Joel Bomgar is the founder of Bomgar Corporation, a leading provider of enterprise remote support solutions. The company had an ownership change in May when TA Associates, a global private equity firm, acquired a majority interest in the company.
MW: Joel, what has life been like for you after the Bomgar ownership change?
JB: Life is fantastic! My wife and I have baby #4 on the way in early November, and I’ve really enjoyed having the time to pursue an interest in public policy while still being very engaged in Bomgar as well as having time with my wife, Rachel, and our children.
MW: What now is your role with Bomgar Corporation and how are you staying involved with the company?
JB: As chairman of the board, I continue to be involved in strategy, without the need to be involved in tactics or execution. That allows me to focus on vision and assist in numerous other ways where I feel I can add value.
MW: Being the founder of Bomgar Corporation, I’m sure you want to see the company thrive. Where would you like to see Bomgar go from here?
JB: We have spent the last 11 years building an incredible technology platform and worldwide sales and marketing reach with more than two hundred employees worldwide. Those ingredients provide a lot of opportunity for the future in addition to maintaining our #1 position in market share worldwide for enterprise remote support technology. My hope for the future is that we leverage all those assets to maximize their value while keeping and growing our #1 position in the marketplace.
MW: Along with your involvement as the chairman of the board of Bomgar, what else are you doing with your time?
JB: I’ve spent a ton of time studying a wide range of public policies both nationally and locally and also a lot of time studying economics and human behavior. If you understand economics as well as how people respond to incentives and how public policy alters behavior and often creates unintended consequences, it becomes a lot easier to understand what public policies will work and which ones won’t.
MW: What made you interested in public policy?
JB: Back in the mid-2000’s, I read the public policy primer “Governing by Principle” put out by the Mississippi Center for Public Policy. It was the first time I had read and understood the fundamental elements of what makes government and society work and that started me on the public policy knowledge quest. Since that time I’ve spent literally thousands of hours studying economics and public policy, including listening through lectures on history, philosophy, intellectual history, Austrian economics, and finance from the Teaching Company great courses series. All of this intellectual investment has resulted in me being even more interested in public policy than before.
MW: What specific areas of public policy are you researching?
JB: I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand and solidify the underlying historical and economic foundations, but ultimately I’d like to have a thorough understanding of every area of public policy that affects Mississippians in a significant way, especially those areas where the state spends the most of the taxpayer’s money. For example, just five areas of the general fund budget represent more than 80 percent of where the money goes. Those five areas are elementary and secondary education (nearly 40 percent), post-secondary education (about 15 percent), interest payments on the debt (7 percent) and Department of Corrections (6 percent). I’d like to thoroughly understand every aspect of those areas as well as any other area that affects Mississippians.
MW: Why, in your opinion, are those areas important to you and Mississippi?
JB: The three criteria I use to determine what is most important and where we need to focus are:
– What affects the most people and in the biggest way?
– Where are the most financial or other resources going?
– How much room for improvement is there in that specific area?
When you look at each area of public policy through those three lenses it becomes much easier to focus and prioritize where time and energy should be spent relative to making Mississippi better and moving our state forward.
» Martin Willoughby is a business consultant and regular contributing columnist for the Mississippi Business Journal. He serves as Chief Operating Officer of Butler Snow Advisory Services, LLC and can be reached at martin.willoughby@ butlersnow.com.