What is the Single Biggest Threat to Innovation in America?

Oct 30, 2013

We asked a handful of small business owners and entrepreneurs what they think is the biggest threat to innovation in America, and here's what they said:

“In my lifetime, I have never seen such an anti-business attitude from our federal government, which inevitably equates to more burdensome regulations, taxes, and fees. Entrepreneurs have to be risk takers, and if there is no reward for taking risk, American innovation will suffer. So will the prospects for jobs and growth in our own economy.”

Harold Turner

The H.L. Turner Group Inc.

Concord, NH


"Intellectual property protection is the lifeblood of any enterprise that creates value from ideas. In the biopharmaceutical industry, protecting our discoveries allows us to turn scientific research into innovative medicines, thereby saving lives and helping patients who suffer from disease. When a country’s intellectual property protections are weakened, the cost and risk of innovation goes up, and new treatments can be derailed."

John C. Lechleiter, PhD

Chairman, President, and CEO, Eli Lilly and Company


“The biggest threat to innovation is anxiety. Capital is there, but there seems to be a gap between product development and product adoption. It’s also about leadership and people. Without the proper leadership, there won’t be the big C—culture.  A defined organizational culture reduces the propensity of poor hiring practices, lack of team effectiveness, miscommunications, and even anxiety over federal regulations.”  

Ronnie Slone

President, The Slone Group

Metairie, LA


“I think the biggest obstacles stunting innovative growth are all government induced: the delay in the approval of the Keystone pipeline, the slow growth of the American economy due to Obamcare and other demotivating government influences, as well as the higher level of regulations on fracking and deepwater drilling.”

Don Begneaud

BEGNEAUD Manufacturing

Lafayette, LA


“We have lost our culture of experimentation. In K-12 education, students are rewarded for test performance rather than original thought, doctoral STEM students are advised to do derivative research to earn their degrees, and most grants are given to those doing incremental work on accepted theories. There is no incentive to challenge the status quo, break new ground, or experiment with a totally new idea.”

Benjamin Clarke

PeopleToMySite & InsideAgents

Gahanna, OH


“The biggest threat to innovation in America is the ongoing loss of talented professionals to other countries and the lack of policies and incentives that entice new intellects and creative entrepreneurs to come to America.”

Rudaina Hamade

RPM Solutions, LLC

Dearborn, MI


“The success of this nation has been in attracting people from around the world who are talented, resilient, and driven. If we close the doors to immigration, we’ll be closing the door to future innovation.”

Shradha Agarwal


Chicago, IL


“Americans are ignoring the global economy’s readiness to fill in for the lack of innovation coming out of the USA.”

Robby Hill


Florence, SC


“The greatest single threat to innovation in America is the lack of leadership in implementing an integrated approach to regulatory requirements for each industry sector within a national and international context so that redundancies and inefficiencies across jurisdictions can be identified and changes made. The overall time frame must be shortened. In order to be effectively nimble and respond to opportunities in the marketplace, innovators need to understand the entire regulatory beast.”

Rick Harding

Integrated Environmental Inc.

Livonia, MI


“The single biggest threat to innovation in America is our current education system. On average, American youths score lower on science and math than their global peers.”

Shama Kabani

Marketing Zen Group

Dallas, TX


“The single biggest threat to innovation in America is turning away the world’s brightest talent because we refuse to overhaul our immigration policies.”

Rahim Fazal


San Francisco, CA


What do you think is the biggest threat to innovation in America? Tell us in the comments section below.


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