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Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
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Innovation Needed for Region to Prosper Post-Recession

Hope you noticed our innovation package on the front page of this issue. It’s the debut of a feature we’ll run occasionally highlighting companies or businesspeople doing something cutting edge, exceptionally creative or are just thinking differently than most of us. The innovation stories this time include a tale about a Calabasas company that is building a complex virtual world for children. It’s still a niche industry, even in the technology world, but it’s growing, is quite competitive and probably is full of some of the most creative people you can find. Discussing such a business I feel is a good way to start our series, which will also regularly discuss how you monetize creativity. In the innovation feature, we’ll also include stories about companies that aren’t doing things like producing new product lines but they will be merely doing such things as using innovative management techniques or doing some other creative thinking in running their business. A new more efficient way of manufacturing a product can be just as important as coming up with a new product. Why such a new section? Innovation in business has always been important, but it’s even more useful these days. The innovative companies have been the ones most likely to survive the recent downturn and as some sectors begin to recover a little bit, the innovative companies and people will tend to do better than others. You’ll notice that as part of our innovation feature in this issue is a story about the Antelope Valley and the recent AV Board of Trade conference in Lancaster. The theme of the conference was “innovation” so it seemed fitting to include Mark Madler’s report on the conference here. I also attended that conference and found it very insightful. Yes, there’s innovation going on in the Antelope Valley. This may come as a surprise to some people here “down below.” These people think of the Palmdale and Lancaster area as merely an inexpensive place to live and it’s rather far. Well, it’s also home to cutting edge aerospace work and has tremendous solar and wind potential. These aerospace and green industries need a far bigger support network of businesses than exists now. But there needs to be a sustained period of aggressive marketing of the area to convince businesses to move there. The support network from Antelope Valley cities seems to be there. Unlike L.A., these cities come up with perks for businesses to get them to move there and stay. The Antelope Valley can teach Los Angeles a lot. Like efficiency and creativity —attributes L.A. will never have because of its officials’ political dysfunction. Unfortunately, the Antelope Valley is in California and has to deal with the anti-business attitude our state officials breed. But hopefully that can be overcome by local creativity and persistence. Business Journal Editor Jason Schaff can be reached at (818) 316-3125 or at editor@sfvbj.com.

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