"Inexperienced Companies Chase School Reform Funds," is the headline over a New York Times article that begins, disapprovingly, "With the Obama administration pouring billions into its nationwide campaign to overhaul failing schools, dozens of companies with little or no experience are portraying themselves as school-turnaround experts as they compete for the money....A husband-and-wife team that has specialized in teaching communication skills but never led a single school overhaul is seeking contracts in Ohio and Virginia. ...Many of the new companies seem unprepared for the challenge of making over a public school, yet neither the federal government nor many state governments are organized to offer effective oversight, said Jack Jennings, president of the Center on Education Policy, a nonprofit group in Washington."
Oh, those inexperienced companies without federal and state oversight! What a scary thought. When Apple was founded in 1976, it was an inexperienced company. When Microsoft was founded in 1975, it was an inexperienced company. When Google was founded in 1998, it was an inexperienced company.
Sure, not every inexperienced company succeeds. Lots of them fail. But the unstated assumption of the Times article is a kind of alarmist belief that, followed to its logical conclusion, would lead to a sclerotic American economy rather than an innovative or dynamic one. The Times itself is a very experienced company, but Apple, Google, and Microsoft all have a lot more revenues, profits, and market capitalization than the Times does. The Times article notwithstanding, it's just not clear that how much experience a company has is a good predictor of how much success a company will have.