The question has been asked, "Is LikedIn worth $1 billion?" Depends on who you ask. Not likely, in MY mind, even while it is true that anything is 'worth' whatever a given individual or group is willing to pay for it - therefore, the value is situation-specific, in a sense. It is to some, and not to others. There is no way to force anyone to buy anything, after all. With the Internet, it's far harder for monopolies to take over, I believe..
Business relationships in Dakota Territory are, in my mind, easily characterized as "incestuous". These are small-population states, and the 'reins of (apparent, temporal) power' have been held by the same people and their groups for a loooong time. Needless to say, they aren't interested in anyone upsetting their apple cart, and they can get pretty exercised if someone does.
Particularly if that someone is an uppity Indn female who (a) Keeps a Holy Pipe and (b) refuses to let anyone tell her how to Carry It. C'annunpa Wakan ye - The Pipe is Holy. Therefore, It 'owns' me, I'm merely Its caretaker and voice. Trust me, it's an Indn thing; you aren't likely to understand.
I was told (in 2003) by the head of the Chamber of Commerce that because I refuse to "ask the approval of my 'business superiors' before I express my business opinions", (which are often contrary to theirs) as he insisted I do, "We'll burn you out! We'll starve you out! We'll see to it that you're NEVER going to be a success in business in North Dakota! Or anywhere else!"
PHOOEY! "I" am no a rousing success, but I am no failure, either. They have not yet 'burned or starved me out', although they have tried.. Servers have been hacked and crashed, web masters have suddenly disappeared where I'm concerned, but all it has done is widen my contacts with such people as I search for good replacements, and made me learn how web sites work and how to build good ones - thus making me more knowledgeable and stronger than I otherwise might have been. Does that make me worth a particular figure, then? Depends on who you ask.
The good ole boys up here will say, "She's nothing! She's nobody! She has no money, no votes, so no power! She's insignificant!"
But if they really believe that, they why do they go to such lengths to try to kill my business activities? Tis either one or the other, there are no pregnant virgins, last I heard, takoszja..
If you want particulars on the "burn you out" statement, please read the next blog entry. If you care about your employees and don't have a 'massa-slave' mentality, it will get your attention.