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Celebrating the Innovation of the American Worker

Labor Day is a great time to recognize the contributions that the American worker has made to the social and economic development of the United States. There’s no doubt that our country has led the world in technological developments, and I’d like to take the opportunity to recognize American workers for their role in the current technology revolution sweeping the globe.

Americans have always dreamed big. Deeply ingrained in our culture is the belief in the power and freedom of the individual to achieve as much as he or she can dream. Individuals who simply saw a need and devised a solution have driven most every major innovation.

Consider the story of Michael Dell. As a freshman in college, he observed that many people wanted personal computers but couldn’t afford them. So he devised a way to build an IBM-compatible machine by sourcing the components from elsewhere and assembling them into a single product. His $1,000 initial investment in his dream has become a global enterprise today with 2013 revenues of more than $56 billion. Dell’s innovation transformed the personal computer from a luxury to an appliance present in millions of homes across the country.

We can see examples of innovation across the U.S. economy. Simply turn on the TV to Shark Tank or direct your browser to to view innovators at work. At least once, you’ll smack your forehead at the simple brilliance of the solutions being pitched and presented.

This Labor Day weekend, take a deep breath, look around, and see if there’s a problem needing your solution. You just may hold the key to the next major innovation.

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Shawn Dougherty

Shawn Dougherty is the assistant vice president of ISO's Specialty Commercial Lines Division. He is responsible for providing the overall direction, leadership, and client service for ISO's cyber liability (e-commerce), D&O (management protection), businessowners, crime and fidelity, financial institutions, employment-related practices liability, and professional liability (other than medical) insurance programs. He is also the ISO product manager for the Lloyd's Wordings Repository, an electronic database of policy wordings and clauses regularly used within the London market. Mr. Dougherty has worked at ISO since 1988.

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