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How Donald Trump Can Save America (Without Running For President)

IMB_DonaldTrump This is not a piece about politics, it is about marketing. Earlier this year, Google announced that they would launch a new product that was widely reviewed by those in the know about the consumer electronics industry as a brilliant money loser. The product, called the Nexus One, was anticipated to be the ultimate contradiction in the closed and monopolistic world of mobile phones and carriers in the US … sold unlocked and open for any network.

It failed in part because the price point was more than any normal consumer was willing to pay in a country where most phone purchases are subsidized. Still, the Nexus One served an important role for Google, it showed other phone manufacturers what an Android phone could and should do. Today, there are many more phones available with the Android platform, in part because the Nexus One and its predecessor (the Google G1) inspired that innovation.

What does any of this have to do with Donald Trump? I believe he is using the same strategy as Google to inspire innovation and action in the world of politics. Disagreement and the inability for politicians to work across parties is causing a deadlock over just about every issue in Washington. It takes a crisis for any decision to get made. Added to that, the definition of a politician seems to have become anyone who is afraid to have an opinion about anything. Into this world, Donald Trump is the ultimate opinionated non-politician. For example, here are a few choice quotes from a recent piece about his bid for President published in this weekend's Washington Post:

  • “I would go in and take the oil. I would take the oil and stop this baby stuff.” Otherwise, he would not go into Libya at all. As for the Libyans, “I’d give them plenty so they can live very happily,” he says.
  • He longs for the times when empires acted like empires. “In the old days,” he told [Candy] Crowley, “when you have a war and you win, that nation’s yours. This country is a laughingstock throughout the world.”
  • He believes that, despite the amount of U.S. debt held by the Chinese, the United States has a stronger hand. “They have some of our debt. Big deal,” he says. “It’s a very small number relative to the world, okay?”
  • If the Chinese did not respond to his overtures, he says, he then would impose a 25 percent tariff on all Chinese products coming into the United States. “As soon as they believe it’s going to happen, they will behave so nicely because it would destroy their economy,” he says.

You may admire his no-nonsense approach, or you might consider him a media-savvy opportunist – but he has proven himself a skilled negotiator and direct businessman unaccustomed to the usual politician double talk. The Washington Post article referenced above even notes that other politicians should "take him seriously." Which leads to the big question … will he win President, or even run?

I think not, because it is simply not a profitable business decision for him to run. But will his threat and voice in the media force politians to emerge from deadlock and actually work together to accomplish something? Let's all hope so.

5 thoughts on “How Donald Trump Can Save America (Without Running For President)”

  1. Great article, I couldn’t agree more! I think Trump knows exactly what he is doing. I don’t think he wants to be president, but is trying to force needed conversation and action through his own.

  2. I am not sure if politicians are not talking about the issues because of Trump’s “birther” comments but I do think the media may be presenting it in that light. Trump is a smart business man and is trying to sell himself as a politician.


  3. I’m glad you wrote about this topic and I agree with you that Trump won’t actually run. He is brilliant and the media is playing right into his hand. I suspect he’ll stay in as long as he needs to in order to get his agenda across, raise the issues he wants debated, and promote a few hotels and reality TV shows. Cha-ching. Well done, Donald.

  4. Hello Rohit,

    I feel there is a lot of morale posturing here. He can say this pre-election but trying to implement this is very problematic.

    Maybe he has ‘good intentions’ but these can backfire, esp with the Chinese question.


  5. He is an American business magnate, author, and television personality. He is the Chairman and CEO of The Trump Organization, a real-estate developer based in the United States. Trump is also the founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts. Trump expressed a desire to run as a third-party candidate for the United States presidency, considering running nomination by the Reform Party as a business conservative, socially moderate candidate


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In addition to Non-Obvious Thinking, Rohit is the author of 10 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

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