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July 09, 2018


Robert Stackowiak

R&D in large companies has never been all that efficient IMHO. This is especially true where it is centrally managed and top down. Perhaps these studies spent too much time focused there? That's why the more forward thinking companies have tried to copy start-ups, creating self-managing teams led by innovators.

Access to computing resources has never been greater than it is now (via cloud services)... so requirements for extremely large amounts of money to invest in such resources in order to start is less needed. The result is a combination of many more new companies and start-ups with fresh ideas and older companies that have adopted the right growth mindset doing truly innovative work.

Finally, research is possible now from almost anywhere in the world. This opens up technology to more diverse participants and should lead to innovations and outcomes that are not thought of in the more "developed" world.

I am optimistic that this transition has already taken place and that some of the historic means of measuring output from research and development will need to be reassessed to capture this.

Bob Frankston

Again with the end of history? I do believe we go through periods of market ossification which is why we need a new take on anti-trust as per what I wrote 20 years ago https://rmf.vc/BeyondLimits.

We haven't even started to come to terms with the transformative concept of software with the Internet being just one example and one that hasn't begun to work it's effect as long as the government inserts third parties in the middle of all relationships.

James Drogan

First, this is one of your most valuable and provocative posts. Thanks.

Second, if innovation and R&D are yielding decreasing returns then it seems reasonable that these translate into lower returns downstream (productivity, employment, wages, et. al.).

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