Growing up with an inventor dad, Jarl Jensen knew innovation and ideas were in his future. As a kid, his dad would play the “Invention Game” with him. His dad would present an object and together they would come up with different ideas for its use. In his teens, Jarl was already on the road to success writing a medical patent. Now Jarl has several patents in medical innovations. He was also front and center in Euro-Med, Inc., a company launched in 1991 and recently selling at a record high multiple. But Jarl sees the economy as an area void of innovation. It is a passionate concern of his. He shares his unique perspective on innovating the economy.
Currently, Jarl is working on further patents in advanced burn care as well as two startups. But his thoughts linger on the economy. He is the author of Optimizing America. It’s a parable of sorts which explores what could be if economic change took place. What is Jarl concerned about? Over the last 100 years the economy has operated in much the same way. In the beginning, opportunities for economic expansion were wide open. But over the years, what defines the economy has narrowed. In Jarl’s view, the economy is on a path to contraction rather than expansion. It’s an economy based on debt with banks holding the controls. The catch to innovating the economy is that the shareholders in this case are the banks. And what is in the best interest of the banks may not be in the best interest of people.
Innovation Antibodies and the Economy
In Jarl’s view, who are the innovation antibodies? Commercial banks hinder innovation of the economy. He fears the day is coming when more jobs will go away than will be created. Like the proverbial frog in boiling water, the economy has evolved and we are so used to it, we don’t recognize the problem. Are there changes, small or large, that could achieve a more balanced, less debt-ridden economy? Is there a broader purpose to serve? Are there better ways to grow the economy than means that hinge on loans and debt? Do banks have too much control over technology and innovation because they control the outflow of money to support innovation? These are thoughts for innovators and leaders to contemplate.