The answers to this question make a great tour of Silicon Valley history. I added my own answer: the historic bronze plaque commemorating Bob Noyce’s invention of the integrated circuit. It is outside the front of the old Fairchild Semiconductor building, at the corner of Ararstradero Road and Charleston Road, and is almost completely forgotten. Probably the most important invention in our generation. Like so much of Silicon Valley, it is very difficult to easily visit the most important sites or get any sense of their significance. But this list is very good. The historical significance of some of these places will be instantly obvious, others less so. They are all important, so it’s your homework assignment.

i.e. the places of great historical significance to the technology industry … HP Garage, Googleplex, Shockley Semiconductor office, etc.

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This is another on my series on industry analysis. The recent University of Ottawa study on the demise of Nortel Networks, tells us what many of us already knew. The most important constructive criticism of this study is that it should have been done years ago. The Nortel collapse was followed by a surprisingly similar scenario at RIM, now Blackberry. Mike Lazaridis, who served as RIM’s co-CEO along with Jim Balsillie until January, 2012, are generally considered to have failed to respond adequately to the market encroachments of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android phones, as Blackberry’s market share plummeted. I recently showed my undergrad and graduate strategy students a video of a Charlie Rose interview with John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems. Chambers emphasized the acceleration of the Adizes corporate life cycle, in many cases to less than ten years, and the need for constant reinvention to survive in this challenging and rapidly changingnew world.

At The New Yorker, George Packer considers one significant way in which this Gilded Age differs from the last one. Amazon, Apple and Google are not Standard Oil, Ford or General Motors, but there are parallels. We are facing monumental economic and social issues that we need to be prepared to address.

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..

Much noise is being made about Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC’s), and the rise of organizations like The Khan Academy and Silicon Valley startup Coursera. Universities, including this one, are scrambling to develop strategies to respond. While institutions like M.I.T. and Harvard have already embraced open, free education, smaller institutions see a catastrophe on their horizons. IMHO, broader and deeper disruptive change is already occurring in all education, not only higher education.

Over a year ago now someone on the UBC campus, who was thinking of developing an app, told me about this cool application for capturing cards into your contacts by photographing them on your smart phone. It was Cardmunch. It turned out that the application was only available on the iPhone at that time, but as luck would have it, the company had just been acquired by LinkedIn. Voila! It would obviously only be a few months at most before I could obtain it for my Samsung Android smart phone, right? Wrong. That was over a year ago.

Readers of this blog will recall last week’s post on the International Data Corporation’s (IDC) report on the mobile phone market. The problems for both Microsoft and Blackberry were exposed again for all to see. Microsoft’s Windows Phone market share at 3.7%, would have been even smaller without Nokia. Blackberry’s situation was even more dire. A few months back Microsoft and Blackberry opened another new patent war on each other, as if this would somehow help their situations.

This week Blackberry has announced the inevitable search for a potential buyer to take the company private, as has also happened recently with Dell Computer. The suggestion that Ballmer and Microsoft should consider purchasing Blackberry is actually a potentially very interesting idea. A broader market consolidation, with much larger implications, may be on the horizon.

This is not the Letterman Show. But it is very funny.. Scott McNealy, former CEO of Sun Microsystem’s keynote address at an enterprise computing conference held in Pacific Grove a month or so ago. Scott is not particularly well known for his humor and perhaps better known informally for his appreciation of ice hockey. Someone must have helped him with this Top Ten list list of “reasons you ( or your Chief Information Officer) is not ready for today’s new online world.”