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View Diary: Abbreviated pundit roundup: Giffords and Kelly launch group to take on the NRA (60 comments)

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  •  Found this interesting article (4+ / 0-)


    That something happened to humanity’s capacity to solve big problems is a commonplace. Recently, however, the complaint has developed a new stridency among Silicon Valley’s investors and entrepreneurs, although it is usually expressed a little differently: people say there is a paucity of real innovations. Instead, they worry, technologists have diverted us and enriched themselves with trivial toys.

    The motto of Founders Fund, a venture capital firm started by Peter Thiel, a cofounder of PayPal, is “We wanted flying cars—instead we got 140 characters.” Founders Fund matters, because it is the investment arm of what is known locally as the “PayPal Mafia,” currently the dominant faction in Silicon Valley, which remains the most important area on the planet for technological innovation. (Other members include Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors; Reid Hoffman, executive chairman of LinkedIn; and Keith Rabois, chief operating officer of the mobile payments company Square.) Thiel is caustic: last year he told the New Yorker that he didn’t consider the iPhone a technological breakthrough. “Compare [it] with the Apollo program,” he said.The Internet is “a net plus—but not a big one.” Twitter gives 500 people “job security for the next decade,” but “what value does it create for the entire economy?” And so on. Max Levchin, another cofounder of PayPal, says, “I feel like we should be aiming higher. The founders of a number of startups I encounter have no real intent of getting anywhere huge … There’s an awful lot of effort being expended that is just never going to result in meaningful, disruptive innovation.”

    We've all become obsessed with the latest toy, too many people seem to not understand this year's toy isn't all that much better than last year's.

    Please read the whole thing, it's long but has some great insight into some of our biggest problems.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:16:27 AM PST

    •  Really, really intelligent article (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corwin, tb mare

      and a useful - although troubling - overview of the private sector's scaled-down expectations and lack of imagination.   Of course this attitude spills over to our support for and willingness to expend public funds on innovation, too.  Thanks, corwin.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:58:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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