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Clean tech

Krugman Joins The Chorus Urging The Return Of Big Ideas In Technology and Venture Capital

Following my recent blog posts on Reid Hoffman, COP21, and an apparent resurgence of Big Ideas in technology, a growing group of venture capitalists are resurrecting their original mission in industry and the economy. Paul Krugman of the New York Times has also noticed and offers his hope that this trend continues. Max Marmer, who wrote his now legendary 2012 Harvard Business Review article, “Reversing the Decline in Big Ideas,” has stimulated a broad rethinking on what we should be focusing. The successful landing of Space X’s Falcon 9 is a hopeful early indication that Elon Musk is one of those on the right track.

Investment

Reid Hoffman: Venture Capitalist Loser | MIT Technology Review

An insightful interview with Reid Hoffman, venture capitalist and founder of LinkedIn. But to my mind, Hoffman seems blase’ about Big Ideas and “deep tech” funding. I share the views of Startup Genome founder, Max Marmer, and bemoan the limited focus of VC’s on world-changing technologies, leaving it to billionaire angels. I also sense myopia about the ongoing intense debate over the distortion of the sharing economy by Uber, Airbnb, and others.

Clean tech

Are Venture Capitalists And Big Ideas Converging Again?

My biggest complaint with venture capital and the current entrepreneurial landscape is the lack of Big Ideas— the superficiality of the technology sector. “We were promised flying cars and we got 140 characters” –Peter Thiel. We also got corporate greed masquerading as “the sharing economy.” Many other well-known observers of this industry share my complaint. Some argue that these Big Ideas are too big for private investment, and can only be funded by governments with the resources and vision to accomplish such large long term projects. I disagree.

Clean tech

Canada's Entrepreneurship Dilemma: Decades Of Anemic Research Investment

This issue has driven me absolutely nuts since I first arrived in Canada from Silicon Valley. It did not take me long to figure out that things did not work they way they did in California, and that there wasn’t much of a true entrepreneurial economy here. Since then, I have also been appointed to the Canada Foundation for Innovation grant process, providing me with insight into how R&D funding works in Canada. I have seen many issues in Canada that have impaired the nation’s ability to develop an entrepreneurial culture, among them is the inherent Canadian conservatism and short term horizon of investors unfamiliar with technology venture investment. But none has been worse than Canada’s decades-long neglect of adequate funding for research and development nationwide.

New Zealand Economy

Can Accelerate Okanagan's Report On Local Tech Industry Economic Impact Be Believed?

Report Lacks The Rigor Necessary To Give It Much Credibility. The AO report’s “economic impact” conclusions are based on 2014 Survey Monkey voluntary responses, which are problematic due to an apparent lack of critical assessment. The report does not follow the kind of rigorous industry analysis performed by leading technology consultancy firms like International Data Corporation (IDC) or Gartner.

Internet of Things

Vancouver company Energy Aware making Big Waves in Internet of Things

I met today with Ali Kashani and Janice (pronounced “Janeece”) Cheam of Energy Aware in their offices in Chinatown, East Vancouver. Ali is a UBC Vancouver Engineering Ph.D, and Janice is a Sauder “BComm” graduate. Together, they are the brains behind Energy Aware’s novel approach to the “hairball” of the Internet of Things. I began our meeting as a skeptic, and came away impressed with their approach, their market savvy, their chemistry as a team, and the big name partners they have already attracted.

Industry Standards

Much Better Battery Technology As A Big Idea

Recently there have been a number of reports that Apple’s release of its new operating system, iO7, had caused unexpected problems for battery life in most older iPhones. Another way of saying this, is what a mobile phone salesman at The Waterfront, in downtown Vancouver said to me, “Everybody wants there phones to do too much stuff!” His comment came after I had bought one of the new external batter boosters for my smartphone. An entirely new accessory market has opened up, selling extended battery life for you phone, when you are not able to use your charger. This is not a real or long term solution. As many of my students know, battery life and heat dissipation on the microchips are among the most important areas of technology research today. It is also worth noting that this problem has also led to advances in the Universal Serial Bus (USB) architecture which are also likely to help address the problem of power and energy efficiency technology devices..

Silicon Valley Culture

Stanford B School Guest Lecturer Tony Seba, October 10th, 2:30PM EME 2181

Stanford Graduate School of Business Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Tony Seba, will be our MGMT 450 Guest Lecturer, Thursday, October 10th, at 2:30PM in EME 2181, speaking on “Entrepreneurship Opportunities in Clean Tech.” Tony Seba is also an entrepreneur, author, speaker, executive, management consultant and business architect. Tony will be appearing via live video conference from Stanford University to the MGMT 450 classroom.

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