gregbo (gregbo) wrote,
gregbo
gregbo

  • Mood:

Judy Estrin on innovation (or lack thereof)

Judy Estrin, long-time Internet architect and entrepreneur, has written a new book, Closing the Innovation Gap, in which she criticizes the Silicon Valley investment community for putting their money into companies that are more likely to have short-term ROI. It is hard to argue with the SV investment community's philosophy, especially given the continually weakening economy. These types of companies have generally low startup costs (because they can be created on the web using open-source software) and can show immediate revenues (because they're ad-sponsored). Other companies are less likely to be funded, even though an argument might be made for the importance of their existence (e.g. anti-unwanted traffic, which helps these companies conduct business).

I've had discussions with some friends of mine on similar topics. I sense that some of the old Internet guard yearns for the days when they were the darlings of the investors and/or research funders. Part of the difference between now and then (especially back in the 1960s) was that there was generally more optimism in the US as a whole, particularly with regards to technical advancement. I also think there is a sense that that aspect of Internet development is done, but more work is needed on applications and services.

There's more to the book. JE weighs in on the "shortage of qualified tech workers" debate, on the side of those who want to see visa caps raised to allow more non-citizens to fill US tech jobs. I'm disappointed to see this – certainly, she must be aware of the many talented people who've lost jobs and struggle to find jobs, while people enter the US on work visas due to a supposed shortage. I'm concerned that there will be increases in visa caps after the November election – McCain and Obama both support them, and the number of respected tech pioneers/entrepreneurs/veterans who advocate them continues to grow.
Tags: career, immigration
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 9 comments