Obama Signs Small Business JOBS Act into Law
Obama’s presidential pen scrawled across important legislation yesterday, bringing a once hopeful bill into a righteous reality. The Jump Start Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act was made into a law yesterday, and it is already being celebrated -- by some -- as the biggest bipartisan measure in history. Entrepreneurs everywhere should rejoice, as the main aim of the law is to melt the infrastructural walls that keep small businesses from capital.
This measure will also allow average Americans to invest in small-businesses via the Internet without much interference; however who is protecting this new market of small investors?
Obama repeated his tried-and-true phrase, “I’ve always said that the true engine of job creation in this country is the private sector, not the government,” adding, "For startups and small businesses, this bill is a potential game changer."
The act promises to reduce regulatory restrictions that limit small-businesses from raising money. In particular, the new law will allow companies to raise up to $1 million dollars per year from any and all methods they wish to employ, as long as those portals are approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Now average Americans can invest in a businesses right from their home computer, where previous investing was limited to wealthy individuals and banks.
However, some doubt the effectiveness of the SEC, who has received major flack for letting the Madoff- security bubble/ dot com bubble/ every-financial-crisis-in-history-fly. How are they supposed to regulate small timey funding and crowdfunding as well?
This is what Obama said about the new IPO process: “Here’s what’s going to happen because of this bill. For business owners who want to take their companies to the next level, this bill will make it easier for you to go public. And that’s a big deal because going public is a major step towards expanding and hiring more workers. It’s a big deal for investors as well, because public companies operate with greater oversight and greater transparency.”
Overall this seems like great news for fresh start-ups, especially those who witness high-growth, as they will gain an extended grace-period leading up to becoming an IPO, and can also go public sooner than before. Also, the law eliminated the previous shareholder rule, which capped a private company at 500 shareholders – which forced businesses to go public before some were quite ready for the private to public transition.
With all this newly open terrain to operate businesses in, how can the average investor discern if a business is reputable or not? The JOBS Act has freed any scam artist to not only rob customers of money, but now investors, as state regulators are no longer in the picture to monitor the ethical conducts of businesses.
What this law does do however, is reflect the undeniable power of the internet in generating capital, and the wild-wild-west freedom available for business in the web’s limitless parameters.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.