"If you invest in a technology that makes something more efficient, the fear is that people will be put out of work," says Kevin Efrusy, the venture capitalist whose firm Accel Partners is the lead funder of several important Silicon Valley start-ups, including Facebook.
"But it's just the opposite. When anything becomes cheaper, we consume a lot more of it. The overall economic effect is, you create and expand entire new industries and employment goes up."
According to a 1995 study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, periods of high productivity often achieved through automation were correlated. Read more >
John Kao's "non-career career" began with the study of philosophy and social science at Yale and a summer as a keyboardist with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Then there was Yale Medical School and a psychiatry residency at Harvard, interrupted by a fellowship at Harvard Business School that turned into 14 years of teaching about the integration of science, technology and entrepreneurship... Read more >
Large companies, where data-driven decision-making rules the roost, have long sought ways to measure innovation. Emerson Electric thinks it has the answer.
So as the company has sought to improve its innovation efforts, it has turned towhat else?a new metric. With 140,000 employees and 52% of its $22.5 billion in sales coming from outside the U.S., the company, like many others its size, had set an arbitrary goal for its 60 far-flung business units: make a third of sales from products released in the past five years. Now Emerson is taking a different approach to tracking new-product salesone it considers more insightful, revealing, and effective. Read more >
Nathan Myhrvold met Jack Horner on the set of the "Jurassic Park" sequel in 1996. Horner is an eminent paleontologist, and was a consultant on the movie. Myhrvold was there because he really likes dinosaurs. Between takes, the two men got to talking, and Horner asked Myhrvold if he was interested in funding dinosaur expeditions... Read more >