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Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Friedman calls for “Innovation Movement”

January 24th, 2010

Readers of my blog know I’m an unabashed fan of NYT columnist Thomas Friedman. Why? Because he consistently gets the world of innovation and how innovation drives, is driven by, and interconnects with so many aspects of geopolitics and economics (from micro to macro).

In his latest column, “More (Steve) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs,” Friedman says President Obama should launch a “moon shot” initiative to get millions of American kids excited about innovation and entrepreneurship again. Friedman calls for the President ”to make 2010 the year of innovation, the year of making our pie bigger, the year of “Start-Up America” (a veiled reference to “Startup Nation” perhaps?)

Obama should bring together the country’s leading innovators, Friedman advocates, and ask them: “What legislation, what tax incentives, do we need right now to replicate you all a million times over” — and make that his No. 1 priority.

Friedman’s line in the sand (and I would dearly love it if someone would put this on an index card and put it on the President’s desk tomorrow morning) is this: “Inspiring, reviving and empowering Start-up America is [Obama's] moon shot.” Readers of this blog will not be surprised to know that I LOVE IT.

Let us, the innovators, the entrepreneurs, and yes even (or especially?) the marketers, endorse Thomas Friedman’s epic call to action. Let us tell the President we stand ready to help launch a year, a decade, a century of innovation. Let us ask for his leadership, and then let’s march forward to ride the twin rocket engines of innovation and entrepreneurship to all the economic recovery this world needs.

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Scenes from CES

January 11th, 2010

I spent just one day at CES last week – clearly not enough time to take in all the gadgetry, but then again, it was plenty.

What I was certainly able to discern was the palpable difference from just one year ago when attendance felt tepid, and the mood was somber. At that time, we were just a few months removed from the economic nosedive, President Obama was still a couple weeks away from being inaugurated, and the stress of so much uncertainty was pretty much freaking everyone out big time.

This year, there was a bouyant giddyness in the air. Not only have we survived (sure, I know we could double-dip, etc., but…), but everyone seemed to be saying, “look at all this innovation we’ve produced while Rome was burning.”

In face, the Consumer Electronics Association says over 20,000 new products were unveiled last week in Las Vegas. That’s a lot of innovation.

3DTV technology abounded (I must have tried out a dozen different disposable eyeglasses), and numerous technologies sought to eliminate, once and for all, the tangled mess of wires that pervades our connected lives.

As a lover of technology, I was exceedingly pleased at the positive vibe pervading each and every acre of show floor space at this year’s show.

I boarded the red-eye home with a great feeling that my own optimism (based on how much innovation I see among our clients on a daily basis) is justified, confirmed and shared throughout this big innovative industry of ours.

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The ‘Next Major Computing Cycle’ will change everything

October 22nd, 2009

Internet Evolution site editor Nicole Ferraro shares a compelling story from the floor of the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Nicole reports that Morgan Stanley‘s managing director, Mary Meeker says that over the next few years the mobile Web will be “bigger than most people think.” In fact, she’s calling it “the next major computing cycle,” and says mobile-related technology shifts will change all the dynamics between incumbents and attackers, and will create a wide range of winners and losers.

mobileinternetMeeker presented 68 slides, starting with an economy update / dashboard. Included were positive leading indicators like rebounding global stock markets, narrowing credit spreads, reduced market volatility, and rising earnings estimates.

The technology sector (as has been previously noted in this blog), Meeker says, is leading the charge back to financial health as the largest sector measured by S&P 500 market capitalization (19%). She also showed how global technology revenue estimates mimic the 2002 recovery that followed the tech nadir of 2001.

Now granted, when Meeker turns to domestic GDP and consumption, she is only able to call the trends “less bad,” and she does say that low capacity utilization in manufacturing, horribly low home sales, rising consumer credit and mortgage defaults, and high unemployment all imply economic weakness.

But unemployment peaks are typically key for economic turnarounds, Meeker says, and global GDP growth forecasts, led by China and India, are positive for 2010. Advertising spending, too, should grow in 2010, and consumer confidence seems to have bottomed out in February and has been heading up all year.

Then Meeker turned to the promise of the mobile Internet. And Meeker is bullish like crazy about mobile Internet! Driven, she says, by unprecedented next-generation-platform-induced changes in communication and commerce, mobile-related share shifts will “create/destroy material shareholder wealth.” YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are well noted. And not shockingly, the poster child for the uptake of mobile devices on IP-based networks is iPhone/iTouch usage (“fastest hardware user growth in consumer history” ).

The next big thing in computing follows a logical evolution, Meeker illustrates by slide 32. Increasing levels of integration will provide an incredible opportunity in semiconductors, hardware, software, and services as the rate of mobile Internet adoption makes desktop Internet adoption look so last-century. This statement I particularly loved: “Mobile devices will evolve as remote controls for ever expanding types of real-time cloud-based services…empowering consumers in unprecedented and transformative ways.”

Quoting from Mathew Honan in Wired magazine’s January issue, Meeker shares this: “Millions of people are now walking around with a gizmo in their pocket that not only knows where they are, but also plugs into the Internet.” Heavy mobile data users will triple to more than 1 billion by the end of 2013 (AT&T alone has had a 50x increase in mobile data traffic in the past 3 years).

These are exciting times for technology makers, marketers, and users. My passion for, and faith in technology has kept me bullish throughout the downturn, and I can hardly contain my enthusiasm for what’s coming as we turn this innovation economy skyward once again.

The full set of slides from Meeker’s presentation are available here, and are worth going through in their entirety.

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Technology spending will grow in 2010

October 20th, 2009

tech_budget_juWhile global information technology spending will have its worst year on record in 2009, research behemoth Gartner is predicting a return to growth for the industry in 2010. For what it’s worth, so am I.

“While the growth rate has slowed over last year, it’s remarkable amid this uncertain economic environment that it is up at all. Core technology spending intent supports our conviction that the bottom has been reached. Everyone is looking for visibility, especially into technology spending. The fog is starting to lift.”

Actually, that quote is from a Gartner press release issued in November of 2001. Just a little reminder that cycles do happen.

Gartner is predicting 2010 IT spending to total $3.3 trillion, a 3.3 percent increase from 2009.

Among the topics Gartner predicts will drive recovery in tech are business intelligence, virtualization and social media. Duh. Also cited is what Gartner calls Operational Technology (OT) — devices, sensors, and software used to control or monitor physical assets and processes in real-time to maintain system integrity. The result of OT will be an increasingly unified view of all the information covering business process and control systems.

It’s all good news and a good direction for the industry, of course. We’ve seen growth all throughout 2009 which continues to convince me that the innovation economy is plugging along with a quietly confident knowledge that only those who continue to invest in R&D and marketing will reap the benefits when the market as a whole returns.

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Tech Sector Trumpets Signs of a Real Rebound

October 17th, 2009

New York Times technology writer Steve Lohr makes a good case for a recovering economy, led by increasingly good financial performance in the technology sector.

Lohr gathers optimistic chief executive quotes from Google, Intel, I.B.M., Dell, Cisco, plus a supporting cast of economists and analysts. The pervasive spread of computing across industries and society, they tell us, means the long-term growth trend in the tech sector is as much a mirror of the economy as an engine of economic growth.

Just as there was some serious psychology behind the economic collapse, rising confidence at the executive level will translate into investment in growth, including hiring. Lohr says that phase has just begun and that the steady march of digital technology is pushing a renewed and broadbased demand for information technology.

16compute_650Oh, and by the way, check out the image associated with Lohr’s article – a dollar bill made from a circuit board. Another interesting statement relative to my blog post from yesterday about images of technology

Read Steve Lohr’s entire column here.

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