• Chile’s Grand Innovation Experiment

    Regions all over the world have spent millions—sometimes billions—of dollars trying to create their own Silicon Valley. They drank the same Kool-Aid and used the same recipe: start with a research university; build a fancy tech park next it; give tax breaks to chosen companies to locate in the park; attract venture capital by offering matching investments; and watch the magic… Read More

  • How China’s Entrepreneurs Are Helping It Win

    Bob Compton and I finally have something to agree about. The Washington, D.C.–based venture capitalist produced a provocative documentary, 2 Million Minutes, which tracked six students—two each in the U.S., India, and China—during their senior year of high school. It showed the Indian and Chinese students slogging to learn mathematics and science, and the Americans partying… Read More

  • Can Russia Build A Silicon Valley?

    A few months ago, I wrote about why I believed that Russia’s planned “science city” was destined for failure, in my BusinessWeek column. I predicted it would follow the path of the hundreds of cluster development projects before it. Political leaders would hold press conferences to claim credit for advancing science and technology; management consultants would earn hefty… Read More

  • Oil Spill Still Too Slippery To Solve (But Here Are Some Videos)

    So far, an estimated 82 million gallons of oil have leaked into the Gulf of Mexico. Everything BP has tried to stop the largest oil spill in history has failed. The company has tried everything from “junk shots” to “top kill” to containment domes, and is still spending $100 million a day to try to cap the well and clean up the mess. The company is even open to… Read More

  • The Importance of Fear, Risk and Hacking

    The Importance of Fear, Risk and Hacking

    Last week I met Gever Tulley, author of the provocatively-titled “Fifty Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do.” The book grew out of a 2007 TED talk about why embracing and exploring danger ultimately lessens it. (See! Good things do come out of TED. Let the TED-TechCrunch healing begin!) The book doesn’t advocate playing in traffic, but it does extol the virtues of… Read More

  • Microsoft: Too big for its own good?

    There’s an interesting and thought provoking essay at BetaNews by Joe Wilcox entitled “Why former employees say Microsoft can’t innovate”. It’s a rather myopic examination of the middle-management woes and culture of job protectionism that is harming Microsoft’s ability to truly create. Microsoft has grown a lot in the last couple years, and they’re up… Read More

  • The Future Of Innovation Could Reside in Collaboration

    Yesterday, I attended the Churchill Club‘s program addressing “The Innovation Economy: R&D and a Crisis.” The panelists included Josephine Chang, an IBM Fellow and Vice President of IBM Almaden Research Center; renowned innovation expert and former Cisco CTO Judy Estrin; Rick Rashid, a senior vice president of research at Microsoft; VC executive Sue Siegel, a partner at… Read More

  • Ballmer gets snippy with Intel

    Steve Ballmer, in a move not exactly challenging Microsoft’s unfortunate reputation as a bloated, last-generation software developer paralyzed by inertia, criticized Intel for focusing on multiple cores — a strategy Ballmer says “mandates and necessitates ongoing OS innovation.” Oh, no! Oh good heavens! What will we do? Design our OS that reflects (or influences!)… Read More

  • Japan gets inexpensive, yet innovative solar cells

    Japanese companies Gunze and Dai Nippon Printing are each developing new technologies that make it possible to produce low-cost, pigment-sensitized solar cells. Gunze focuses on low-end solar cells that can be used to power smaller electronic appliances or in-store ad displays, for example. Their cells will use a film, which is coated with special pigments, as a power source. Gunze, actually… Read More

  • Fluid filled eyeglass lenses for the optometrist-impaired

    Yeah… I see syringes and eyeballs and I just cringe. I don’t care what it’s for. I don’t care that it’s a good idea. I don’t care that this process will save money, time and get proper eyewear to those that need it. I see syringes and eyeballs. I don’t even wear contacts. The thought of sticking a finger in my eye on purpose sounds like the most… Read More

  • Siafu computer interface changes shape when exposed to electrical charges

    [photopress:siafu.jpg,full,center] Hopefully you’ve all seen Batman Begins, otherwise the following explanation won’t make any sense. Remember when Morgan Freeman was showing Christian Bale around Wayne’s gadget basement or whatever it was called? And he showed him the material that Batman’s cape was made? Like, it’s flexible like any fabric, but once you run a… Read More