Showing posts from July, 2021

Building innovation clusters: Smelling the coffee

There was a time when countries and cities rushed out to build their silicon something. After many failures and dead-end real estate, this tendency has now sobered. Silicon valley has remained where it was, and its ecosystem proved impossible to replicate. So, where does the thinking about innovation as redemption go from here? Despite the spectacular failure of some of the fĂȘted projects, there should not be doom-and-gloom in the innovationland. There are some notable successes too, and useful lessons. As governments look to rebuild after the pandemic - and before a new urge to replicate takes hold - it's worth reflecting on what separates success from failure. It's useful to start at first principles: Innovation cluster is a zero-sum game! Silicon valley is difficult to replicate because it exists, because it vacuums out money and talent from all other places. It's not enough to ask whether one can replicate Silicon Valley, but whether one can compete with it. Without ans

Beyond the Pandemic: Shape of the 'normal'

The new year 2022 will be like no other. The shock of 2020 and the grappling of hope-and-despair of 2021 will be behind us. The pandemic, which seemed to threaten civilisation earlier, will become a mere logistics problem.  At the year-end party, we would celebrate modern science, for putting the shape-shifting killer genie back into the bottle. As the seconds are counted down, we would shed our fears and look at the future in its eye. At that hooray moment, we will know that there will be no going back to 2019. Our lives, societies and businesses, may have just been reinvented in the shadow of the pandemic. The memory of the 'pandemic years' will linger on: Therefore, in all our hope, there will be sobriety; our fetting of the new heroes will embrace the mourning for the dead; in our new exuberance, there will be the anticipation of payback time.  More than the outward changes, the changing ideas will matter more. The economic principles that we lived by - sound money and smal

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