders’ that resembled in any way the communities associated with 9/11 into our country to compete for our jobs. As that sentiment ebbed it became difficult to be the politician who raised a hand and said let these ‘outsiders’ in during our prolonged recession and high unemployment.I professionally experience the downside of the current visa cap when trying to navigate H1B lists that often times have a full waiting list many months in advance of the application process opening in October of each year. There are other avenues (and visas) to work through to draw in these niche science and technical skills in the case of the company I work with, but it is an angst ridden process in the current capped environment to do so, and not always successful. I am talking about thought leaders, individuals already accomplished in research and leading edge tech who have often obtained a great deal of their skills at our esteemed universities. It should be easier to keep them here contributing to our economic growth. I am not speaking from a startup standpoint, but from a large company corporate standpoint. Somewhere between Andy’s viewpoint and Fred’s probably lies the solution. The current climate does not work though.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            You and Fred don’t seem to appreciate that just because there’s been a relatively low cap on H1B visas does not mean there has been a similar cap on immigrants in general. Please click on the link I included in my original comment — I didn’t pull the ~1.8 million annual number out of my ass. Of those, about 1.3 million were legal immigrants — and of those, about 75k were H1Bs.You want to raise the number of H1B slots? Let’s have that debate (i.e., is there really a “shortage” in those fields or do companies just want cheaper labor?). But let’s start with facts. Claiming that we’ve “shut our borders” — when 1.8 million immigrants per year have been crossing them — is simply false.

          2. John Rorick

            What debate starts with the unsubstantiated claim that we must simply want cheap labor? Also I said the solution lies between Fred and Andy’s response, and I never claimed we “shut our borders.” Also not sure where my reply indicated an inaccurate stat had been pulled out of your behind…Based on my daily experience, the H1B cap has created a more difficult environment to get talented tech, etc, people in the door.Would you be surprised to know that Software Engineers are an extremely tough find these days with the requisite skills in ecommerce, social media development, enterprise software development, etc. Would you be surprised to know that graduates from Undergrad Computer Science programs hit quite a trough around the 2006/2007 time frame following the cliff that enrollment hit following the dot com bust?(http://www.cio.com/article/…2008 marked a new high in the number of international students attending american universities. So, lower tech enrollment, fewer graduates these past few years, and an even larger percentage of those graduates are now international students. So companies like mine will even turn toward graduate programs to add to the pool (bear in mind this is only to try and attract inexperienced hires, experienced hires already authorized…good luck). Now if I am lucky to attract one of the good ones from this college pool, a thin pool to start with, there is in my experience a 90% chance they will require some level of sponsorship. With the current cap we have run into recent issues with the list being full before the list even officially opens. I am talking about H1B’s. Charlie mentioned below that an L-1 is an option. Not for me, and likely not for most large US based firms because they need to live abroad first for a year, etc, etc.I do try and get creative. We worked with a prospective hire from a top 5 tech university (PhD grad) on putting them on an O-visa, to get around the H1B challenge we were facing at the time. An O-visa is more typically used for movie stars…seriously. So we worked diligently to get this guy the appropriate Rock Star Nerd status. Didn’t work. If he looked like J. Lo, would of had a better shot :).As for this being about cheap labor. In my case that is an awful argument since all of the effort described above involves immigration attorney$, and the eventual costs of sponsorship, along with this being a very tight market for tech talent in my particular region. Its not like its a sellers market for top engineering skills.

          3. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          4. Dave Pinsen

            John,It was a question, not a claim — hence the question mark.If you want more talented programmers, offer higher wages. The prospect of higher wages will prompt more qualified applicants to enter the field. But as long as students see jobs in the field getting outsourced and insourced, there will be less incentive for them to enter the field.

          5. Dave Pinsen


          6. Dave W Baldwin

            Good points Dave, yet we are not in the world where protectionism will work.Unemployed engineer may be unemployed for than bad economy. Often times, he/she will come up with something they’d never thought of if they try to figure it out.Kids are not stupid, lazy yes, but not stupid. It is a matter of being straight forward and they understand it IS a world economy, not close our borders and it magically changes for the better.As far as new tech goes, protecting young people becomes some stupid government thing which does nothing more than give everyone an excuse for not keeping up with new tech. The new tech (not the me too tech) will enable everyone from the drywall fella to the engineer to the researcher to do more and more accurately.And, like it or not, the changing this decade to the smart machine/bot will force thinking toward entrepreneurship.

          7. Dave Pinsen

            Dave,What won’t work is continuing what we’ve been doing. Our economic model is broken, and has only been kept puttering along in this imitation of life by unprecedented amounts of fiscal & economic stimulus.Our economic model has been trade and immigration policies that have lead to rising inequality and a race to the bottom in wages for most Americans. We’ve papered over the gap between what the average American earns and what it takes to have the trappings of a middle class life with debt.When the consumer/mortgage debt bubble started to pop in 2007-2008 we re-inflated it, blowing up a new, sovereign debt bubble in the process. This can’t continue indefinitely.Unrestrained free trade + open borders immigration are treated by most today as if they are economic axioms. Far from it. On the contrary, this country prospered and grew from its founding to the middle of the last century under protectionism. We dropped it for geopolitical reasons (to keep allies in our orbit during the Cold War), and not economic reasons. It’s time to do what most other countries do and act in our rational self-interest.This isn’t just the thinking of eccentrics anymore — it’s returning to the mainstream. Andy Grove is one example. Another is at that link.

          8. John Rorick

            @Dave – Fair enough regarding the question mark. Regarding salaries, in my current experience I find we are chasing a very aggressive salary point for engineering and technical talent. Work authorized computer science talent is being snatched up at a name your price level in the New York metro area. If you can code, you can name your opportunity.

          9. Dave Pinsen

            @John – I’ve had the pleasure of hiring them as contractors, so I’m aware of what NYC developers cost. There’s a saying though: the cure for high prices is high prices (the cure may not come fast enough for an individual business, if increased supply comes from new grads entering the field rather than already-trained immigrants, but I think it’s a better solution for our economy in the long run).________________________________

      3. kidmercury

        hahahhaa oh snap! gotta give wilson the edge on this one. a short witty response, throwing words back in the face of the original commenter (swan), plus he’s got home field advantage…..as for the merits of the argument i think both you guys are wrong because your world view requires ignorance of the truth, so declaring a beef winner is largely a matter of wittiness and not truth, unfortunately. as such, my vote is that wilson wins. well played boss!

        1. andyswan

          I agree that I took the loss today. Got sidetracked by a first-paragraph opinion that really had nothing to do with the subject at hand. Damn.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            Buck up. Being right isn’t a popularity contest.

          2. andyswan

            I handled being right poorly

          3. Dave Pinsen


          4. Mark Essel

            word.being right means being liked in discuss by Mark Essel often in contradictory loops

        2. Dave Pinsen

          What’s witty about calling someone’s comment “nonsense” without explanation? Seems more like a cop out.

          1. kidmercury

            indeed, i suppose it is subjective. i found it slightly humorous forthe following reasons:1. the “nonsense” term was first used by andy swan, and fred wasthrowing it back2. andy’s response was a bit lengthier, and fred responded with aone-liner that was a throwback. i think this is a great combo. sort oflike how if you wrote a long comment about how government was big andbloated, and someone replied tersely, “your mom is big and bloated.”lol, cheap laugh, but i still enjoy it :)though i do see where you are coming from regarding the potential forit being a cop out. i find the entire discussion to be fairlymeaningless and short sighted though so i am mainly interested ingetting a few chuckles.

          2. Dave Pinsen

            Fair enough, I guess.________________________________

    2. Andrew Wong

      @andyswan I have to agree with Fred here. His argument is well put. Any rational person would agree with his article to certain extent. The fact of saying his article is nonsense is insanity. Just throw in my two cents.

      1. andyswan

        I didnt say the article was nonsense…. just the first paragraph premise…

  8. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    As perhaps the second-harshest critic of the startup visa bill, I agree that this version is much improved.

  9. JimHirshfield

    Good stuff! I’m excited at the progress made here. My data? 3 out of the 6 or so start-ups I’ve worked for (and I’m not even counting the consulting work over the years) have been for companies started by foreigners. My co-founder in 2000 was a foreigner. Smart and ambitious people bringing innovation, jobs, entrepreneurship to the place where it’s prized…America. And I don’t see this as “us versus them” – America was (and is) built as an amalgamation of diverse people from all over the world. Those who forget that – whether a generation off the boat, or 200+ years on – are hypocritical and an embarrassment to the accomplishments and memories of their immigrant ancestors who benefited from America’s open arms. </soapbox>

    1. Nate Quigley

      +1, a few grandpa’s back the Quigley’s were hungry Irishmen. Sure glad America’s doors were open in the mid 1800’s. I thought President W’s proposals to address our broader immigration policy issues were courageous and pragmatic. Guest worker program to take pressure off the border and a path to citizenship for anyone willing to obey our laws and become an unhyphenated American. Wonder when we’ll have another political leader willing to use a lot of capital to tackle this problem.

      1. ShanaC

        Hungry Jewish. Then I got named for one of Du Pont’s* suppliers because she needed to support herself…people will move fast if they feel a need to fill themselves*They set her up with her husband…only reason I mention it

    2. andyswan

      Were all of them funded by “accredited investors” from a “sponsoring” entity? (for those in the know…does this mean anything more than “government approved?”)For the life of me I cannot figure out why we would require immigrants to dilute their ownership through the sale to government-approved investors in order to stay here.Funded or unfunded—If you’ve got revenue and are supporting multiple full-time employees, stay!

      1. JimHirshfield

        Wadhwa’s post states that one of the options is:”Foreign entrepreneurs whose business has generated at least $100,000 in sales from the U.S. Two years later, the startup must have created three new American jobs and either have raised over $100,000 in financing or be generating more than $100,000 in yearly revenue.”So they don’t need to take on investors if they’re bringing in sufficient revenue.

          1. JimHirshfield

            Release 1.0 versus 2.0? I dunno.

          2. David Binetti

            They just released the new bill yesterday. The site has been updated.

      2. Lesa Mitchell

        the new bill has a door for entre that have revenue. Agree with you 100%

  10. Nate Quigley

    Has someone done a balanced summary somewhere of the pro/con for the Act? I really don’t see how this could be controversial, so what am I missing and where can I read about it?On a lighter note, was super impressed with the start up process for Votizen. First I’d seen it. Great “work to payoff” ratio. I’m not clear on how sending a text helped confirm my identity and voter record, but seeing profile pics of friends below that had already signed up kept me chugging along. Great UX and cool idea.Does it make money or is it just changing the world?

  11. Berislav Lopac

    I’m just curious, regarding the opening story: have you followed the founder and funded the company in his original country? If not, why not?P.S. That was Zemanta, right? Couldn’t you opt for an L-1 visa?

  12. Chris Young

    “Creating companies and jobs is a patriotic act and should be rewarded by legal status.””Creating companies and jobs is a patriotic act and should be rewarded by legal status, once we get the background check back”//

  13. Ivan Vecchiato

    As a non-american, I must say that this battle that you and other (for instance Brad Feld, among those I use to follow) are fighting is way more illuminated, visionary and advanced than maybe you meant to make it.I’m telling this as one who does not want to come to USA, but as one who lives in a country that does not even see the opportunity of growing with ideas coming from abroad.

  14. Julien

    Thanks Fred for supporting this. I hope the US supports this visa soon, and I hope it sets some kind of trend for the rest of the world too. Any barrier to more entrepreneurs should be taken down.

  15. Brian Duperrouzel

    with unemployment rates high, i can see why folks are skeptical that this may be some loop hole to allow in MORE cheap PHP/SQL/<insert your=”” tech=”” skill=”” here=””> skilled resources, to further displace the american tech worker who has lost many jobs to offshoring, or to H1B’s who will work a lot cheaper than their american counterpart.That said, on its surface this looks like smart legislation. Hopefully, if enacted, it won’t be abused.Agree that OP is a bit sensational in his dipiction of “America”.



  17. Dave W Baldwin

    This is an expansion per my response to Andy. Passage of the StartUpVisa does need to happen ‘quickly’. Just remember the antiSUVisa’s will be hitting hard and fast. It is not hard to spark fear in the public saying this will take jobs away, even though they have just had a procedure done at the hospital by an immigrant.Proponents need to understand the antiSUVisa’s will hit hard and fast, so you need to be a step ahead. I would get those that have come here and built a company that is full of US workers with his/her describing there is no better place than the US for opportunity and that is why they are here.Otherwise, the news folks remember will be of voices saying Lugar needs to be kicked out of the Republican Party….

  18. IainMcD

    Fred, your support on this is fantastic. I’m in Scotland, running the only early-stage biotech here going after cystic fibrosis. People think I’m nuts pursuing something this tough, especially here in Scotland (No VCs). I say go speak to a CF’r. It means we’re leaner, meaner and keener – we have to be to survive.Educated in the US, lived in the US, love to be in the US and create an awesome new biotech in the US. Sure as heck would cut down my commute every few weeks.

  19. andyswan

    Why is the visa tied to investment capital as a requirement? You need to allow the “selected few” who are “accredited investors” dilute your ownership in order to stay?Why not a simple “if you are employing 5+ people full time” criteria?I really see no purpose in requiring immigrants to dilute their ownership in order to prove that they are having a positive impact and should be allowed to stay.This won’t fly with my Mexican friend who is running a damn fine drywall operation….

    1. David Shellabarger

      I think you hit the nail on the head with your last sentence.This bill isn’t designed to get unskilled construction workers into America its designed to get to smartest people in the world into America.Also its much harder to scam $100,000 from an investor than forge 5+ employees work for me paperwork.

      1. andyswan

        Running a drywall business is unskilled labor? Give me a break.

        1. David Shellabarger

          My mistake. You are right.Construction workers in the US are defiantly the best and brightest America has to offer.Its simply amazing how much value they bring to economy. I know, because I used to work construction and after I left, the company went on to become the Facebook of drywall.PS I actually worked for a central vacuum company instead of a drywall one, but you get the idea.

      2. ShanaC

        The very first job I had in college was one started by two immigrants who don’t always live here full time.This was a business that never could scale to have that many employees in the US, or to take that kind of investment. OTOH, if the business didn’t exist, lots of people wouldn’t be able to afford jackets in the winter (they were one of the largest providers of jackets to companies like Walmart)

    2. baba12

      There is a program that allows an individual to invest $500,000 in the U.S. and creates I think 5-10 jobs, can buy their Green card.

  20. udeme

    While lively debate is a nice thing, its always better to add a little more factual meat to the exchange.Via Vivek Wadhwa (TechCrunch), this was introduced to the floor today:———1. Entrepreneurs living outside the U.S.—if a U.S. investor agrees to financially sponsor their entrepreneurial venture with a minimum investment of $100,000. Two years later, the startup must have created five new American jobs and either have raised over $500,000 in financing or be generating more than $500,000 in yearly revenue.2. Workers on an H-1B visa, or graduates from U.S. universities in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or computer science—if they have an annual income of at least $30,000 or assets of at least $60,000 and have had a U.S. investor commit investment of at least $20,000 in their venture. Two years later, the startup must have created three new American jobs and either have raised over $100,000 in financing or be generating more than $100,000 in yearly revenue.3. Foreign entrepreneurs whose business has generated at least $100,000 in sales from the U.S. Two years later, the startup must have created three new American jobs and either have raised over $100,000 in financing or be generating more than $100,000 in yearly revenue.————-Andy (Swan), makes a good point by asking why stake dilusion should be a prerequisite. Job creation really ought to be the focus at this stage in the ecomonic cycle

  21. Vivek Wadhwa

    Fred, as we agree, this will likely create a flood of entrepreneurship. The best news: unlike the billion dollar stimulus programs, this will cost taxpayers nothing.

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      “Unlike the billion dollar stimulus programs, this will cost taxpayers nothing.”That is a winning bullet point!

    2. William Mougayar

      Great initiative Vivek. Get it done and let them vote on it, quick. It’s almost a no-brainer.

    3. Arvind

      That would seem to imply that:1) There isn’t already tons of entrepreneurship here2) The missing factor is entrepreneurs being turned away because of visa issuesI don’t see either of those issues. Entrepreneurship is flourishing to say the least, and if anything there is a startup bubble right now, as many have noted. And if it truly was the case that entrepreneurs were being turned away because of visa issues, we would see them start companies in other countries. There don’t seem to be any good examples of this.



  22. Luke Toland

    After reading for AVC for the longest time, I feel compelled to leave a comment because I am a foreigner in NYC embarking on a startup.First, to address some of the concerns that Fred’s opening paragraph was too wide or too generic, I refer to the Kauffman Foundation, a group for the advancement of entrepreneurialism. They note that in the major start up cities, immigrant founded companies account for between 18-53% of all new companies, the biggest naturally being Silicon Valley – http://www.kauffman.org/upl…As for the start-up visa itself, it’s biggest selling point is that permanent legal residence (also known as a Green Card) would finally be attainable for entrepreneurs who don’t have a million dollars or more to spend. Currently, you can obtain a green card under the EB-5 visa but you need lots of money and a guarantee you’ll employ five to ten Americans (depending on which angle you take). This start-up visa reform would add an EB-6 category that lowers the dollar threshold.The present situation is fairly draconian for foreigners like myself. I’m self-funded yet the paperwork is mind-numbing. Under E-2 visa rules, I can’t obtain the visa until I’ve fully committed all funds necessary to make the enterprise operational. Even then, the visa is not guaranteed. Should it be granted – it takes about four weeks to process and it has to be issued in your home country – you have two-years to make the business profitable otherwise you get the boot. Profitability doesn’t mean I’m in the clear by a single dollar. It means, to quote verbatim, that I must make “significantly more income than just to provide a living” to myself.But I still landed in NYC with a clear dream to accomplish what I set out to do. I’m still several months away from launch, but the hard work is worth it. To those who question the need for visa reform or the aspirations of foreigners, take a look at your surroundings, or the technology that you utilize. There’s a strong chance much of it wouldn’t exist without foreigners who had a dream.Luke TolandFounder JobMeadow

    1. ShanaC

      Good luck, (and you make me feel like I should find a good immigration lawyer for you)

  23. mathaix

    Skeptical. couple of questions on this:1. Fred as a investor would you be willing to invest your money in a company that has only two years to succeed.2. Given the dependency on investors and captial; how many visas do you see being sponsored.1000? 10,000? 100,000?

  24. Brandon Giam

    This is nothing but beneficial. I am from Asia, and there are so much talent here, waiting to be discovered, waiting to be given a chance to prove themselves. We have learned a lot from America. Its time that we give back.

  25. David Binetti

    These entrepreneurs are going to start their companies regardless. It’s simply a question of whether those companies employ Americans or employ citizens of the country that welcomes them. Everything else is a distraction.

  26. sigmaalgebra

    This situation is so ugly that no accurate description can be for polite company.The startup visa program sounds from okay up to good on a first reading as described by its proponents.But in simple, blunt terms, the startup visa is to supply US capital with a cheaper source of technical labor.The startup visa proponents make some strong implications: (1) There is better technical education outside the US than inside the US. (2) The immigrants are better qualified technically than the US citizens. (3) The US labor force is short on qualified people. (4) The immigrants are brighter and more highly motivated and better at starting businesses than US citizens.For (1)-(4) there is a succinct characterization: Nonsense.The effort in the US over the past few decades to encourage immigration in technical fields has an ugly history:(1) During the Cold War, the Space Race, and generally the rise of the importance of computing, US labor in software and applied math and science and in engineering was doing well. These jobs were new and plentiful, and maybe 5% of the best workers, in rare, stable circumstances, could buy a house and support a family. In a two week period, a worker could send a few resume copies, go on seven interviews, and get five offers.(2) Various people in the US ‘military industrial complex’ wanted to lower the costs of such labor. So, the NSF set up a team of economists to do some macroeconomic calculations of what it would take to lower the costs.The solution was to write into NSF research grants that some minimum number of students had to be supported. Since by then US citizens were beginning to smell something rotten in US graduate technical education and were shifting to business, medicine, and law instead, the NSF said, hint, hint, can get plenty of students from India, parts of Asia, and maybe Greece or a few other places.So US citizens were paying taxes to support the NSF and US education at all levels, were struggling to have the money to get their own children through college, and somehow a child, of parents in a foreign country making about $1000 a year, a child with poor down to awful English ‘skills’, was sitting in the same classes. US taxpayers were supporting the children of parents in foreign countries to undercut the value of the education of their own children. Bummer.Just why should US taxpayers like this?Net, the US labor market in computing and other technical fields became flooded (that’s the right word), and deliberately so, with immigrants.(3) The relevant fields became strongly ‘caste’ systems where US citizens were not wanted at any price, no matter their qualifications, under any conditions. Period.A highly qualified US citizen could become totally, absolutely, flatly unemployable, could send over 1000 resume copies over a few years, get five interviews, get only one offer, paying not enough to rent an apartment and much less than needed to qualify for a mortgage on a house, and have his financial security, much of his life, his chances for marriage and family, and his chances for retirement all ruined — deliberately.What the employers were doing was wildly illegal but standard just the same. Key here was the H1-B visa program.In these technical fields, the workers, US citizens with Master’s or Ph.D. degrees, years of the best experience, world class qualifications, etc., were being paid less than plumbers, carpenters, and beginning house painters and usually unable to buy a house or support a family. Literally. Generally.(4) Eventually there was a lot of screaming about the situation and in particular the H1-B visas.(5) After the 9/11 attacks, basically the H1-B visas were cut way back. Slowly US citizens were being welcomed into technical fields again in education and business.Now the ‘Startup Visa Program’ is back to the same old nonsense again: It is the first step back to having the US ‘military industrial complex’ and US capital flood the US labor markets for technical labor, turn that market fully into a caste system, drive down labor costs, and drive out US citizens.Just why should US citizens stand for having their careers, financial security, and lives deliberately ruined in this way?

    1. RichardF

      My understanding is that the proponents of the startup visa programme are primarily looking to back entrepreneurs (not to fill technical jobs that could be fulfilled by US citizens) and the US does not have the monopoly on entrepreneurs.What’s to be scared of an entrepreneur who wants to fulfil his potential in the best place in the world to do that and is employing US citizens in the process of doing so.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Richard,Right: The Startup Visa program, alone, taken at face value, at least initially, won’t hurt. Fred Wilson and Brad Feld may get a few more places to write checks and maybe make some money.But as I wrote, “It is the first step back …”.I’m not just imagining this threat. As I wrote, there’s an ugly history. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I ain’t being fooled this time.From the ugly history, the ‘reasons’ for the H1-B program were excuses and nonsense. The real reason, directly from the NSF economists, was to flood the US market for technical labor. It worked: Just as I wrote, a caste system was created, and a huge fraction of the US citizens in the relevant fields lost their jobs, had their careers destroyed, their lives seriously hurt, etc.For a while there was a big dip in US citizens majoring in technical subjects, especially computer science. Since 9/11 and the severe throttling of the H1-B visas, US citizens have been returning to technical subjects.Many of the reasons put forward for the Startup Visa program are also nonsense. Again, the real reason is for capital to lower the cost of labor including founders.If the Startup Visa bill passes, then I’d advise US citizens to stay the heck out of any field so vulnerable to being so targeted by Congress.This is the same song, second verse. Even a kitty cat won’t jump on a hot stove a second time.Got to tell you, if I’m successful and start hiring, no way will I set up, enable, encourage, or tolerate a ‘caste’ inside my company. Ain’t gonna happen.And I’m not going to have ‘cliques’: I don’t want everyone in the network management team all communicating in some foreign language. Moreover, everyone in the company has to be quite good with English. I’ve seen organizations with castes and cliques, and they are enormously destructive. Not in my company.No way will I build my company on the backs of ‘indentured’ labor, which the H1-B program really deliberately was. And I don’t want the same song, second verse.For competition from immigrants, you gotta be kidding! Against me in computing they’re like the Junior High Hoopsters against the LA Lakers. WHAT a JOKE. I’ve worked, plenty competitively, thank you, with clearly some of the world’s best people in computing, and NONE of them was a recent immigrant.

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          Don’t mean to cut in on yours and Richard… you are dead on. Just have patience, for you stand by your principles and there will be the Angel who appreciates that and will talk.You understand having the best and what you need to do to retain them. Let the competition use grunt, throwing them to the side and so on. In the end, you’ll win.In the meantime, concentrate on the big.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Thanks for the confidence.You are not the first to say that treating people well is a good thing to do and also good business! :-)!!The finance people and I have very different backgrounds in using computers to solve problems and see the subject very differently.As far as I can tell:(1) For an angel round, beyond the problem I’m solving, apparently the investors mostly want to evaluate the UI/UX. For that, I have a few more Web pages to write; I have the rest done.But, yes, I’m doing the UI/UX last! Why? I wanted to do the high risk stuff first and be sure I could get it into good shape! Well, I did.Next I will have to collect some initial data, and I have some ideas for that. Then I can go live, use ‘marketing’, as in the earlier AVC.com threads on ‘marketing’, to get users, and get some ads.It won’t take much in ad revenue to get this thing ‘profitable’: We’re talking a ‘burn rate’ based on peanut butter, milk, canned beans, canned soup, and very little Chambertin! My arithmetic indicates that half filling 15 Mbps upload bandwidth ($55 a month) could make me nicely profitable in every sense. For more than the 15 Mbps, there’s a high end colocation facility just a few miles away.(2) For a Series A, again beyond the problem I’m solving, apparently the investors mostly want to evaluate ComScore numbers.If my project is successful, then there should be a quite short ‘time window’ between when I (1) can get a Series A check and (2) will no longer accept such a check. So be it.I have an appropriate lawyer lined up. I’ll get a bookkeeper and an accountant. For more specialized technical expertise, I’ll use paid support from Microsoft and, say, Cisco.As in the example of Plenty of Fish, if the business grows, then it can continue to be a one person business well into my being financially able to hire. My first hire will likely be an office manager. Maybe next a system administrator, then network administrator. So, when the real time alerts come, they can be the ones losing sleep!I will continue to write all the crucial code, but eventually there will be some routine code to write that I won’t want to write, and I’ll hire some software people.Then if it works, it will just grow: I’ll fill out an organization chart as the work demands and the revenue supports.Assuming that the users like the Web site, I fail to see just why this project has to be horribly difficult: This business takes less cash to start than a carryout pizza restaurant or an auto repair shop or auto body shop. My advantages are Moore’s law, the Internet, the problem I’m solving, and my ‘secret sauce’ for good results for the users and a good barrier to entry.Once this is all set up, mostly the servers do the real work. Current high end servers in a high end colocation site can be darned reliable. If the users like my Web site, with some busy servers and a staff smaller than an average McDonald’s, I can start shopping for a yacht.If a million users like the site, then so will some hundreds of millions. Then I’ll have a big company.Then when an employee’s family has a daughter, we will put her name on one of our servers and let her and her family come for a little ceremony! No, we won’t have her break a Champaign bottle over the front of a high end, 128 core, 4 TB of main memory HP server!Then I’ll get some orchestral scores of some of the better Richard Strauss pieces, type the scores into some computer music software, study the ‘music theory’, take apart the orchestration so that I can understand it, and then take those lessons in music to write some! Then I’ll take a critical pass through quantum mechanics and relativity and start attending seminars around the NE in mathematical physics.If I meet a girl who is really, REALLY sweet, smart, and pretty, maybe I’ll take her to an opera, maybe on a Gulfstream!

    2. Dave W Baldwin

      Agree with RichardF… we simply need to improve Education here that benefits everyone and the old school will simply conform.If the ‘worst’ were to happen and the caste systems are used, at least that would light a fire under the rear of the US citizen. Anyone who hires only based on caste will NOT gain the more qualified partner/employee… period.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Dave,Curiously, sadly, the role of ‘education’ for the computer industry is not easy to understand.In summary: (1) Almost certainly, workers have to learn ‘skills’ as they have for all of the history of the US computer industry, essentially on their own. (2) For learning these skills, it’s from important up to crucial to be in the US, and an immigrant has little hope of being ahead. (3) Some of the crucial stuff for US leadership is not the ‘skills’ but the best from the US research universities. To continue to lead the world, the US needs some big advantages, and research can be one of the best.

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          You are right on those points Sig, yet when I’m talking about change in Education, I mean change. Goes with my occasional reminder of thinking outside the box, seeing what’s happening in all of the boxes.On the computer side, you have research just as you do with bio, nano, robotics and longevity…those who are truly educated in computer knowledge have advantage.At the same time, those that can do the Medicine Man thing and get a bunch of research money going nowhere hurts. We have to come to grips with our moving into the era where private can accomplish things we associated with government. Yes, there may still be those things that require government funding, yet we sure waste a lot of it on fads and Congressional Foxtrot.Back to Education, there are some simple truths we need to come to grips with. If you have a child and a machine solving a simple equation, who’ll win? The machine.You have a machine that is able to understand multiple paths to move in order to solve the equation, who’ll win? The machine. Move up the cognitive pathway and so on.If the child were to use tools that enabled clarity on where you go solving a question, that same child would have a better understanding of formulas. Match that with the fact there are many in the ‘lower than 140’ IQ level who can understand more than we give credit… you can move further solving issues in real world (presented in ALL schools). Later they can do the push thru ideas/purchase that will be of service to those who bust their ass in computers.For those reading, do not worry. I am not after changing the Education System to what I think… for this reason, I designed something that can apply to both schools of thought. Teachers love it.In the meantime, it comes down to our being able to do more… and being scared of an immigrant who would like to start a business here is not going to get us there.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            “In the meantime, it comes down to our being able to do more… and being scared of an immigrant who would like to start a business here is not going to get us there.”Right: I’m not afraid of anyone in the world competing with me.But for the sake of the US as a whole, and with the history of the ugly H1-B scam that drove too many US citizens out of computing, Congress playing fast and loose with immigration for US computing is a real threat and will cause US students to avoid computing again.If I had a child in school, I’d say, do not plan on a career that is in technical computing because at any moment Congress can flood the country with cheap labor. Just from this thread, with not one immigrant yet in the country from the proposed law, I’d reemphasize this advice.For education, we were not talking about the same things. You seem to want to turn K-12 into something actually serious and effective in real education. Okay.On that goal, I gave up on K-12 and concluded that the foundation of the solution was up to parents and the students themselves. For more, sure, have some Web sites with what is needed from 100,000 feet up right down to the finest details on the ground.For working with equations, right, in some respects the machines win. And the actual ‘good stuff’ in working with equations is so far totally beyond both the machines and K-12.K-12 teaches that in such algebra, we push symbols around until we get to some ‘result’. For more, we just keep pushing symbols until we have pages of them and get tired. Yes, we do need to be able to push symbols like in cooking we need to know how to whip egg whites.But being a good cook is more than tasks like whipping egg whites, and the same for math.Apparently nearly everyone who does much in math research discovers and teaches themselves some of the same lessons not visible in K-12 or even college texts.Some of the key stuff is guessing and building, often quick and crude, ‘intuitive conceptual models’. Or, to get to the right place, first have to guess that it’s the right place!So, for an equation, there should be a more realistic goal than just manipulating to some ‘algebraic pattern’. Students who question the relevance, although there can be some, are correct.But given a more realistic goal, we start guessing and using intuition trying to find (1) does it appear that maybe we can’t get there from here, (2) if maybe we can get there from here, then what do we have to get around, etc.?One of the best descriptions was from A. Wiles:”Perhaps I could best describe my experience of doing mathematics in terms of entering a dark mansion. You go into the first room and it’s dark, completely dark. You stumble around, bumping into the furniture. Gradually, you learn where each piece of furniture is. And finally, after six months or so, you find the light switch and turn it on. Suddenly it’s all illuminated and you can see exactly where you were. Then you go into the next dark room …”For this stumbling around in the dark, early on guessing and intuition are among the keys. Or, to find that light switch, first have to guess where it is and eventually get a good guess. Just doing algebraic manipulations over a dozen pages without some larger ‘insight’, even if only a guess and intuitive, is next to hopeless.There’s an old remark: “In math the difference between algebra and analysis is that algebra is just pushing symbols around and analysis actually has an idea behind it.”. There’s a point here, although for good work in algebra also need an idea or at least more than just pushing symbols around.Back to the machines, got to tell you, so far they are just awful at ‘ideas’. So, so far, on ideas, humans blow away the machines.In part my work has software move closer to ‘meaning’ as humans see it (I won’t tell my users that!), but my work does this only in a very narrow context and by techniques very different from what humans use and, thus, is not progress toward machines with human intelligence.Computers with anything like human intelligence are still very far down the road: We don’t have a clue about what to do, and we’re not going to get there just with luck.Actually, quite broadly, the US is good with ideas. Outside of academic research, just look at some of the dishes on the TV program ‘Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives’: There are cooks all across the US turning out very novel, very popular dishes. Yes, these cooks commonly have a lot of the fundamentals right — stock, roux, volute, mirepoix, butter, cream, eggs, olive oil, salt, pepper, onion, sweet, sour, Malliard browning, contrast in textures and colors, getting the collagen soft without making the muscle fibers hard, etc. Still, there is a lot of novelty. And moving upscale, there’s much more.For more, look at US ice cream! What do we have now, 3000 flavors! I suspect on ice cream we blow away the rest of the world.Broadly I would recommend that part of a child’s early education would be working with ideas. There is no end of the range of topics for exercising ideas. I like plane geometry as at least a learning tool since some of the exercises can be challenging enough to need some ‘ideas’ for good guesses for a solution, and with proofs the student can know if they are correct or not. In other fields, correctness can be less clear!

          2. Dave W Baldwin

            Wow, didn’t mean to upset you.1) Nowhere did I say just do Algebra.2) When talking of AI, I’m not throwing around the crap you speak of. Besides, my reference is simply to doing simple equations/formulas at grade level. Back to AI, I have nothing to do with Medicine Men who suck up taxpayer funding working out worthless platforms.3) To expand ‘ideas’, kids need to form an ‘intelligence’ to produce better ideas that work out in the long run…then pivot is something understood further out than the bs we have today.4) Something as simple as simple as the Pythagorian Theorem could be taught to 4-5 graders… in fact utilized with the other formulas that can show some important stats utilized in real world. Following the system in place, it would not be until 10-11 graders when their mind is on other things the human mind is programmed for to the core….You seem like a good guy, but reread what you wrote presuming me the idiot and so forth. I know how to accomplish better things without waiting for some Manhattan Project to spawn off on to my descendents Tang.

          3. sigmaalgebra

            Dave,You didn’t “upset” me at all. I was agreeing with you and adding to your interest in “change” in education.You mentioned computers versus people “solving equations”. so I discussed that subject and algebra. I concluded that for the really important work, ‘ideas’ are needed, and here humans still knock the socks off computers.There are claims that if we can find a fast algorithm that confirms P = NP, then we will be able just to write down a conjecture in math and a computer will quickly either prove it or show that it can’t be proven. That could be shocking. We would also be able to crack cryptographic codes. That could be even more shocking. Even just for US national security, if P versus NP can be settled, then definitely we want the US to be the first.Those are some of the reasons parts of academic research take the question P versus NP seriously. For what the P versus NP problem is, the Web is awash in descriptions at all levels.Clay Mathematics Institute in Boston will give $1 million to the first solution of this problem.For artificial intelligence (AI), at one time a team of three I was on did some of the best work in that field. Some of the practical work was okay but nothing like ‘intelligence’.There was a lot of hype, and it was BS like you said. I didn’t like the field. At one point I took one of the main problems we were trying to solve with AI, found a solid, essentially ‘best possible forever’, clean mathematical solution, and published it. My solution knocked the socks off what we were doing with AI. Net, mostly I prefer traditional applied math and engineering problem solving to AI.So, just what is this AI thing? Well, DARPA has a track record of making long passes to the end zone that sometimes score. One of their scores was the Internet.Well, at one point it seemed that maybe something could be done with AI, so DARPA funded a group at MIT. They got a lot of really bright people, worked really hard, spent quite a lot of money, and now we can say with high confidence that ‘real AI’ is not easy!You seem to have mentioned wasteful research funding. Much of research funding is wasted. For the NSF and NIH grants, those are tough to get, and still can argue that some of the effort is wasted.But there is some good news:DARPA is still trying on the larger effort of putting machines into harm’s way instead of US soldiers. That’s a nice goal. If it is doable, then definitely we want the US to be the first. Some of DARPA’s more recent such efforts look worthwhile.What got Silicon Valley and, indeed, nearly all the US computer industry going? Sure, the demands of US aerospace heavily for the Cold War and the Space Race. If add up the costs and benefits, then might find that the US got a big ROI even forgetting about the aerospace roles. High end military radar can suck up a lot of digital electronics, and for some years the US DoD was screaming at Silicon Valley that the more powerful chips were needed yesterday.What really got the Internet going? Sure, Federally funded research. The Internet was ARPA-Net and then NSFNet up until just before the commercial side started to explode.Where did the PC industry get the software for the TCP/IP stack? Sure, from BSD Unix, done in the computer services group at Berkeley, with some DoE funding.The Intel architecture, hierarchical file systems, and security via authentication, capabilities, and access control lists? Sure, all heavily borrowed from Multics done at MIT in Project MAC with NSF funding. For the updates with Kerberos and public key encryption? MIT again on both.So, some Federal research funding has been important.You wrote:”3) To expand ‘ideas’, kids need to form an ‘intelligence’ to produce better ideas that work out in the long run…then pivot is something understood further out than the bs we have today.”I tried to agree with this in large terms and to add detail.For “what you wrote presuming me the idiot and so forth.” I had no such thoughts and intended no such presumptions.”I know how to accomplish better things without waiting for some Manhattan Project to spawn off on to my descendents Tang.”I agree that that is quite possible. Crucial for my project, I did some original research that is likely publishable but no way will I publish it! So, it’s possible even to do research without waiting for Federal research funding.Computing is now a great enabler, dirt cheap hardware that will do a lot and deliver fantastic ROI if we can program it appropriately. For exploitations, including in better K-12 education, we don’t have to wait on Federal funding.But, curiously, even the Manhattan Project gave a fantastic ROI: In the money of the 1940s, the project cost about $3 billion, then enough to replace the whole US auto industry (R. Rhodes). But from some estimates, invading Japan might have resulted in 1 million US casualties. So, each $3000 in the Manhattan Project saved one causality. Plenty high ROI.US Federal support of research got started just after WWII when D. Eisenhower, J. Conant, V. Bush, and others saw US applied math and science as being one of the crucial parts of our victory. Supposedly Eisenhower said, “Never again will US science be permitted to operate independently of the US military.” So, still, one of the main reasons Congress funds the NSF is US national security. Rest assured, overall the ROI from US Federal funding of research is high in any sense.

          4. Dave W Baldwin

            These replies are getting too long.You need to chill a little. Per ‘Think Big’, I was referring to changing the world. What goes with that is our being able to do better if we stop worshipping the government dollar.Not to say the hard work of Arkin regarding robotic defense is not worthwhile. OTOH, there is a lot of BS out there that the uninformed Angel will figure means the gov has it taken care of. Then you have the herd movement due to the ridiculous $$ thrown at energy options not based on where we logistically stand on CPU.On the side of AI, you need to catch up. There is no magic algorithm to establish a ‘soul/identity’ to the machine BUT you can do the first steps for a whole lot less than DARPA….Conclusion- sure we got a lot via NASA and the Pentagon… we will get even more when the private dollar brings about their own ‘Manhattans’.



      1. sigmaalgebra

        The US is not short on “smart” entrepreneurs. The main reason the US leads the world in computing is the ‘startup environment’ in the US. “Smart” entrepreneurs in foreign countries, all the countries taken together against the US, have built only a small fraction of the world class companies in computing. Net, to be successful, the US doesn’t need, and, really, is better off without, the “smart” people from foreign countries, and those people will have a super tough time in their own countries competing with the US.The secret to the US staying ahead is not immigration. The secret is a better ‘startup environment’ all across the US and better connections from research to business.The Startup Visa program is just a start on a second case of the old H1-B ‘indentured’ labor scam that seriously HURT US leadership by making technology a ‘caste’ and driving out US citizens. Big, huge, harmful bummer.

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. Matt A. Myers

            Be nice Mr. Dinosaur…

          2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          3. sigmaalgebra

            GRIMLOCK,You didn’t read what I wrote with good ‘reading comprehension’. I’ll try again.You wrote:”SMART HUMANS MAKE GREAT COMPANY HERE, HIRE AMERICANS, BETTER FOR AMERICANS THAN SAME HUMANS START COMPANY IN OTHER PLACE, HIRE PEOPLE THERE.”I disagreed.For the chances of:”SAME HUMANS START COMPANY IN OTHER PLACE, HIRE PEOPLE THERE.”as I explained, those chances are low. Again, take all the world class companies in computing. On the list compare the US alone against all the rest of the world. Easily, the US, alone, knocks the socks off all the rest of the world put together. Some of the countries have big national subsidies that the US mostly does not have, and the US still wins.Your claim that the “smart humans” will do well in some “other place” is in strong contradiction to this history.And I explained why: First, the US is not short on “smart” entrepreneurs. Second, the US has a superior “startup environment”.Moreover, directly, exactly, the US is better off if those “smart humans” just stay in their own countries.Why? The H1-B visa program heavily drove out much better qualified US citizens and replaced them with much less well qualified immigrants with mostly poor English skills. Net, the quality of the US labor force in technical fields went way down.Why did the US do that? Because the immigrants were essentially ‘indentured’, much more ‘compliant’, and much cheaper, and enough people who wanted such things had their way in Congress.Then US citizens started avoiding technical fields in college.So, net, much of the whole US computer industry was given over to a caste of immigrant labor with inferior qualifications. That hurt the US computer industry and the US.So, with this H1-B ugly history, more efforts to bring in immigrants will cause US citizens quite broadly to avoid computing. So, we get a few thousand immigrants and have nearly all US citizens avoiding computing. An adversary of the US would love to see the US shoot itself in the gut this way: A few thousand immigrants drive US citizens out of US computing.It’s too easy to see: For computing, Congress just insists on somehow using immigrants to lower incomes and push US citizens out.For your,”SMART HUMANS MAKE GREAT COMPANY HERE”not really: We will do just fine, thank you, without the immigrant “smart humans” because, again, the US is not short on smart entrepreneurs. Net, we will create the “great” companies here anyway.Compared with smart US citizen entrepreneurs, the immigrants are not smarter, better qualified, or more highly motivated.

          4. IzzyBo

            But immigrant entrepreneur are creating wealth (yes, trickle-down economics) in THIS country as opposed to someplace off-shore.The H-1B debate is a separate issue, though I agree with your point about how expanding the program might lead to Americans on the outside looking in especially when it comes to certain industries in which the training abroad is superior. In this vein, your argument is valid.HOWEVER, even if certain startups in the United States were to employ only immigrants, it’s extremely difficult to argue that this — on the net — hurts Americans. The #startupvisa program will lead to job creation that wouldn’t occur otherwise (some of which will undoubtedly go to Americans) and also will manifest in terrific products made at home…well, wouldn’t that be nice for our import-driven economy!

          5. sigmaalgebra

            IzzyBo:You wrote:”But immigrant entrepreneur are creating wealth (yes, trickle-down economics) in THIS country as opposed to someplace off-shore.”As I wrote elsewhere on this thread, (1) I believe that the US already has plenty of entrepreneurs who can and will do whatever any immigrants can and (2) the immigrants mostly won’t be able to create the good companies outside of the US because they will miss the crucial US ‘startup environment’. For (2) the history is clear and solid: In computing, the US blows away all the rest of the world, e.g., nearly all the world class computer companies are US companies.The downside of the bill is Congress yet again playing fast and loose with the labor supply in the US computer industry, and this fact will tell smart US citizens to stay the heck out of the US computer industry. So, again, Congress passes a bill, a thousand immigrants come in and start businesses, and from the ugly history of the H1-B scam, millions of US citizens refuse to consider technical computing as a career. No enemy of the US could wish for more.You wrote:”when it comes to certain industries in which the training abroad is superior”Elsewhere on this thread, I tried to argue that I do not buy the often repeated claim that the immigrants have better technical skills, educations, or anything else than US citizens. In the H1-B scam, the immigrants were cheaper, ‘indentured’, cheaper, less well qualified, cheaper, more ‘compliant’, cheaper, somewhat ‘naive’, and cheaper. Did I mention cheaper? That they were cheaper was wildly against the law, but cases of the law being enforced were less common than hen’s teeth.For”The #startupvisa program will lead to job creation that wouldn’t occur otherwise”I don’t believe that this will be the case to any significant extent. This result would need for the immigrants to bring in significant quantity something the US doesn’t have, and that a ROFL.

          6. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          7. sigmaalgebra

            Grimlock,There have been cases when immigrants added a lot to the US. About 100 years ago, Gustav Mahler came from Vienna to NY and conducted an orchestra. He got paid at several times his rate as conductor in Vienna and raised US music by a few levels!Anton Dvorak came to the US and wrote the gorgeous ‘Symphony from the New World’, now a nice pillar of US culture.Jascha Heifetz came to the US and played violin like no one before or since, in the US or anywhere else. Consider his Sibelius Concerto, Scottish Fantasy, Bach ‘Chaconne’, Tchaikovsky Concerto, and Beethoven Concerto.Then about 70 years ago, the US got Einstein, Fermi, Teller, von Neumann, Szilard, Bethe, Ulam, etc. The US had Lawrence, etc., and was not really behind, but these immigrants added a lot. E.g., on the first trial, the Teller-Ulam idea yielded 15 million tons of TNT.Richard Courant packed up most of the math department at Goettingen and brought it to NYU in lower Manhattan as the Courant Institute.So, at times immigrants have brought to the US good things the US didn’t have. But that’s not what we’re talking about here.You are ignoring what I wrote and asking me to repeat myself, again.First you want to claim that in the context of this bill the immigrants are better qualified. Flatly no. In computing, it’s super tough for all the rest of the world put together to beat the US in computing in any sense more than rarely. At best they are bringing cheap, low grade coals to Newcastle. We’re talking some Tennessee hill fiddle player going to Vienna to play in Mahler’s orchestra; Mahler wouldn’t have gone for it unless maybe the fiddler was about 18, perfect face and figure, ….Second, you want to claim that the businesses they will start will help the US. Basically no because the US citizen entrepreneurs are so good they would likely have done much the same thing anyway. Again, in this case, the immigrants are less well qualified, not better.Third, one of the biggest advantages of the US is its ‘startup environment’ and not the founders, certainly not the immigrant founders. We’ll do fine without the immigrants, thank you.I’m not concerned for myself. Even if your claims are correct, for my own project I don’t care: If I’m correct about my project, then the quality of the results on my Web site will be so much better that they will blow away all competitors, alternatives, etc. I’m talking an F-22 against a biplane. I wanted such an advantage, I worked to get one, and believe I did.Because I’m brilliant? No. Because I took some rare, and an even more rare combination of, powerful courses in grad school that nearly no one else in computing or entrepreneurship did. Likely there will not be even one immigrant under the bill who got such courses in their home country or really even here.So, personally, the immigrants are no threat to me (the H1-B scam did hurt me, but it can’t now).Instead of myself, I’m concerned about a threat to the US. A person has to be a bit obtuse and gullible not to see the threat. Here’s the threat: It’s mostly about Congress. They are targeting the US computer industry; the ugly H1-B scam was the first time, and now this is the second verse.Again, the bill, by itself, as proposed, and taken at face value, is a tiny issue for essentially all of the US. There are “no worries, Mate”.But have to be naive and gullible to take the bill at only face value and to ignore the rest of the evidence and fail to see the threat.Again, there’s the ugly H1-B scam that deliberately flooded the US with immigrant graduate students and programmers, destroyed the careers of many thousands of US citizens, seriously hurt the competence of the US computer industry, and turned US programming to a caste system where US citizens, no matter how qualified, were not wanted, under any conditions, at any price, period.Then the US was seriously hurt again: US college and graduate students walked into computer science courses and the first day discovered that US citizens were in a minority and that English was a second language. These students, not totally dense, got the message: Get the hell out. Go for business, medicine, law, or just go home and work for their father in asphalt paving or distributing beer in half of a state. And they did. And US computing got shot in the gut: The immigrants were much worse, not better. No enemy of the US could hope for more.Congress did this destructive H1-B scam already. Now they are at it again. Of course, the current bill is just the start, but without a lot of objection it won’t be the end because the basic goal remains and is clear: In the US, turn programming into low paid, migrant, immigrant labor along side cabbage harvesting, dish washing, and grass mowing.US students get one whiff of Congress targeting the US computer industry this way again, and they will avoid computing again. Correction: The smart ones will avoid. The dumb ones who just will NOT ‘get it’ will stay.So, again Congress drops a pant load, and millions of US citizens avoid computing.Again, no enemy of the US could hope for more.If you don’t see this, then I’ve got a deal for you: There’s this bridge across the East River, important bridge, and, if you act fast, then I can sell you a nice share at a rock bottom price. You and your descendants will be wealthy for generations! Act now!

    4. Randerson

      sigma… what a load of nonsense.There *is* a shortage of qualified technical workers in the US, and there are immigrants who are just as good.I can’t count how many times I’ve heard the “Immigrants are taking all of our American software jobs” rants. OK, if that’s the case, can you please find me a good American unemployed software developer in New York? I’ve been looking for one since October!! Nobody is applying to all the job ads we’ve put out. Why?With the startup visa, nobody is *taking* jobs away from anybody here, they’re *creating* jobs. An startup creates something new out of nothing. For each of these foreigners that arrive with a new idea, there will eventually be be 2 or 5 or maybe 100 American Citizens in jobs that simply didn’t exist a few years back. Nobody is out of a job. This exercise is stimulating a hurting economy.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        You can’t find software developers in NYC, and I can’t find a car that will also fly and serve as a boat and a submarine, go 200 MPH while getting 200 MPG, and sell for less than $10,000 either. NYC is awash in programmers at all levels.If you are having difficulty, then you have to be looking for something that, fundamentally, mostly can’t exist. One old example was someone with two years of Java experience just as Java was first released. A big category of examples is looking for some improbable combination of ‘skills’ that would take five years to acquire for a project to last only a few months.For ‘skills’, there’s Windows, Linux, Sun, Mac, iPhone, Android, Motorola, etc. There’s shrink wrapped software installation, high end graphics, high end relational database, and more. The new stuff comes forward so fast it would take a full time librarian just to arrange it on shelves, and the books can go out of date before the ink is dry.Heck, just in SQL Server, find someone who can make good sense out of entities, objects, principals, securables, permissions, logins, users, user mapping, ownership, fixed roles, flexible roles, and schemata. E.g., what is in the schema db_datawriter? If a user is granted permission SELECT, are they then a member of role db_datareader?So, no one can know all this stuff. So, have to minimize the amount of this stuff try to learn and use.A lot of people got fired in NYC in 2008, and it’s tough to believe that all the programmers have found good jobs by now.For a lot in software development, you shouldn’t be trying to hire advanced or detailed ‘skills’ anyway: Instead, it’s much better and cheaper to get paid technical support from Microsoft, assuming you are developing on their platforms.And for immigrants from Asia and India, the usual suspects, being well qualified, as I’ve explained on this thread, that can’t be because they can’t have sufficient access to crucial US software and documentation.NYC has nearly everything, and to get any of it all you need is a good checkbook.E.g., if you want your programmer to buy a house and support a family, then they may be able to squeeze into something in, say, Bronxville with annual real estate taxes of $45,000.And in this day of the Internet, you shouldn’t be trying to develop software in NYC (unless you are in finance and awash in money, which from your post I doubt). Instead you should be developing in Upstate NY, northern Connecticut (away from Boston), etc.You need to break down the work to be done into doable pieces: In Rome there’s a stone monolith something like the Washington Monument. The monolith was put there by Caligula’s slaves who cut it as a single piece in the upper Nile and moved it into position. So, at least one of Caligula’s slaves knew how to break a big project into doable pieces. You need to also. E.g., it’s easy for a beginning programmer to spend over 80% of their time doing stuff in collecting documentation and doing software installation and system management that they shouldn’t do at all. These parts of the work need to be broken out so that the results are readily available to your beginning programmers with essentially no time from them.There’s an important sense in which the coding is trivial, and easily learned, and everything else is just writing documentation. If you want your software to be a solid asset of your company, then you will have to do something like this. Net, the code doesn’t mean anything; only the documentation does. No documentation; no meaning; no real asset.You can write one-shot or throwaway code, but only God and the programmer will be able to do anything with it, and, six months later, only God.Actually, mostly you will need to grow your own. Read Brooks, ‘The Mythical Man-Month’ and pay close attention to ‘chief programmer teams’. So, you need a chief programmer who knows your business and software. Then this person can take anyone with no programming background at all but well qualified otherwise, have them nicely productive in two months, and continue to grow them as your company needs over the horizon. If you have not been growing people in this way, then that’s your mistake. If you lost your chief programmer, then you made another mistake and are in deep trouble.For me, I write software, but you wouldn’t hire me even for sweeping the floors because I’m over 40, have a huge background in computing, and have a technical Ph.D. degree, and this combination makes me unemployable. And considering that you know nothing about how to develop a software development team, I’d be foolish to work for you anyway.Net, again, there’s no shortage of programmers in the US or NYC and no need for immigrants. Instead, there’s a shortage of programmers ready to show up at your company under impossible circumstances. The problem is not the shortage of programmers but the shortage of your understanding of how to manage software development. It’s an old story that goes back to slave labor and, then, to blaming and abusing the slaves.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          You’ve made some especially good points in this thread. I hope more folks here are reading your comments. A few comments, from my limited experience with this:”NYC has nearly everything, and to get any of it all you need is a good checkbook.”Yes.”And in this day of the Internet, you shouldn’t be trying to develop software in NYC (unless you are in finance and awash in money, which from your post I doubt). Instead you should be developing in Upstate NY, northern Connecticut (away from Boston), etc.”A specific example: I got an iPhone app developed by a self-taught 40+ year old high school grad from Maine for about 1/5th the cost I was quoted by developers in NYC (FYI, the only reason I was asking around in NYC in the first place is that the shop I hired when they started in NJ had moved to NYC).”So, you need a chief programmer who knows your business and software. Then this person can take anyone with no programming background at all but well qualified otherwise, have them nicely productive in two months, and continue to grow them as your company needs over the horizon. If you have not been growing people in this way, then that’s your mistake.”That reminds me of a point Thomas Geoghegan has made (e.g., here), that America’s vaunted labor market flexibility means there’s little incentive for companies to invest in training workers (since they’re likely to relocate the work to cheaper labor areas anyway). He made the point with respect to manufacturing, but it sounds like it might apply to software too:it’s precisely because of our labor-market flexibility that we can’t compete. Our workers have been flexed right out of their high-wage, high-skill jobs and into low-wage, low-skill jobs. That’s bad for the workers, of course, and it’s also bad for the economy. The German model—with worker control built into the very structure of the firm—keeps bosses and workers in groups, rubbing elbows with each other, and sometimes just elbowing. It creates a group interaction that over time builds and protects what economists like to call human capital, especially in engineering and quality control. It’s precisely this kind of valuable capital that our atomizing “flexible” labor markets are so good at breaking up and dispersing.Yes, there’s much to like about the U.S. model. In global competition, the United States has almost every comparative advantage over Germany. We spend vastly more on basic research than the Germans do. We have much more land, more labor, more capital, much higher levels of formal education. But with our flexible labor markets we cannot develop human capital or knowledge to wean ourselves away from turning out crap and leaving the high-skill manufacturing to the Europeans.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Dave,Praise is always welcome! Thanks!For the trained employee leaving: You start them at not so much. When they’ve done well with the training in the first two months and become productive, you raise them to about market price. They stay because they got the training, will get more, and will progress.Then you continue to give them assignments and tutoring, guidance, or whatever (I’m not thinking classroom sessions here) that increase their productivity. Then you give them a raise again.The result is supposed to be a super happy employee (they’ve just made a lot of progress in their career), with some good loyalty, and productive just in the ways the company needs. Then that employee is worth more to the company than to any other company. So another company will have a tough time paying enough more to hire the person away.The big lesson and pattern is, for an in-house IT shop, need to develop the staff the shop needs and not try just to hire them off the street.There are other things in organizing the work, etc. that make the employees very valuable in the company but where not a lot of that value is portable to another company.

        2. Randerson

          Actually we were just looking for a regular C# developer, but you know, don’t let facts get in the way of some good assumptions. There were some pretty big layoffs from the recession but software engineers weren’t affected as badly as, say, the hedge fund managers.If NYC is such a bad place for developing software, you’d better tell Google because they’ve just purchased a $1.8bn city block here. Better also tell that to the hundreds of thriving silicon valley startups who call NYC home.You do realize that India and Asia have actually got the Internet, right? The argument that they can’t be as good as US developers is flawed since plenty of excellent American developers are self-taught through years of real world experience and through Internet resources and Q&A sites. Of course there’s nothing stopping someone in India or Asia (seeing as you’ve made it clear who the “foreigners” are) from reading http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/.You are evidently very out of touch with modern software development and the startup environment.Maybe at a big company you may be able to hire junior and train up, but a startup simply needs people with expert skills from day one. The first ten or so employees will make or break the company. (Read Paul Graham’s “Hackers and Painters”.) A good developer can produce 10-100x as much as an average one. To think that you can just take some random graduate and have them producing quality code in 2 months is naive. Not everyone has the mind of a programmer.As for documentation being so much more meaningful than code, where have you been for the last decade or two? Have you heard of Agile, TDD/BDD? Good code is simple and self-documenting, the point being so you *don’t* have to maintain reams of constantly out-of-date documentation that nobody ever reads. If more than 5% of a developer’s time is spent on documentation in this day and age, you’re doing something wrong.But wait, you’d ask Microsoft to develop your software for you? You do realize that Microsoft is one of the biggest issuers of immigrant visas and offshorers of programming jobs, right?P.S. Not that it matters for this argument, but I have built a pretty successful software team. We are doing pretty well. Just struggling to grow now because there REALLY IS a shortage of engineers. Ask any other startup or VC in the NYC area and you’ll get the same answer.

          1. Randerson

            Correction: meant to say Silicon Alley, not Silicon Valley

          2. sigmaalgebra

            You are straining to misunderstand what I wrote.”Actually we were just looking for a regular C# developer,”There’s very little you can do with C# you can’t do just as well with Visual Basic, and those things you likely shouldn’t be doing anyway. I’m staying with Visual Basic and will use ‘reflection’, ways to traverse acyclic directed graphs of object instances, C#, or such things if I have to. I don’t think I’ll have to.Both languages are just ways to get to the ‘common language runtime’ (CLR) and .NET and get their real power from these two. Microsoft became ‘language agnostic’, concentrated on the CLR and .NET, and lets anyone write any ‘syntactic sugar’ on top of these they want.And mostly the difference in these two languages comes down to just syntactic sugar. There the syntax of Visual Basic is easier to learn.A good chief programmer can have nearly anyone with good, general qualifications and good interest in computing productive with Visual Basic or C# is less than two months.A good first place to have them productive is writing code to do some queries and develop some ‘reports’ from data in a relational database or in Web site log files. So, give them a computer already set up with the hardware, software, network connections, various security settings, etc, they need. They don’t have to worry about installation, diagnosis, backup, or recovery. Get them some good learning materials, e.g.,Jim Buyens, ‘Web Database Development, Step by Step: .NET Edition’, ISBN 0-7356-1637-X, Microsoft Press, Redmond, Washington, 2002.Francesco Bolena, ‘Programming Microsoft Visual Basic 2005: The Language’, Microsoft Press, Redmond, Washington, 2006.For ‘objects’, show them a simple example with ‘interfaces’, explain what’s going on, and then say:”First cut, for some simple things, objects are okay. For the ‘API’ of .NET they are working well. For more, they suck.”Actually, as software constructs, they are major brain-dead suckage. Beyond this suckage, they tend to put the details of the real problem being solved all over the whole object collection, with redundancy, maybe conflicts, etc.”‘Divide and conquer’ is one of the most important tools; object-oriented software has one approach that sometimes is good and sometimes, awful.”In C++, objects are worse because of the high probability of memory leaks. Of course, in C# and Visual Basic .NET, you’ve got ‘managed memory’, ‘garbage collection’, and actual ‘address space compactification’ all on your side so that you have to try hard to create a memory leak. In Lisp, etc., such ideas were too slow, but it appears that Microsoft has managed memory fast enough. So, don’t ask for much from objects.”If you get deep into objects, then you are just playing with little patterns in the dirt instead of solving real problems.”Get them a file of ‘abstracts’ of some of the more important MSDN Web pages on Visual Basic and some of the main URLs.Give them enough so that the usual challenges (which really are just in system management) getting the first program running are easy, and have them type in and run a program that prints “Hello World”.For relational database, that can be just dirt simple for a lot of work. Give them a fifteen minute lecture starting with regarding a table as a stack of, say, IRS 1040 forms with one column of the table for each ‘field’ on the form and one row in the table for each completed form.Third normal form: In a way meaningful in the particular problem, each row is a function of its key, the whole key, and nothing but the key.Then show them the T-SQL statements forCREATE DATABASE …CREATE TABLE …The difficult parts in schema, clustered keys, indices, security, and more in administration the chief programmer does.Show them how a simple ADO.NET (‘active data objects’) statement goes, what the connection strings are, and let them go for it.A second place to have them productive is writing code to use ASP.NET (‘active server pages’) to run on IIS (‘Internet information server’) for Web pages for a Web site.So, assume that they have done enough Internet browsing to have an idea how Web sites work. Then (1) give them some lessons on the more popular HTML tags (‘elements’) and a high level view of page layout, (2) show them roughly how ASP.NET works, and (3) let them develop some simple Web pages. Then move on and let them use their ADO.NET knowledge to connect the Web pages with the database.”If NYC is such a bad place for developing software,”Clearly it’s bad and for one reason: It’s much more expensive.”Google .. just purchased a $1.8bn city block here.”I saw that: I suspect that the purpose is mostly interacting with advertisers and not mostly software development. They also might use some of the space for a server farm.Google is awash in money: They could pay to develop software anywhere.”Better also tell that to the hundreds of thriving silicon valley startups who call NYC home.”There can be some reasons for a startup to be in NYC; otherwise it’s MUCH cheaper, and nicer, 100 miles farther north or 200 miles farther NW.”You do realize that India and Asia have actually got the Internet, right?”You are being insulting and facetious, right?You are talking countries where the average annual income is maybe $1000. And now somehow they are going to have an Internet connection all the way back to the Microsoft, Stack Overflow, Google, Cisco, etc. server farms and good enough for 1 GB downloads as needed for software updates? They will be able to buy the books at $50 to $100 a pop, and pay the extra shipping costs? For that $1000 a year average for a family, that will buy about one computer suitable for learning programming. Heck, those countries have difficulty even supplying stable, reliable electric power and keeping the rain off the equipment. Net, that the programmers there will be competitive I don’t believe. Cheap? Yes. Competitive? No.You are becoming clear: You don’t want good programmers; you want cheap programmers, likely ‘indentured’, scared ‘compliant’, under 30, single, and not owning a house.”… plenty of excellent American developers are self-taught through years of real world experience and through Internet resources and Q&A sites.”You have outlined the main way software developers learn. As I’ve made clear on this thread, essentially all software developers have to be self-taught. This has been true throughout the history of the US computer industry. Can’t expect that MIT will teach ASP.NET, the details of SQL Server security, or the details of Cisco network management.For your”The argument that they can’t be as good as US developers is flawed”again, it’s obvious the foreigners from the usual suspect countries face some severe problems: (1) Their Internet connection is tens of thousands of miles farther away from the crucial US Internet server farms, (2) in a country with average family income of $1000 a year, the documentation and equipment cost too much, and (3) partly in India and much worse in nearly all of Asia, they struggle terribly with the English they need to get the information they need.Actually, you mentioned “real world experience”, and that can be important: Many of the tools that have to be used, e.g., in system management and administration, most of the APIs, are badly documented, bug-ridden mud holes for mud wrestling. In practice, a major way through is that someone in the shop, one way and another, works out how to throw the stuff against the wall so that it appears to stick, and then others get the notes and copy the steps. This is true in the foreign countries, too: Net, mostly the guys in India and Asia trying to learn will be missing an ‘environment’ with ‘critical mass’.You are bending over backwards to say that the immigrants are just as good; here you are just accumulating excuses to hire immigrants for unstated reasons, and the usual ones are to want people who are cheap and ‘compliant’. Similarly for the ‘shortage’ of programmers in NYC: NYC is awash in programmers, and mostly all it takes to hire them is a good checkbook. NYC may be short on cheap, ‘compliant’ US citizen programmers. The usual explanation for such excuses is wanting to have people under a thumb that can be dominated; the usual issue is ego, not software.Bluntly, the usual meaning of a claim of a “programmer shortage” is that the person hiring has a money shortage. Welcome to ‘the market’ and ‘free enterprise’.At a Rolls Royce dealer they may say, “Sir, we don’t play games with the price. If you can’t afford the car, then you should shop elsewhere.”. If you can’t afford to hire people who live in NYC, then you should put your company elsewhere. All things considered, may I suggest, uh, India?With your remarks we’re seeing again much of the origins of the ugly H1-B situation: Some ‘management’ people want to find a way to turn software developers into scared, dominated, immigrant, migrant labor.For your, “years of real world experience”, for hiring programmers there’s very good news here: That “experience” is for your chief programmer, and then he just hands out the results to members of his team as needed. The “years of real world experience” are a grotesquely inefficient way to learn this stuff. Once the material has been learned, which itself is nearly never of any significant difficulty, it can be taught very quickly.For the MIT courses, such knowledge is for your chief programmers, not the ones he is developing on his team.In fact, so far the deep, difficult, important stuff in practical computing and computer science is nearly the empty set. Given a good chief programmer, there’s no good reason for the members of his team to have years of experience or to struggle.Besides, I warmly warn you: The advanced good stuff for the future of computing is not in computer science, not at MIT or anywhere else. Instead the good stuff is in selected, often advanced, topics in mathematics.”You are evidently very out of touch with modern software development and the startup environment.”Nonsense. You just made two mistakes.”Maybe at a big company you may be able to hire junior and train up, but a startup simply needs people with expert skills from day one.”You are making your business more difficult for yourself for no good reason: The criterion “expert skills” is super tough even to define meaningfully. Besides, all you were looking for was “a regular C# developer”. And you’ve been looking since October. This is now, uh, the snow is melted, mid-March.So, for ‘expert skills’, consider seven questions:(1) Maybe have to look through a billion numbers one at a time and end with the largest 1000. How to do that efficiently? Partition the billion over servers, and now what?(2) Maybe have 50 numbers and a sorted array and want to use binary search to find each of the 50 in the array. Is there a way to speed that up?(3) Maybe want to use a hash table, but also want the table able to grow. How to do that, efficiently?(4) It’s standard to be able to back up a relational database while it continues to execute transactions on-line. How does that work?(5) One way to detect and resolve deadlocks is to use a ‘monotone locking protocol’. How does that work? If get very deep into objects with multi-threading, then will want to know such things, and more.(6) Occasionally it is necessary to solve, for positive integers m and n, m linear equations in n unknowns. What can be said about the possible set of solutions? What can go wrong? What would be the symptoms of something wrong? What can be done about it? Suppose we want to cut out the floating point nonsense and solve the equations numerically exactly. Now what? How much longer might the exact solution take on, say, a 128 core processor?(7) We have 1000 users and 1000 ads and want to match the users and the ads. That is we want a 1-1 function from the set of ads to the set of users. If for each pair of user and ad we have an estimate of the probability of that user clicking on that ad, how to we do the best matching, that is, maximize the expected number of clicks, quickly? Is this problem doable? It is in NP-complete? Do we have to settle for just a heuristic? Is there a solid way to get the answer and if so, how? Is there a fast, guaranteed polynomial solution?Maybe being able to answer such things quickly would constitute ‘expert skills’. Even if so, not everyone in the shop needs to know. Again, you need a good chief programmer.”The first ten or so employees will make or break the company. (Read Paul Graham’s ‘Hackers and Painters’.)”Graham has fun writing, especially about Lisp. While he can be fun to read, don’t take what Graham writes at nearly face value.”A good developer can produce 10-100x as much as an average one.”That’s a myth. There are some ways in which it is true, but the circumstances are very narrow. It’s like the claim that they caught 30 fish in 30 minutes. Uh, can’t unhook 30 fish in 30 minutes.I’ve done things like that occasionally. In one case, I got about 100x and an award: At Yorktown Heights, our programmer had weeks of work to do. At about 5 PM he explained. I said, “Gads”. I had an idea, and by dawn I’d sent e-mail with a solution with code to everyone on the team and then went home for some sleep. When I got back about noon, our programmer was done! Besides, my solution ended up with a much, much better final piece of software.There’s good news here: The main issues in such a ratio can be handled by the chief programmer who can then get nearly the same ratio from all members of his team.”To think that you can just take some random graduate and have them producing quality code in 2 months is naive. Not everyone has the mind of a programmer.”I’m giving you a valuable, hidden secret of the ‘priesthood’ that can save your company a lot of time and money and a “pant load”, and you are rejecting the gift and criticizing the gift giver. Are you interested in success for your business or something else?I’ve taught programming in two universities and in one MBA program. Part of this was as a lecturer, and part as a prof. All my students who were generally good students did just fine. Your chief programmer may have to have some special aptitudes, etc., but the members of his team do not. As I have written elsewhere on this thread, first look for just good general qualifications. After that look for good familiarity with computing and the Internet. If in addition they know some programming, then fine.If they are “naive” enough to believe that C++ is a good language, then “they have to unlearn what they have learned”!”As for documentation being so much more meaningful than code, where have you been for the last decade or two?”Not being gullible for nonsense or smoking funny stuff.”Have you heard of Agile, TDD/BDD? Good code is simple and self-documenting, the point being so you *don’t* have to maintain reams of constantly out-of-date documentation that nobody ever reads. If more than 5% of a developer’s time is spent on documentation in this day and age, you’re doing something wrong.”You are straining to misunderstand what I wrote, have bought into some nonsense, and mostly are wrong.Flatly, bluntly it remains: In principle, and also largely in practice, the code doesn’t mean anything. Meaning is crucial; it’s the core of the value of your software as a company ‘asset’. Really so far there is only one way to communicate meaning: A natural language, e.g., English. Sorry ’bout that. In particular, code cannot communicate the necessary meaning.For simple situations, you can try to use mnemonic identifier names, well understood objects and APIs, as you said, “simple” code, etc. and hope to get by, but at best you are on very thin ice that can carry only light loads.There is huge evidence against you: (1) Long IBM was the world’s largest printer, mostly just for software documentation. (2) Microsoft is doing much the same at TechNet, MSDN, Books Online, etc. The number of Web pages are in the many thousands, for software documentation. My view is that the main, and severe, bottleneck in the growth of Microsoft’s enterprise business is JUST the need for MUCH better documentation. (3) At your local Barnes and Noble, the collection of computer books keeps growing and pushing out even the romance novels; these books are for software documentation. Next, all this documentation is for just the user side; documentation of the internals needs more.The form of the documentation, in source code, in external documents, and aspects of the ‘organization’ of the software parts and pieces and the role of software repositories are all open to what a particular company and software need. Still, for non-trivial code, without suitable documentation that communicates the crucial ‘meaning’, as I wrote, six months later only God can work with the code.”But wait, you’d ask Microsoft to develop your software for you?”You know much better than this and are straining to misunderstand. I gave you a really good idea that can save you a big “pant load”, well, save you a lot of time and money and avoid a big pant load.A LOT of the ‘drag’ of the mud in the mud wrestling is just tiny details each of which is badly documented and that you need to get past only once, get the code working, and then just copy it. So, it’s one-time, deep, tricky, obscure knowledge that really can come only from Microsoft. So, don’t try to handle such stuff in-house. Don’t let your manhood get in the way of your brain. Have suitable good contacts at Microsoft paid support, pick up the phone, and call them.Again, you call for paid, expert Microsoft support only for tricky issues. Maybe it’s, “I’m not getting platform invoke to work. Here are the relevant 10 lines of code. Where am I going wrong?”.I have function A calling function B, and now I want them on two different servers with a queue of incoming work for function B. I know you have standard code for this, but how do I set this up? Get me started on at least a simple case.””I want to do log shipping with SQL Server, and my SQL Server expert just caught the flu. Walk me through a simple case.”You seem to know basically what you are doing. You have six ‘issues’:(1) You are gullible for nonsense fads. (2) You want to insist that any ‘good programmer’ can walk in off the street and meet the needs of your business instead of developing people in-house. This issue is more a way to denigrate programmers than a way to run your business. (3) You want to regard your team as all ‘rock stars’ instead of organized under ‘chief programmers’. (4) You have too much respect for ill-defined ‘programmer expertise’. (5) You don’t want to go out of house to get occasional, tricky details. (6) You are wildly partial to immigrant programmers instead of US citizens.

          3. Randerson

            Thanks for the programming lesson. You’re telling me how to scale a company but you suggest having basically 1 chief programmer with expert knowledge, and everyone else starting off as an unproven junior? Come on… in programming terms, that is like a multi-threaded app with a massive central lock around one central thread. At some point the juniors are just going to sit there stuck on tasks while the chief programmer is running around frantically between desks. You’d better hope the chief programmer *doesn’t* resign, or get sick, because nobody will be able to step up to the job.I subscribe to the philosphy “Hire people smarter than you.” If you only hire juniors, you’ll always be hiring a shadow of yourself, and your company will never bring any new skills and perspectives in from outside.Yes, experienced programmers know stuff they probably won’t see every day. But when they get stuck, their deep understanding and experience means they spot the problems immediately. I’ve seen juniors get held up with inane environmental problems for days. You’d lose a great deal of time and money to Microsoft Support (or your chief devs) getting those things fixed, but they’re non-issues to a senior.BTW, we quietened our recruitment efforts in NYC after 3 months because we outsourced a big project overseas. I’d much prefer to have someone physically in the office for a number of reasons, but none of them are that our foreign developers are any less capable than Americans.You can keep trying to convince people to move their companies out of NYC or Boston or SF… or you can accept that some people enjoy living in the city, and start realizing that there is actually a shortage of engineers, and that if it wasn’t for that shortage, more business would be going to US residents and their tax dollars would be going to the US economy right now.Fact: We outperform our closest competitor with a development team that is 1/8th their size. I’m inclined to agree with Paul Graham because its practice, not theory, when I say a good developer can get 10-100x more done than a bad one. I’ve seen this kind of productivity at my last 4 companies. Perhaps you haven’t met a properly good developer yet.I’d love to spawn an entire sub-thread discussing programming but I feel that is off-topic. Happy to continue discussion somewhere suitable.I hire the best developers I find, whether they’re American, Indian, African or Asian. We have representatives of each continent and none has let me down. I simply cannot agree with the seemingly bigoted assertion that US developers are always superior, when you only have wild assumptions to back that up. Maybe you are just not aware of the stuff being developed overseas? Did you know that the world’s largest IM network is not Skype or MSN or GTalk, but QQ – made in China? QQ’s Happy Farm game is even bigger than Farmville! You are a Microsoft developer, so you are probably using products created by foreigners on a daily basis. Perhaps, because of your strong principles, you should boycott MS and switch to another OS. Linux might be out, I’m not sure, since Linus Torvalds is from Finland.Forgive my bias here – I am after all a temporary immigrant from a 3rd world country. I went to a university where my B.Sc degree had the same curriculum as a US one and it’s recognized here as such. I never had trouble keeping my servers dry from the rain (?!?). Seriously. The average human has one breast and one testicle. Don’t confuse the average salary in a country with that of the average educated person or the average developer. There is a huge difference between the classes in these countries. Yes, our country struggled with Internet speeds, so a local engineer coded a proxy server to run at ISP level to cache international content, and we learned how to route Internet traffic so efficiently that US ISP’s would phone our ISP’s to ask for advice. Third world countries have all sorts of constraints that force them to come up with creative solutions. That is the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that this startup visa is all about.

  27. Aaron Klein

    I am the father of two immigrants: a four year old little boy born in South Korea, and a two year old little girl born in Ethiopia. It has not been my experience that this country has either closed its borders or is intolerant of other cultures. Quite the opposite.And in fact, artificially high and uncompetitive taxes and regulations will do much more to make our economy sclerotic than any immigration policy will. Just my opinion.That being said…as much as I firmly disagree with paragraph #1 of your post, the rest is dead on. The United States has been made stronger by legal immigration for years, and #StartupVisa is great policy that will increase innovation and competition. Let’s get ‘er done.

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      Adoption is beautiful, isn’t it….

      1. Aaron Klein

        It is indeed. My wife and I feel tremendously blessed to have these two wonderful kids in our lives.

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          Mine is the other way, wife’s ex didn’t pay support. Forgive $10k and he signed the papers… unbelievable.

          1. Aaron Klein

            yep, that is pretty unbelievable…

          2. Donna Brewington White

            Hats off to both you guys. Adoption rocks.

          3. Donna Brewington White

            My dad adopted my stepmother’s three children. At his funeral my (step) brother shared during the “remarks” and asked this question of the audience, “Does anyone know what it feels like to be a stepchild?”Then he answered, “Neither do I.”Powerful moment.

          4. Dave W Baldwin

            A few yrs. back, Aaron (my son) came into town for a quick visit. I forget why, but he went to his bio grandparents place and listened to his grandfather spout a bunch of nonsense.Aaron replied, “Karma’s a bitch.”

    2. Berislav Lopac

      Are you really implying that your adopted kids have an “other culture” just because they were born abroad?? They are being raised as Americans, and when they grow up they won’t differ from anyone else around them, except that they won’t be able to run for presidency…But hey, perhaps this might be a better route than Startup Visa — why don’t investors simply adopt the foreign entrepreneurs they want to invest to?I’m sorry if this sounds rude, but this position smells of hypocrisy to me… 🙁

      1. Aaron Klein

        I’ll ignore the tone and answer on the merits.I’m now the dad of a Korean-Ethiopian-American family. Korea and Ethiopia are our “second homelands.”We have adopted these cultures into our family. It’s a part of who we are now.And the question was: is the United States closed to other cultures? I have not seen evidence that this is true. The United States is a melting pot of every culture around the world.That’s an important part of what makes America so exceptional.

        1. Berislav Lopac

          Okay, I’m withdrawing here. I just wrote a long response and have deleted it when I realized that a) you wouldn’t understand it and b) there is no way to make it non-offensive. Enjoy your pretty little world. KTHXBAI.

          1. Aaron Klein

            Ha! This made me laugh out loud.The issue of immigration brings the most bizarre statements out of people.Loving my “pretty little world” over here.

  28. Andrew Ellis

    An interesting country to look at is Israel – with the expansion of ‘the right of return’ immigration policy in the 70’s floods of soviet engineers with advanced degrees poured into Israel and today continue to emigrate into Israel, they have played no small part in making Israel the tech center it has become .The ability to ‘attract’ and keep talent is a must for any country, the US is no exception.

  29. kidmercury

    9/11 was an inside job. nothing else matters. taht issue affects everything: the economy, immigration, foreign policy….everything.ignorance is futile. only the truth can set you free.

    1. andyswan

      Highly competent government you’ve got in mind there, kid. Highly competent.

  30. John Britton

    (888) 491-2262You can use this number to call your state officials directly. The app is open source: http://github.com/johndbrit

    1. ShanaC

      thank you John, this is a great idea.

  31. Michael Kogan

    Why does it require me to sign in with a facebook or a twitter account ? I don’t have either, but I still want to support the startup visa idea

  32. matthughes

    +1 for creating a welcoming path for innovators, or frankly anyone that wants to come to the US to work hard and abide by the laws of the land.

  33. Matthew Crossett

    Thank You for posting this information, I run a blog site for entrepreneurs and start up companies, http://takecareof.biz/, and until now i have been unaware of this bill

  34. EduardoF

    I had to jump through many hoops after graduating to start a company in the US on my student visa. We are supposed to be resourceful, but I’d rather invest my time and money in growing our business.By the way, we just made our first American hire.

  35. Steven O'Brien

    Let’s get it passed this time!

  36. rlw

    I work in the immigration trenches, mostly on the EB-5 program. In this program foreign investors can invest in what’s called a “regional center.” When they invest they receive a conditional green card and if the investment creates a certain number of jobs within a certain number of years, the conditions are removed and the investor becomes a lawful permanent resident.The EB-5 visa is very interesting from a theoretical economic/legal standpoint, but its execution leaves a lot to be desired. It’s easy to blame the government — and many people in the EB-5 world love throwing stink bombs USCIS’s way — but, as usual, the issues are much more complicated. A whole industry has grown up around the program — lawyers, marketers, immigration brokers and consultants, domestic developers and on and on — some of whom have duties and ethics prescribed by professional licenses or government rules and regulations, some of whom are beholden to nothing, and act accordingly.The majority of regional centers are not active (meaning no investment projects, no investors). And of those that are active, something like 30% of investors have their petition to remove conditions denied. Which means they lose their investment and have to leave the country. What in theory is an interesting program in reality often essentially just churns out cheap construction loans to purchase dinky strip malls which have been foreclosed upon and are owned by a bank, in commercially undesirable locations.Whenever EB-5 — or Startup Visa — are discussed online, I see comments typical of the ones here. Mostly “high level” comments touching on the meaning of democracy and freedom and entrepreneurial spirirt and etc. All well and good, but missing the reality of what it’s like out there in the trenches, and the reality of what helps or hurts a program such as this.I’m not sure how receptive the EB-5 folks are to the Startup Visa — my sense is not very — but I would suggest the Startup Visa people reach out to receptive EB-5 people to get a sense of the practical obstacles you might run into, rather than focusing on these high level issues presented in the comments here.

  37. IzzyBo

    All for the #startupvisa movement! But how did foreigners manage to be founders of a startup? What kind of visas did they hold? If they were H-1Bs issued by their startups, how did they lapse? Help a budding entrepreneur make sense of total nonsense — Cheers!

  38. Donna Brewington White

    Creates jobs and opportunity?Check.Has significant potential to boost the U.S. economy?Check.Perpetuates the principles upon which this nation was founded?Check.Promotes entrepreneurship and technological innovation within U.S. borders?Check.Okay, beam me up, Votizen.

  39. Benjamin Soussan

    I definitely stand behind this opportunity, and I think that not only the US, but most of continental European countries like France should rethink their visa for work policy. It would also help governments give a proper solution to immigration and demographic issues.Thks

  40. Mark Essel

    I failed to convince my wife it’s a good idea. This is a gonna be a rough bill to get through.Reason isn’t winning here, the bill will have to appeal to an emotional chord in its biggest proponents.

  41. Michael B. Aronson

    We just funded a startup out of the graduating Wharton MBA class, one of the founders was able to get a visa to stay here for 6 years by submitting our fully executed term sheet with his Visa application. They had been screwing around with Angel List etc and decided to accept our term sheet to lead the round so the founder could get his visa.

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      Good move taking advantage of opportunity. Take care of him.

  42. Roy Nallapeta

    I really hope this takes off and that would support a lot of entrepreneurs, and kudos to Vivek Wadhwa on his thought leadership. America is a country of immigrants and all this xenophobia, by a few, seems so absurd!

  43. GaurangTanna

    My experience with starting a company in 2008 (before the financial meltdown and long before the Startup Visa Act bill of 2010) as a non-immigrant entrepreneur and the challenges associated with it: http://gaurangtanna.comA chance to devote 14-15 hours a day on my startup would be nice. Not even asking for a greencard.

  44. Tarik Ansari

    Readers, please watch the film Starting-Up In America about the issue:http://startingupinamerica….Also, for the immigration numbers:In 2009, the U.S. welcomed 1.13 million Legal Permanent Residents:- 66.1% family based- 15.7% refugees- 12.7% employment based- 4.2% green card lottery- 1.2% otherThe employment based immigration is a small part (12.7%), family, refugees etc. get priority. Employment-based immigration is extremely hard SPECIFICALLY for startups founders. Hence the assumption that doors are closed for some (just watch the film to understand).

  45. paramendra

    Who was that entrepreneur? What was the startup?

  46. Priya Alagiri

    Thank you for shining more light on the Startup Visa. I have many talented clients in “immigration limbo” who would prefer to return home to their countries and start their own companies rather than stay here (see http://bit.ly/eaIjIF). I hope the Startup Visa Act passes as we’re losing highly skilled and educated entrepreneurs along with the new jobs they would’ve created.

  47. Rojae Braga

    This post is really of interest especially for foreigners like me. If by “entrepreneur” in the premise “If an entrepreneur can get funding to start a business in this country, he or she should be able to get a visa” means ANYONE from other countries outside US interested in putting up a business, then this idea should really be promoted. It will be of benefit to the US as it will generate the American dream of being the locus of capitalism, and at the same time be also an advantage to the interested entrepreneur from other culture.

  48. Peter

    While an expansion of the H1-b visa and the addition of startup visas would help, the other traditional source of start ups has been unemployed mid-career executives. Unfortunately, we have too many of those right now.

  49. andyswan

    Let me know where I need to reside in order to have a credible perspective on whether or not “America has shut our borders and become intolerant of people from other cultures” is an insult devoid of fact. Thanks.p.s. I like the way the rest of your entire post describes the ills of a large, powerful and intrusive federal government. Seems we’re on the same page there..

  50. andyswan

    I consider it an attack to infer that America is bigoted or “closed”.The Supreme Court did no such thing. It simply said that a corporation isjust as valid of an organization to have political speech as any otherorganization.Limit government authority and reach, limit corrupt influence. Trying to”perfect the system” leads to a growing system and abject failure. Tryingto “limit the system” often works.

  51. kidmercury

    definitely agree with charlie here. in addition to the supreme court ruling, we can just look at the obviousness of the big picture to see that the fed govt is clearly a tool of the ruling class. income inequality? increasing. size of government increasing. virtually every industry is excessively consolidated and all the major regulators (SEC, FDA, FCC, etc) are owned by industry incumbents. the situation is painfully obvious and is why the US government (and many other govts) is simply broken.

  52. Vivek Wadhwa

    It is not an either/or situation. We need to do both. Bringing in skilled immigrants costs practically nothing, increases the tax base and competitiveness, and allows us to afford to invest more in our poor urban centers.

  53. Vivek Wadhwa

    Feel free to email me. My contact details are on my website: http://www.wadhwa.com.

  54. ShanaC

    We have a country with a sesnse of corporate peoplehood….

  55. andyswan

    That’s because corporations are owned, managed and run by people.

  56. andyswan

    Nope. One dollar, one dollar worth of air-time….just like the politicianhimself, the union that supports him and the PAC that opposes him.

  57. Dave W Baldwin

    These things are true and are that way no matter which party has majority.It is time to do the big thing that utilizes private money at a level comfortable to the entities taking part, yet produces something that is big. This means those investing gain their profit, but are of mind wanting the bigger reward of truly changing lives.The other pieces will fall into place that expand communication among different groups allowing them to share ideas cross platform (and graphs) allowing the greater number to gain. Their gain will be a mixture of a sideline that can become the main and for others doing the good things having a more direct affect on those they wish.This can happen this decade and we do have the tools and brainpower to make it happen. I know I’m not the only one with a game plan which only improves the odds.In the end, the only logical way to make it happen is for the people to ignore the crap issued from the government. If the government starts the tyrannical, then comes the peaceful revolution.

  58. Mark Essel

    yup, Charlie spoke some painful truth Kid.

  59. andyswan

    So can we agree that all organizations should be unable to make politicalspeech? Unions, nonprofits, etc?

  60. Randerson

    As a foreign software developer who is in NYC on an L1, here are some facts:1) I’m making just as much as any other software developer in NYC. 2) If I lose my visa, my startup will go out of business down and 10 American citizens will lose their jobs.