Ivaylo Simov is investment manager with over 15 years of experience, and also co-founder and partner at Eleven Ventures, an early-stage investment fund in Bulgaria. In his recent Facebook post, which we decided to translate with his consent, and he later extended, Simov comments the current news that Bulgaria is buying eight second-hand F16 fighters from the US for $1.3b increasing the 2019 budget deficit, and an alternative way to invest in the country’s defense.
I don’t know much about fighter jets, but buying such today looks to me like buying cannons after the end of WWII.
Instead of paying 1.3 billion dollars for any jets, I suggest that the parliament assigns the development of 10,000 drones (unmanned aerial vehicles or fighter UAVs). Thus we’ll also kill more than two birds with one stone.
Through gaming and universal basic income towards a brighter future
First, we will hire 10,000 gamers to manage the drones and the military profession will once again become the most desirable in the country. Only a recommendation from the highest place will grant you the coveted place in the ranks of the drone pilots. Hacking the data of a national government agency will also earn the candidates extra points when applying.
Secondly, we will be able to cut 90% of current troops as completely redundant in the new reality. In order to avoid possible discontent among the military and instead garner their support, they will be retired early with universal basic income. So not only shall we test the concept of such income, but we shall fill our cities and villages with lightly armed former military personnel ready to crush the domestic petty crime. This will also provide an abundant new labor pool that can help cover every last mile of our beautiful coast with concrete and even more hotels, which shall ensure final win over any campers still standing.
Switzerland on the Balkans
Thirdly, with the demand for so many drones, we can develop a highly competitive and modern industry for their production and maintenance. We will start exporting know-how to both Russia and the US, and we will finally become Switzerland on the Balkans. Last, but not least, our beloved politicians will finally be able to boast that they have reformed something. Wouldn’t that be a win-win-win?
Disclosure: Eleven is an investor in Dronamics, a company developing cargo drones for civilian uses.