Posted by: John Savageau in innovation on
Jan 2, 2010
Have you heard the news? Unemployment is skyrocketing, companies are closing, there's no investment money for startups, and the sky is falling, the sky is falling? Don't I know, as the layoff frenzy hit my own home, that it is a scary economic place to take a swim... Sharks, really hungry sharks, circling with an eye to take every last cent you have been able to hide.
And the outlook remains bleak. The New York Times reports that Europe is suffering in youth unemployment - even more than the US. 42.9% unemployment is Spain, 28% unemployment in Ireland, an EU average of 20.7% Makes California look like the "promised land."
And, California may actually be the "promised land." California still attracts the best of global engineering to the Silicon Valley, and the most creative minds in communications and entertainment to Los Angeles. Whether you are a European, Chinese, Indian, or even Canadian, Silicon Valley and LA offer an environment that is unsurpassed around the world. Our universities embrace people from other cultures and countries, and our ability to support entrepreneurs draws not only students, but the best engineers and thought leaders from around the world.
Over the past couple years I have written several stories with "frog soup" as a main theme. The idea of being in cold water, and not recognizing the degree by degree increase of heat in the water, till at some point we are cooked, is the danger of being a cold-blooded animal. Business may follow a similar course.
In business we can follow the route of "this is the way we've always done it, and it works, so there is no reason to change our processes or strategies." Innovations like virtualization or cloud computing hit the headlines, and many say "it is a cool idea, but we want the security and hands-on confidence of running our own servers and applications."
In the United States many telecom companies continue to build business cases based on "milking" telephone settlement minutes, bilateral relationships, and controlling telecom "pipes." Internet service providers (ISPs) continue holding on to traditional peering relationships, holding out for "paid peering," doing everything possible to attain market advantage based on traffic ratios.