In recent conversations, I’ve found that there’s a misconception between invention and innovation. Your Gormogons are big on both but what is needed is some of the first and a lot of the second. First some clarifications: invention is the creation of something new. The United States is actually doing real well at that. In many fields we are in the top three countries for invention (measured by patents issued, research papers published, etc.) – nanotechnology, biotechnology, and other leading fields. This is great, right? Well, the problem is that research for research only goes so far. Other companies and countries are actively investing in the United States to do this. However, they pay for this research and then take it and innovate – that is, convert it into a consumer-facing product or service. That is where the real wealth creation takes place. Taking a new idea and turning it into a massively adopted product is key. The United States is doing some of this well – with the iPad and now the Kinect as the latest two fastest selling technology products – the Kinect sold an average of 133,000 units per day in its first 60 days on the market. This is not something that government can do. Government is not in the business of mass marketing new ideas to turn a profit. However, government can get out of the way in order to allow the private sector to do this more effectively and efficiently.