Why StartUpBritain is nothing more than a government backed link farm
March 31, 2011 9:05 AM   Subscribe

Nice scare quotes and desaturations.
posted by Anything at 9:12 AM on March 31, 2011

It does seem like a pretty crappy "rescue package" if all it is is free software trials and discount coupons. If I were looking to start up a small business and went to a website like that, I'd end up feeling pretty insulted.
posted by hippybear at 9:14 AM on March 31, 2011

This sounds like an episode of "The Thick of It". I can perfectly picture Olly as the proud father of this idea.
posted by Skeptic at 9:30 AM on March 31, 2011

That dude sure does love - dashes.
posted by av123 at 9:49 AM on March 31, 2011

Looking closer at these ‘offers’ we come across a discount which is “20% off prescription glasses for anyone starting up new businesses.”

Lol, what? $2400 isn't much money to help a struggling business in the first place and a bunch of coupons? Really? I'd be more insulted then anything.
posted by delmoi at 10:04 AM on March 31, 2011

Cock-up Britain
posted by Abiezer at 10:10 AM on March 31, 2011 [3 favorites]

I followed the launch of this on Twitter. The most annoying thing - the constant messages from the organisers and their supporters suggesting that any negativity was from losers who had no entrepreneurial spirit.
posted by Summer at 10:12 AM on March 31, 2011

There I was, thinking that the government's policy repertoire only covered incompetence and spite, but they've obviously managed deceit as well...
posted by Jehan at 10:47 AM on March 31, 2011

The government's done more evil things than this since getting elected, but this is the first time that I've felt quite this embarrassed on their behalf.

Seriously, looking at the page itself feels like scrolling through one of those sites that end up asking you to refer ten friends for a chance to win a free ipad.
posted by emperor.seamus at 11:19 AM on March 31, 2011

Wants to be AppSumo, more like .com ValPak. Claim 30$ free Google Adwords!
posted by Ad hominem at 11:27 AM on March 31, 2011

I twitched a little at the Martin Luther King bit about the fierce urgency of now turning up in the launch video. This seems to be a but of a Conservative calling card at the moment - the Chancellor used it in his budget speech as well - but when I hear Martin Luther King quotes used for marketing purposes, I feel a little icked out.

I'm probably being oversensitive.
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:44 AM on March 31, 2011

This fundamental failure to understand small business exists in the US, too. At times when funding is perilously hard to get and tons and tons of people with valuable skillsets are collecting unemployment, you would think that this would be an excellent time to provide some support there. The "support", however, is extremely thin in practice, padded out to try to make it look as though they're providing something of substance. Somebody figures out that it sounds good to pay lip service to small businesses, but that actually helping small businesses is difficult and complicated, so yay, a little bit of free junk for everybody and we'll pretend that helps!

Meanwhile, the big businesses will continue with business as usual, which... well, at least over here that'll involve huge tax loopholes and the ability to write their own legislation in their respective industries.

Some of this stuff is more nuanced, though. I still don't know how I feel about things like logo outsourcing. A very small business faced with what a polished-looking logo would cost by a local designer seems, at least in my experience, likely to end up just using what the business owner dashed off yesterday morning when putting in the letterhead order. The $250 outsourced logo could do wonders for their ability to market themselves. On the other hand, when the funding is available for local, how do you convince them to go with local when the cheap outsourced version is available?
posted by gracedissolved at 12:24 PM on March 31, 2011

We should start a campaign to donate millions of pounds to the Conservative Party in the form of as many vouchers for 3 months off microsoft, spectacles and any other old shit as we can manage.
posted by biffa at 3:54 AM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

so there is no choice at all, it is just an illusion.

Labour were just as bad: Labour sold our Tax office buildings to a company based in a tax haven. also see PFI for more unbelievable Labour scandals.
posted by marienbad at 4:11 AM on April 1, 2011

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