America risks being "too timid to fail" by KPCB Partners John Doerr and Ted Schlein - Fortune

As we fast approach the U.S. elections the rhetoric about the economy is hitting a fever pitch. It is important that policymakers, pundits and the public look past the polls to embolden our entrepreneurs…lest we become “too timid to fail.”

Entrepreneurs are re-imagining and re-inventing everything from mobile phones to new businesses — even whole industries. They are replacing the Old Internet of web sites and pages with a New Web connecting people and places. They are pushing computing, communications and services to the ubiquitous Cloud. They are replacing fossilized, carbon polluting energy with innovative, efficient, and renewable solutions. They are moving from “one drug or device fits all” to targeted therapies and from costly to accountable health care. They are even disrupting the bastions of traditional education — K-12 through college — with massively open online courses.

In the process, entrepreneurs are driving economic growth and prosperity. Entrepreneurs are and have always been America’s greatest natural resource. Today venture capital-backed companies create 21% of GDP and have generated over 12 million U.S. jobs. But, like other critical national resources, entrepreneurs deserve nurturing to be a vital and enduring force.

Fundamental technological innovation — from genomics to the Internet — has always depended on four factors: Federal funding, great educational institutions, risk-taking entrepreneurs and venture capital…