“The Next Big Thing Will Not Be Invented Here”

Josh Wright —  29 August 2010

Intel Chairman and CEO Paul Otellini recently gave the keynote address at the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum on the US regulation environment and its effect of innovation and economic growth (HT: CNET, WSJ).  The speech got some play in the media because of its overall depressing tone for the US, and its frank criticism of the current state of US regulatory affairs.  Here’s CNET’s description of the speech:

Otellini’s remarks during dinner at the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum here amounted to a warning to the administration officials and assorted Capitol Hill aides in the audience: unless government policies are altered, he predicted, “the next big thing will not be invented here. Jobs will not be created here.”  Intel CEO Paul Otellini, who warned this week that the U.S. faces a huge tech decline.  The U.S. legal environment has become so hostile to business, Otellini said, that there is likely to be “an inevitable erosion and shift of wealth, much like we’re seeing today in Europe–this is the bitter truth.”  Not long ago, Otellini said, “our research centers were without peer. No country was more attractive for start-up capital…We seemed a generation ahead of the rest of the world in information technology. That simply is no longer the case.”

I watched largely to see if Otellini discussed the recent, and controversial, FTC antitrust and consumer protection settlement.  It didn’t say much about antitrust — though there is much about education, the National Broadband Plan, and corporate taxes — other than one might stretch to find an implicit reference in Otellini’s remark that “we must resist the urge to pick winners and losers.”  But the speech is a good one overall, despite being as worrisome as advertised, and is available on webcast here (fast forward to the 4:45 mark).  Stick around for the Q&A (around the 28 minute mark), including Otellini’s take that regulatory uncertainty is creating significant drag on the economy.

2 responses to “The Next Big Thing Will Not Be Invented Here”

  1. 

    What, exactly, is a “big thing”?

    Was youtube a big thing? I think so.

    Was Facebook a big thing? I believe so.

    Was Twitter a big thing? Probably.

    Although it is obvious that massive downward mobility is in store for the US, it is by no means certain that the next “big thing” will NOT be developed here.

    There is substantial evidence to the contrary, nameily youtube, facebook and twitter, not to mention DARPANET, pilotless drones, HTML, genetic sequencing, Ventner decoding the human genome, iPods, iPads, the birth of email from FTP, Fast Fourier transforms, cruise missiles, stealth bombers and so much more.

    In fact, can you name just ONE big thing that has been invented elsewhere since 1960? I honestly can’t.

  2. 

    The U.S. legal environment has become so hostile to business, Otellini said, that there is likely to be “an inevitable erosion and shift of wealth, much like we’re seeing today in Europe–this is the bitter truth.” Not long ago, Otellini said, “our research centers were without peer. No country was more attractive for start-up capital…We seemed a generation ahead of the rest of the ghd straightenersralph lauren shirtsin information technology. That simply is no longer the case.”