It's almost impossible to overstate the significance California has played in making Toyota a U.S. success.
The Japanese firm set up its headquarters in Hollywood back in 1957. It used its surging popularity in this car-crazy, trendsetting state to become not just a major American nameplate but a dominant global brand.
No wonder California leaders were so shocked when they recently learned that Toyota is pulling up stakes in the Golden State. Toyota now plans to build a new North American headquarters in Plano, Texas, taking 3,000 jobs with it.
This surprise decision sparked an intense political debate here in California in which critics accuse the state's leaders of pursuing a political agenda that is clearly anti-business.
That may very well be true, but behind the scenes there is a much larger dynamic taking place – the rise of a truly global marketplace.
And it's giving us a beautiful, long-term, market-crushing opportunity…