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Why I Chose Switzerland! (Part #7 by Jimmy Jackson)

Jimmy Jackson

28 November 2023

The European headquarters for Jackson Quantum Ventures, my high-flying, hyper-dynamic company, leader in its field and innovator par excellence, will be in SWITZERLAND.

The European headquarters for Jackson Quantum Ventures, my high-flying, hyper-dynamic company, leader in its field and innovator par excellence, will be in SWITZERLAND.

Dear fans,

Yes, I made my choice!

Am I happy?  Oh, I’m more than happy: I’m thrilled!

In case you haven’t been following the series of scintillating articles I’ve been writing about my selection process, let me just summarize it: 

Thanks to some excellent advice from Abercrombie Jefferson, my longtime mentor and ping pong partner, I set aside some quality time to think long and hard about the selection criteria that a European country would have to meet in order to land our new HQ.  I noted them all down in my “Top Ten” list of important conditions I thought this country would have to fulfill. 

Pretty soon I realized that I could regroup these top ten criteria into just three things that really mattered:

  • What’s the business environment like there? 
  • Is the country a good place to find people to come work for me with the talent and know-how I need?
  • How about the quality of life there?  Not much point in being miserable, as Norma, my better half, often reminds me!

Just about everything in that original top ten list could be classified as belonging in one of these three big categories.  (Direct flights from Indianapolis – well, I had to let go of that dream.)

I assiduously compared the countries that had stood out according to my previous homework.
I assiduously compared the countries that had stood out according to my previous homework.

Using this new list, I did a quick country comparison.  It helped a bit.  But then my trusty CFO Beauregard came up with a good idea: making it all visual.  So I concocted one of those Vendiagram thingies like consultants do.  Good thinking, Beauregard!

So let me tell you a little more about my thinking.  The first big circle, the purple one, was the Business Environment. This included the things that would make doing business nice and smooth.  You know, stuff like sensible regulations and low taxes, good roads and airports and trains that run on time, a currency that doesn’t fluctuate all over the map, no wild political surprises… Basically a stable, dependable country.

These are the three big things I want – and why I want them.

Related to this, but in a separate circle on the diagram (yellow), was Talent.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a celebrated entrepreneur, if you want your business running nice and smooth, you’ve got to have talented people working for you – even (painful as it is to admit this) people that occasionally prove to be smarter than you are.  So the ideal country would probably be famous for its problem-solving thinkers solving amazing problems, engineers and designers engineering and designing amazing stuff, innovative inventors inventing amazing inventions, and scientists discovering amazing discoveries – oh yes, and it has a great system of schools that churn these people out like so many little macaroni noodles.  What’s more, these talented people are not just seriously smart but friendly, uncomplicated, and principled – and they like working more than going on strike.

Where these two big circles overlap on the diagram, you have the makings of a productive country: one with good infrastructure, effective systems, and excellent people, all of which will make my job as “Big Cheese” of Jackson Quantum Ventures easier!  It will also help make JQV more competitive – and you know what that means: bigger bonuses.

The third big circle, the green one, is about the Standard of Living that the country has to offer.  The quality of everyday existence.  Some of this is institutional, like the good schools I mentioned just above, and an excellent healthcare system (that won’t bankrupt me; that would be nice).  But life is not only worth living when you’re in school or the hospital!  Even hard-charging entrepreneurs like myself manage to carve out an hour or two of free time every week, and I’ve always believed that it’s nice if this time can be spent doing something enjoyable. I consulted with Norma to get a feeling for some of this “soft” stuff.  She reminded me how much I like to eat.  Yes, it’s true.  So we shouldn’t ignore a country’s culinary culture.  And she reminded me that a peaceful stroll in the countryside is occasionally a good thing, too.  And then she added that all those talented people I need to hire will probably want to live someplace that’s great for raising a family – healthy, safe, full of outdoor activities to choose from and resplendent with the glorious bounty of nature all around…  OK, OK, Norma, I get it.

She’s right, of course.  On the diagram, where the second and third circles overlap, you’ll have a country where talented, ambitious people love to live.  Here they can work hard and play hard.  And have a wonderful time doing both.  Makes sense to me!

Lastly, when we go back to the diagram, we also see that there’s a space where the first and third circles overlap. This is where the business environment is excellent and the quality of life is superb. Well, I don’t know about you, but to me this sounds like paradise!  A country that offers beauty and security and peace of mind while also being really efficient, well-managed, and business-friendly… Well, why would I ever want to leave such a place?  Especially if the food’s good?

Then, lo and behold, right where all three circles overlap, Switzerland practically leaps off the page.  By golly, the choice turned out to be easy after all!

So what now?  It’s time for a deeper dive into Switzerland.  I want to learn more, master the details, ask some good questions.  I want to find out more about some of its leaders, like Victorinox in the potato peeling business – and the secrets of their success.

Join me!

Adios, amegos!