Policy frameworks are extremely important because it defines the rules of engagement. It provides the incentives and drivers for participants to engage. This blog post is to bring attention to what Brad Burnham was saying in Kastljos when he was here participating in Startup Iceland. In order for Iceland to really make an impact on attracting investment not just from Foreigners but even from the local communities, the policy frameworks need to provide the right rules of engagement. Whenever I speak to Icelandic investors, they are rather skeptical about the policy framework in Iceland and usually point to the currency controls as the biggest detriment to them investing in Iceland and this is by ICELANDERS! I find that strange because why should the Currency control matter if you are investing in companies that are creating value. I see the problem when an foreign investor like me but I don’t get it why Icelanders use that as an excuse. I understand why currency controls may be detrimental to the environment of investing, but if one is an icelander and all your revenue and investable capital is in Iceland it should not matter. Maybe that is the real issue all Icelanders who have the capacity to invest do not have their investable capital in Icelandic Kronas! maybe all their money has already been shipped abroad before the collapse and they find no incentive to bring it in. So, how does one reverse this situation? Brad talks about this in the interview, it is only 6 minutes long so watch the video. The best way to beat the currency restriction constraint is to provide a better incentive or wider incentive to invest in Iceland, for example in the case of Personal Data. If Iceland were to pass a law that would protect individual data that would provide a strong incentive for Investors to look at Iceland as a logical choice to put their money because it would far exceed the cost of investing in Iceland. Many countries have not even started thinking about this and this in my opinion and of course in Brad’s opinion is the right time and environment to put a stake in the ground and start a global discussion on what is the individual rights on data and how should we implement it? There are two broad themes and I have written about it before on why I believe Iceland can be the First Internet Enterprise Zone and the individual right and freedom to innovate on the Internet.
- Iceland the First Internet Enterprise Zone (startupiceland.com)
- Startup Iceland 2012 – Done! (startupiceland.com)
- Island of Recovery (startupiceland.com)