Why Columbia, SC Fails At Providing Continuing, Healthy Industry

There are numerous initiatives within the greater Columbia area at present to procure and sustain ample industrial augmentation. While this is unquestionably the case in practically every U.S. city, it is outstandingly palpable in Columbia because the city itself can be described at best as deprecated and scarcely extant so the administration is doing their best to counter it. Commendable.

If you scrutinize the achievements of these endeavors however, they may initially appear promising. However, numerous sponsorships disappoint in generating durable growth. While the present Columbia administration seems to be baffled as to why this is the case, I feel that I can sum it up pretty effortlessly and save the residents of the city I love some tax dollars. I am a nice guy.

The funding for these programs adheres to fundamentally identical external and internal processes subject by any government grants. It is not especially remarkable. And quite honestly, I don’t think it is an internal issue which is the problem. I guard with this because most of the articles I have read dealing with this seem to revolve around this being the massive bottleneck.

Simply put, it is the programs that are chosen to be funded. The result of the malformed selection process results in the proposed economic development not benefiting the residents of the Columbia with long term growth.

The programs that are selected target explicit populations, habitually not being directed at progressive, bleeding edge industries. In addition, the programs selected generally don’t lead to supplementary jobs that are clerical in nature, or if we want to put it how Uptown Sinclair put it, white-collar workers with a high ratio of disposable income (was that blatant?). This sole fact alone generates a stagnate as opposed to economically dynamic society and environment. When there is relatively little disposable income that is being enjoyed by a select few, there is no real possibility of creating a mass domestic market for new development. While the median income of South Carolina would immediately observe that current decisions would actually be the most pragmatic action, all it does is lead to cyclic behavior that keeps Columbia in economic shambles.

This is a constant truth and presented in some of the most studied economic works. For example, examine one of the most celebrated economist / authors / urbanists, Jane Jacobs in The Economy of Cities. She clearly indicates when there is more disposable income available for domestic investment it will in turn lead to a more prosperous economy. Not very shocking. If the current administration desires to grow and maintain Columbia the focus must be shifted from strictly manufacturing and low-level service industries in order to make the city more viable. It’s as simple as that. To be blunt to the administration, you are investing in the wrong shit.

I am in no way saying that the conventional and time-honored brick-and-mortar industries that are terrifically southern cliché can’t play any role with this process. That would be obtuse and rigid. However, I am professing that the focus needs to be shifted onto more progressive industries with what some may consider an unfair balance in order to really cultivate the city with long-term growth. When this crops and further businesses start to use Columbia as an economic hub, it will bring new population, more disposable income, and in turn more domestic investment. I mean really, this is not astonishing or pioneering stuff I am encouraging. You are equipping the wrong type of businesses and really putting the residents that you are responsible in a self-defeating situation. You are asphyxiating, not promoting expansion.

I believe there this is physical evidence that this is indeed the case as well. If you walk down the greater Columbia area, you will notice Main Street which leads to the Capital building, quite a site! If you walk further away from the capital building (East), I am guessing around 4 blocks, all of a sudden you feel like you are walking in a dying area sponsored by a 1940’s Humphrey Bogart film. And I am not exaggerating, I believe that the median amount of buildings up for lease on that one street must be near 70%, while the other businesses that are currently open look so deprecated you would have to be mad to consider them actually applicable. And this is Main Street. Although the lack of growth here makes it clear of misdirection of the administration, it would also make the point that most government direction is leaning towards manufacturing. I have never seen any larger offices for some of the manufacturing organizations (although I just looked for brick producing enterprises) and generally plants and other such faculties are not held directly within a downtown area. There is adequate space to use though if they wanted to. What I am trying to emphasize is the intended chief street in Columbia is destitute. And that’s where businesses SHOULD be congregating.

To sum it up, I am not promoting innovative economic creed; a majority of what I have put in here is taught in introductory undergraduate economics classes. That part that I find most wearisome is that Columbia administration ostensibly skipped that day that basic economics was covered. And then forgot to pick up a book. And then kinda sucked at their jobs.


You make me sad Columbia administration.


In Finals For New Ideas For SC!

So, a short time ago I entered a grant competition that is administrated in the state of South Carolina call New Ideas for a New Carolina. And I made it into the finals for it! As I get further along in the process, I will post more details regarding the projects, but at this current state I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag. All I will say is that people that like the SharePoint search faculties will really dig it as a case study.

Wish me luck during the finals! :)


Response to InfoPath Comments

Recently, I posted 18 articles to help people get started on InfoPath development. If you are really bored, you can read what I wrote here:

Mastering InfoPath Development Series Index

You will be enthralled; laughing, crying, etc. throughout the entire series, it is an emotional ride of epic proportions rivaled only by a deep spiritual journey. Regardless, I was asked in the comments of that post what I thought about these two posts:



This isn’t the first time that I read through Rob’s, but is the first time that I have read through the other.

Ok, so I can’t really say much to Rob’s post. I majority of the points that he brings up in that article are 100% spot on, and he really does nail to a tee the shortcomings of InfoPath as it currently sits within its current revision. The one that I agree with the most out of all of these is:

“I’ve seen more information about people in the Federal Witness Protection program. You’ve really got to become less secretive. Go out in public. Get some articles written about you. Maybe even some books that have some real content not a rehash of what little SDK there is.”

(quote taken from: http://thorprojects.com/blog/archive/2007/07/07/671.aspx)

Totally, 100%, I think that is accurate. I sought to bridge that gap slightly by putting out the “Mastering InfoPath Development” series content, but it is just me sitting in my living room sipping on a Blue Moon posting away on a South Carolina afternoon, it isn’t endorsed, realized content from Microsoft, so loses a wee bit of validity along the way. Have I thought about writing a book about it? Sure! No acquisitions editors have confronted me about writing regarding it though, and to be honest I don’t have the energy to put together another book proposal over two days to have it rejected.

I can’t really see much argument in going against the grain with Rob with the remainder of his content, he is pretty much hitting the target with the complaints I would have made as well. There are some problems. And a lot of it should have been thought about in the current revision. It is good stuff.

The other post (the 1st one listed), well I don’t agree with at all. I think its pretty short sighted. I have designed, deployed, and maintained InfoPath as a 100% successful solution at several organizations, and they aren’t data lax, they are data intensive organizations primarily in the federal sectors. Sure, there were bumps along the road (I know we all write perfect code, but with a custom solution wouldn’t there be as well?), but for particular business requirements it was a terrific, 100% well prescribed solution for several of the business problems that we were looking to target and resolve. Is it for everything? Of course not! Will a customer try to apply it to everything? Of course they will! Customers seem to always, always try to fit a square peg in a round hole just to say that they are using a particular technology. I have lost count with how many application conversions I have done for SharePoint where the end result was EXACTLY the same as the legacy application but the client WANTED it in SharePoint. Why? So they could say it was in SharePoint. Did it make an epic mark in the application? Nope, but I got to eat another month and the lights stayed on. Like any type of IT consulting in the world regardless of your vertical, sector, and aggregate flavor, you have to make the right decisions for your particular problem.

I think InfoPath is very good, not perfect, but very, very good. I think MSFT is making strides in the right direction with it, slowly, but making good strides. I think making the assumption right off the bat “NOOOOOO, you said InfoPath, off with his head!”, well, that is just kind of, bad.