I enjoyed reading a decent opinion piece in the WSJ today at the beach. I don’t quite agree with all of the recommendations of the author, but would wholly embrace the statement:
“Technology doesn’t wait around, so it’s all going to happen anyway, but it will take longer under today’s rules. A weak economy is not the time to stifle change.”
This is the time to encourage innovation – it behooves the economy in a number of ways. First, it creates jobs. Jobs for the big picture people who dream the big dreams, jobs for the engineers, scientists, and manufacturers who take pipe dreams and solidify them into reality, jobs for the entrepreneurs and salespeople eager to find that next opportunity to grow some business, and so on. Second, innovation begets innovation. There is always someone out there with a new use or unique twist on a novel idea. Last, and most importantly, we tend to crave the new and exciting. We’re like birds in that we get attracted to those bright, shiny objects out of the corners of our eyes. No, not the GorT action figure.
So when innovation gets crushed by potentially monopolistic powers like Apple and AT&T, it’s a sad day. However, it’s completely legal – what should be (and I hope is) happening out there in the marketplace is the collaborators should be scheming to get around these hurdles. Follow the math that Mr. Kessler outlines and you’ll see that there really is no good reason why we’re paying 20 cents per text message, or $50 for a landline, or whatever ridiculous amount I’m paying for my cellphones with data access. It is what the market will bear – which is great in our free market economy and I’m all for that. However, we need to temper that with innovation and make sure that exclusive municipality deals or EM spectra restrictions don’t hamper it. Text messaging is a joke to these carriers – they send them along in the under utiltized control channels. Think of what happens when Skype or an idea like it (although rumors are that they might be bought out and shut down) explodes. Free calls. Anywhere. Anytime. Phone companies? Pfft. Maybe to sell hardware.
Stifling innovation is, as noted in the above quote, futile and does not do us as a whole any good. It might prolong the profits and sustaining of a market segment but take a page from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings who believes that the DVD rental business is a dying (or dead) business and therefore is pushing his company to innovate to stay alive. That’s what this country needs more of these days.
And trust me, GorT has much more bandwidth to the Gormogon Castle than what Mr. Kessler hints at for 2017.
GorT is an eight-foot-tall robot from the 51ˢᵗ Century who routinely time-travels to steal expensive technology from the future and return it to the past for retroinvention. The profits from this pay all the Gormogons’ bills, including subsidizing this website. Some of the products he has introduced from the future include oven mitts, the Guinness widget, Oxy-Clean, and Dr. Pepper. Due to his immense cybernetic brain, GorT is able to produce a post in 0.023 seconds and research it in even less time. Only ’Puter spends less time on research. GorT speaks entirely in zeros and ones, but occasionally throws in a ڭ to annoy the Volgi. He is a massive proponent of science, technology, and energy development, and enjoys nothing more than taking the Czar’s more interesting scientific theories, going into the past, publishing them as his own, and then returning to take credit for them. He is the only Gormogon who is capable of doing math. Possessed of incredible strength, he understands the awesome responsibility that follows and only uses it to hurt people.