The American innovation model was broken by 1995. In 2012 it is dead.

by Scott Hampton on June 1st, 2012

Steve Blank had a great post up on May 21st, where he writes about all the great innovations he is seeing out of Stanford, "The irony is that as good as some of these nascent startups are in material science, sensors, robotics, medical devices, life sciences, etc., more and more frequently VCs whose firms would have looked at these deals or invested in these sectors, are now only interested in whether it runs on a smart phone or tablet."

His general argument is that the VCs see the returns on social media and apps and such and rationally decide that there's no reason to back anything actually transformative that involves real capital investments and employees, because it takes too damn long to make money. That's why the title of the post is "Why Facebook is Killing Silicon Valley." 

Let me just counterbalance that with a bit of perspective in my world. Medical devices, that is. While we here in the USA listen to our politicians and gasbags talk about austerity and preserving tax cuts for the very same useless investor class that isn't investing in American innovation - pay careful attention here - in China, which is also in the middle of a recession - they are promoting innovation. 

" the last three years, the government has pumped billions of dollars to upgrade and improve the infrastructure of the healthcare system as well as in R&D.

All of this has led to a surge in homegrown medical device companies and a rising domestic sector in the nation. Song said China has 13,000 medical device companies, of which 3,500 were Class I device companies, 7,600 Class II and 2,300 Class III firms."

Want to read that story too? What's happening in just one of China's many medtech institutes.
Dear GOP, libertarian, and Tea Party faithful - get a passport and go see what happens when you support talent instead of punishing it. Maybe I should link to one of the reports on student loan debt in China - there isn't any if you are studying any of the STEM disciplines. Hmmmm. It takes a Communist country to demonstrate how to support capitalist style entrepreneurism. THAT is how bad things have gotten here in my own country during my lifetime.

Posted in Bio/Med Tech, Biz, Culture, Irony, Serious    Tagged with China, Innovation


RB - June 4th, 2012 at 3:00 PM
VC is all fads. In ten years someone will make a materials science breakthrough, Facebook will tank (oops...), and physical startups will be back "In." As far as right-wing wars on talent, I remember how proud the Bush campaign was that 90% of UCSD faculty were anti Bush in 2004. What they didn't say is that 80% of UCSD faculty are in STEM fields!

Scott Hampton - June 5th, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Isn't that the truth. I think the VC talk about innovation, but mostly they run in herds like sheep.

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