The U.S. economy’s losses in the five-week government shutdown are estimated to be at least $6 billion, which nears the original cost to clean up the Exxon Valdez oil spill. And like that other unnatural disaster 30 years ago, the longest shutdown in American history will no doubt have consequences that last for decades. In other words, it’s not over till it’s over. That’s why our friends and neighbors affected by the shutdown will need significant help to recover.

Even if the government somehow remains open beyond the February 15 deadline to strike a new deal, the financial and emotional…


As we near the end of the fourth week of the longest government shutdown in American history, it is abundantly clear that the impact of the shutdown is wreaking havoc on our economy and on the lives of the 800,000 federal employees who have been furloughed or who are working without pay and thousands more laid off government contractors. They are being played as pawns in the government shutdown.

With no end to the government shutdown in sight, there’s a need not just for immediate assistance but also for longer term solutions to help impacted workers recover what they have…


Take that Donald Trump

You don’t get to be the richest man in the world by backing away from big difficult challenges. For Jeff Bezos, not picking Toronto for Amazon’s HQ2 would be a bad business decision. Especially with President Trump’s bombastic “trade war” rhetoric intensifying, coupled with the newest target in his cross hairs — Amazon Inc.

This morning, President Trump tweeted his concerns with Amazon “causing tremendous damage to the U.S” incorrectly saying that Amazon pays “little or no state and local taxes”. …


Let’s just stipulate that 2016 was a lousy year. We lost the Greatest, Prince and a Princess (Leia), and saw the election of a clown who thinks he’s a king. Worse yet, the President-elect likes to communicate simple and wrong answers to complex questions in 140 characters. 2017 will be somewhat better if it sees the end of Silicon Valley tweeting its own 3 character simple and wrong answer to complex questions. UBI: It’s the wrong answer to the wrong question.

There is real angst in the United States about inequality and in particular with opportunity creation and the likelihood…


We the People

By coincidence, not design, I spent the two weeks after the election in the Bay Area, Sacramento and Washington, D.C., engaging with over 100 groups and leaders about the future of our country— bipartisan leaders in media, foundations, think tanks, NGOs, businesses, labor, technology, the academy, public service and the faith community. What I discussed with them is what we do now to move the United States forward. Is the American Dream dead? As we move beyond shock (and for many of us grieving), is there a constructive path out? Can it be bi-partisan? …


Leonard Caetano Mendonca (1934–2015)

2015 was a year of transition for me. Personally, it was bittersweet. My youngest daughter started her career, moved into an apartment, and Christine and I became empty nesters. My mother sunk even deeper into the irreversible depths of Alzheimer’s disease. Most sadly, my father passed away suddenly at 80. His father lived and worked with us on the farm until he was nearly 100, so I fully expected my dad to be with us for another couple of decades. …


Charles L. Berberich

Earlier this week I posted a story on my day at Solano Prison as a guest of Defy Ventures. As I said, the experience of mentoring prisoners to be entrepreneurs was heartbreaking and yet heartwarming. More important than what I felt, was the impact on the convicts themselves. One of the winners of the business plan competition, Charles L. Berberich couldn’t find enough adjectives to describe it. What he said:


Solano Prison Friends

Right before Christmas, after emptying everything but my ID, I stepped through an X-Ray machine, was searched, and went through three steel gates opened independently by guards into Solano State Prison (tighter security I might add than getting into the Pentagon, the CIA or the White House). Fortunately, I was just a guest of Defy Ventures as a mentor and judge for a unique program for felons incarcerated there.

Thanks to generous support and grants from Full Circle Fund and Google.org, Catherine Hoke (and her own redemption story) was able to extend her training in entrepreneurship non-profit to California —…

Lenny Mendonca

Senior Partner Emeritus @mckinsey, @hmbbrewingco, @pstaproom, @fusecorps, @newamerica, @movecafwd views are my own-do or do not, there is no try

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store