10 thoughts on “If you think Silicon Valley can't innovate, you're not looking hard enough”

  1. I have found a correlation between those who bleat on about lack of innovation and those who are just unimaginative. One of my favorite Edison quotes sums things up succinctly.

    “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”

    Few look at the innovation that is happening at the “overall” level.

  2. Nevertheless, news # 1 is 15 sec video on Instagram, because this news is comprehensible my majority of ad consumers. Genome sequencing is beyond comprehension of 99% of eye balls .

  3. I still think that Intel is doing the hard job in the fab which is going unnoticed by the press. Shrinking is becoming increasingly difficult and there is some real rocket-science is going on there…

  4. Innovation equals risk taking and many listed companies are afraid of it.
    By giving just a few examples you “are looking at the world through a very narrow lens” too.
    Even your examples are startups (that can only make it by taking that risk) and Apple,but you aren’t objective about Apple. Truth is Apple does very little. In calendar 2012 Apple invested in R&D 3.633B on a revenue of 164.7B so R&D was 2.2% of revenue and that is ridiculously low. In the same period, calendar 2012, Qualcomm put in R&D 4.148B on a revenue of 20.46B so 20.275 % of rev went into R&D. Apple is just packaging and marketing ,the real innovation is elsewhere.
    Parts makers do innovate more, the biggest problem is in consumer where it’s more difficult to market and the risk is a lot higher. There could be a lot more innovation and a lot faster.
    The adoption of new technologies is also stifled by greed a lot of times and that slows the entire world down by quite a lot.

    1. realjjj

      I wish you would actually do a lot more digging into Apple’s R&D efforts before dismissing what they do. They are highly focused on R&D that benefits their business. They are doing some interesting things with manufacturing of the devices, the material science and other stuff that is beneficial to them/their business. And I don’t know, but $3.7 billion is a lot of money.

      I don’t want to get into a religious argument about Apple and Android or whatever. Instead, let’s just see it for what it is — spending on R&D that is beneficial to their customers and hence their business. Qualcomm does precisely that — spending money on things that is important to their customers. They make chips. Apple makes computers. Those are two different lines of business. Want to compare? Perhaps Dell would be a good comparison. Or Lenovo? Or just the Phone/Tablet/Computer business of Samsung, which is essentially the closest and the best rival to Apple in the world today?

  5. There is a lot of innovation happening in Silicon Valley. However, the coverage of such innovation often gets overshadowed by the over saturated coverage of such things as Instagram now supporting video (is 15-seconds versus 6.5 seconds and filters really innovation)? It’s no surprise that people can become cynical about Silicon Valley when there is a lot of hype on little things that are directly consumer oriented, and not as much on the slightly more esoteric.

    1. It is a fair point – I think we have seen this play out before. More coverage of video games, dot com companies and Web 2.0 stuff — all because they are easy to grok by the media and also most importantly much bigger readership base — I think that essentially is what we are seeing is a repeat of that pattern.

  6. Why look at Silicon Valley for innovation? Regarding Bina Technologies, today new technology from The Netherlands has been approved by one of the world leaders in Agriculture.

    Alignment of WGS Cultivated Tomato in 12 minutes instead of 5,2 hours (BWA) with an accuracy of 98,6% on only a few cores, leaving a file size of 1,6GB instead of 88,6Gb (BWA) might be considered as game changing technology, right?

    This company will shake the world when it comes to Genomics and Big Data analysis

  7. I just want my flying car already and robot slaves to do chores. Everything else is just evolutionary changes in tech.

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