Esther Dyson is a big believer in startups and the power of entrepreneurship. So it may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that she is not on board with the JOBS Act . JOBS stands for Jumpstart Our Business Startups. Dyson doesn't seem to buy into the idea that government can do the jumpstart part effectively, and she likens such a move to policymakers thinking they could, or even should, help people fulfill the "American dream" of home ownership. Writing at Project Syndicate , Dyson commends the trusting spirit behind the JOBS Act, but explains that such a well-meaning initiative is rife for exploitation: I wish I had more faith in the system, but the problem is not a lack of good people, good investors, or good entrepreneurs. The problem is that, without regulation, bad people take advantage of the good ones. While regulation and restrictions may hamper small business, not all regulation and restrictions are useless. Yes, there are some wonderful, honest companies that deserve investment and can’t get it, but they are not that common. I see a lot of start-ups. Many are appealing and have good ideas, yet most of them fail. Now the quality of even the honest start-ups is likely to decline as more of them are established, and they will spend more of other people’s money before failing. For example, with more start-ups, it will be even harder for each of them to find management talent and the right employees. Indeed, many people whom an entrepreneur might have hired will probably become CEOs of competing start-ups. Meanwhile, all of them will be competing for a finite number of customers, and those companies that make progress will then have to compete for scarcer scale-up capital. Many investors in these startups are likely to lose their money. Even under the current system, many angel investors lose money. The best route to success in angel investing is to invest in, say, ten or more separate companies, so that you have the chance of at least one big winner. But, again, a broader investor pool is likely to reduce the average number of investments per investor, with inadequate diversification leading to many more losers than winners. The faith that drives the JOBS Act is the same magical thinking that drives many Internet phenomena: people are good and everyone means well. But the Internet’s easy accessibility and low entry barriers have led to spam and malware and bad behavior; each new service starts out “clean,” but then ends up requiring its own regulations. Read Markets of Magical Thinking here .