For the last few years, many leaders in the Massachusetts innovation community have been arguing that non-compete agreements should be eliminated.

Article after article has been written in support of putting this policy forward to increase the dynamism of our ecosystem and send a message to the broader innovation community that Massachusetts is a great place to start and develop your career. Many studies have shown that non-compete agreements reduce R&D investment and stifle innovation. MIT Professor Matt Marx conducted a seminal study in Michigan that showed the enforcement of non-competes caused a sharp drop in mobility for inventors, thereby slowing innovation and economic dynamism. Professor Mark Garmaise of UCLA published a study which had similar findings and, further, assessed the state by state use of non-competes, concluding that Massachusetts had one of the strictest in the nation (see chart below from Highland’s Paul Maeder, putting states on a 0-9 enforceability index scale).

non compete

Today, Governor Deval Patrick is officially proposing to change all that by putting forward legislation that will eliminate non-competes outright.  If passed, this has the potential to eliminate a huge barrier to the free flow of talent to the best opportunities, thereby creating a more dynamic entrepreneurial environment in the state.

I give tremendous credit to Spark Capital’s Bijan Sabet, who first raised this issue seven years ago.  Many legislators and leaders got behind the effort, but no one has been able to galivinize enough support to convince the governor to lead here.  Greg Bialecki and Jennifer Lawrence have made that happen, and the tech community will be forever grateful if the legislature will embrace this effort, even if in the face of big-company opposition.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo has been a champion for the innovation economy for years, kicked off by his (somewhat cheeky) open letter to Mark Zuckerburg to urge him to open a Facebook office in Massachusetts.

Let’s hope he’s willing to support legislation that makes it easier for the next Mark Zuckerburg to leave his or her job to start the next Facebook — without the fear of old-school shackles and reprisals.

This story originally appeared on Jeff Bussgang.

VentureBeat » Entrepreneur
Jeff Bussgang

Brutal 30-Second Ad May Finally Change Your Mind About Texting and Driving


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The ad draws you in with a slice-of-life scene featuring a few teens laughing and chatting in a car. The driver receives a text, looks at her phone and blows past a stop sign — then, a truck broadsides her car. The action plays out in excruciatingly slow motion

A police officer then addresses the camera: "Nobody likes to be stopped by the police. But if I had seen her texting while driving and given her a ticket, it just might have saved her life." Read more...

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‘‘So far there’s no report of any sightings,’’ Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation, said at a Sunday morning news conference in Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The company says it is "fearing for the worst."

At this point, no further developments regarding MH370 has been confirmed. We are waiting for new updates from DCA on the SAR efforts.

Malaysia Airlines (@MAS) March 9, 2014

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tom davenport

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When it comes to big data and analytics, there’s the hype — and then there’s the reality, said Tom Davenport, one of the world’s foremost analytics experts and author of Big Data @ Work.

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Walter Glenn

10 Things You Might Not Know About ‘South Park’


Four foul-mouthed boys from Colorado have more substance than what meets the eye. No, really.

Beyond the fart jokes and raunchy shenanigans that made South Park a hit, a lot of fascinating facts surround the show and its creators. YouTube channel AllTime10s centered their latest list around the popular Comedy Central show with some little-known tidbits that fans may have missed over the years.

Ever wonder about the origin of Kenny's character? Or how many celebrity cameos have happened on the show? Watch the video to stuff your brain with South Park facts. Read more...

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Five things to know about Viber

Messaging service has been bought for $ 900m by Rakuten, Japan’s largest e-commerce company by sales. So what are the secrets behind its rise?
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