Encouraging economic growth is a big theme, perhaps the biggest
theme, in the current presidential campaign. Here in Silicon Valley,
economic growth is something we understand well. Growth is the
defining quality of a startup, and the leaders of the startup
community are arguably the world's leading experts in making it
So which candidate do they prefer? I realized recently that I was
one of the few people in a position to find out. I know most of
these people well enough to ask them. So yesterday I made a list
of 32 people I considered leaders of the startup community, and
sent them the following email:
Would you mind telling me who you prefer for president, Obama or
Romney? I'm taking an informal poll. I'll publish the overall
numbers but nothing more than that. I'll never tell who I asked,
or who preferred who.
By today 24 had responded. Of those 24, 15 supported Obama, 6
supported Romney, 2 were undecided but leaning toward Obama, and 1
refused to answer. So by this measure at least, the leaders of the
startup community favor Obama by more than 2 to 1.
I'm doing this because I thought many voters would be interested
to hear the opinions of the startup community.
I can't say who I asked, since I promised not to, but the list was
pretty much the usual suspects: the most prominent founders and
investors. Most of the people I asked live in Silicon Valley, but
a handful don't. I didn't include myself in the survey, but I
prefer Obama too.