The most important word in the technology industry is “innovation.” It is also the most dangerous.
Silicon Valley companies lobby for relief from government regulation and tax so they may innovate profitably. Privacy intrusions by social media or online advertising are seen as a cost of innovating, and a way to learn how these powerful new tools will fit in our lives.
It is not just that “innovation” is a word worn smooth from overuse. We treat innovation like an impersonal force, and a ceaseless outcome of entrepreneurship in tech. If we displace people or distort our culture with innovations that, say, wipe out local bookstores or measure every moment in a warehouse worker’s day, it is the price of a generally beneficial force.
Increasingly, however, economists and social thinkers are challenging the conventional wisdom on innovation. Speaking at the Institute for New Economic Thinking conference in Toronto this week, Mariana Mazzucato, a professor at the University of Sussex, described the most notable technology innovations as coming from the government, not the private sector.
“What made the iPhone ‘smart’ — GPS, touch screens, Siri, the Internet — was started by the government,” said Ms. Mazzucato. “The National Institutes of Health is responsible for creating the most revolutionary drugs.” Her recent book, The Entrepreneurial State , is about contributions the government has made to innovations Silicon Valley claims as its own.
“The government doesn’t just fix markets by leaving capital to do its thing, it creates them,” she said.
That is a fine thing, she added, except returns are increasingly going to entrepreneurs and their venture capital backers. As a result, basic government-backed research is increasingly underfunded, she said, and the broader society does not benefit from the investment made with their taxes.
Another problem with our current view of innovation is its culture of speed, and an increasing love affair with rapid change. “Venture capital has become increasingly short-term,” Ms. Mazzucato said. “Innovation takes 15 to 20 years in key technologies.”
Her sentiment was echoed by some members of the venture capital community. “We’re in a world where long-term thinking is maladaptive,” said Joon Yun, an evolutionary biologist and physician who is a managing partner at Palo Alto Investors. His own firm, he said, tries to hold its investments for a decade or more.
Even with specializing in longer-term investments, like biotech, it is difficult to hold things for a long time, he said, when public companies increasingly buy back shares with their cash, rather than investing it in things like research.
The Latest on: Innovation
[google_news title=”” keyword=”Innovation” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Innovation
- Innovation by BHU researchers revolutionises sodium-ion batteryon September 27, 2023 at 8:58 pm
Varanasi: In a groundbreaking innovation that has the potential to transform the energy storage landscape, a team of researchers from the department o.
- Google Celebrates 25 Years Of Technological Innovationon September 27, 2023 at 6:03 pm
On September 27, 2023, the tech world came together to celebrate Google's 25th birthday, a remarkable milestone for the American ...
- A ‘Urban Innovation Lab’ in Seattle could spur entrepreneurship and boost downtown revitalizationon September 27, 2023 at 5:34 pm
Seattle is a city that knows how to convene and foster real-time public discussion around ideas, innovаtion, sustаinаbility, аnԁ inсlusiveness.
- Canada wants to be the first country to implement AI regulations: Minister of Innovationon September 27, 2023 at 4:56 pm
Canada will be the first country with official regulations covering the emerging AI sector, said François-Philippe Champagne ...
- Cirrus Aircraft unveils $20 million Innovation Centeron September 27, 2023 at 3:06 pm
The 189,000-square-foot space in Duluth previously served as the maintenance, repair and operations building for Northwest and AAR.
- AudioEye Wins SaaS Award For ‘Best Accessibility Innovation’on September 27, 2023 at 2:57 pm
In a press release published on Wednesday, Arizona-based web accessibility company AudioEye announced it has won Best Accessibility Innovation in a SaaS Product at ...
- Dallas selected as one of three national hubs for new medical innovation federal agencyon September 27, 2023 at 1:46 pm
“Texas is a national leader in healthcare research and innovation, solving many of our nation’s — and the world’s — scientific challenges,” Abbott said. Dallas’s selection comes more than a year after ...
- Ease Logistics to build new facility at 33 Innovation Park in Marysvilleon September 27, 2023 at 10:25 am
It will be located at 33 Innovation Park, which is on Innovation Way in Marysville's Beta District. Dubbed the Ease Logistics Center, the facility will feature innovation space, automated warehousing, ...
- Wesleyan Impact Partners Expands Its Learning and Innovation Group with the Addition of Two Nationally Recognized Methodist Leaderson September 27, 2023 at 6:07 am
Wesleyan Impact Partners hires Rev. Kathleen McShane and Derrick Scott III, two leadership and innovation voices in the Methodist ecosystem.
- Intel Innovation Event And Meteor Lake Chip Signal A Turnaround Has Begunon September 26, 2023 at 1:57 pm
From its focus on state-side manufacturing to new cutting-edge CPU designs, software enablement and AI, Intel appears to be on the path to recovery.
via Bing News