In my spare time I like to read WIRED magazine. A few recent issues were focused on innovation from the United States point of view. According to the magazine, innovation happens within big companies such as Google and Microsoft, as well as smaller startup companies.
Meet Generation Y: The inside story behind Y Combinator. This article describes a startup incubator which is very difficult to get in. It is like, if you are a boss at some big company and you think, Gee, this company is doing lots of junk and I can do so much better, then you can get into Y Combinator and enjoy guaranteed funding in the order of millions USD to build your startup. And this company generated prominent startups such as Dropbox, scribd, reddit, Posterous, out of which I use none. Btw., I think digg is all but dead. Apparently, they are desperately looking for a new big thing, but they have not hit it yet. Those companies mentioned above are cool and nice but few people use them outside of Silicon Valley. So it is like incubator located in Silicon Valley, generating jobs for Silicon Valley, and produces some cool software that local people enjoy.
On the other hand, Bill Gates takes a broader look at the world. After fighting with malaria in Africa, he decided to tackle world’s energy problems. Together with his former colleague Nathan Myrhvold they have designed a new power plant which they want to build completely by 2020. Also Bill Gates says that solar panels are just nice decoration, but they are of little use beyond that.
Another article is dedicated to Kinect hacking. It turns out that Kinect is one of the best-selling computer gadgets in entire computer history – over 10 million pieces sold so far. I will tell you honestly – I don’t know anybody who owns a Kinect! But it seems very cool indeed as it enables numerous applications including 3D scanning and virtual reality.
Google is also a cool company. Android is the only mobile platform that threatens iPhone. According to WIRED, Android advocates complete openness and lack of censorship whereas iPhone is quite the opposite. The article goes beyond technical differences between Android and iPhone. It describes the way Google was able to make a deal with Verizon and Motorola, the latter two companies were in trouble, so they signed up for the deal that they initially didn’t like in order to survive. It looks like Google is advocating mutual use of radio frequencies, which traditional carriers violently oppose. But somehow Google managed to lure Verizon away from its traditional standpoint. And this is indeed a big indication of change going on in the mobile market.