Max’s advice for March 13, 2009
Dear President Obama,
Max grew up as the son of a man who knew ‘ALL’ the answers to the problems of the world. Max’s father said so! Many times, his father let everyone know that anyone who didn’t know that he had the answers was a turkey or a knucklehead.
The famous Ma Bell, the second most powerful force in the world (next to God of course), thought so much of Max’s father’s opinions, that she made him ‘Supervisor of Troubles’. This is true!
The advice Max promised you, President Obama.
Find ways to kick off new enterprise incubators!
Max was born at the same time as the computer. His life has been tied to this technology as it destroyed or changed every industry and business model created prior to its time.
Mr. President, American business is the buggy whip industry of our time. If we do not transform as quick or quicker than the other nations of the world, we may go the way of the great empires of Europe.
Electronic computers became a commercial reality in 1948. The original thought was that the world would only need a few of these monstrous machines.
The truth was different than the preception. The computer, like the automobile, was a game changer that would, between 1948 and 1960, change the way materials and insurance worked. By 1960, people in insurance and large manufacturing companies could not survive without the computer.
Just as automobiles led to trucks, tractors, jeeps, tanks, motorcycles, the computers of the 1960’s led to minicomputers, micro computers, military computers, communication computers, laptops, desk tops, and so forth.
Each new variation of computer technology made one industry after another either change or cease to function.
Now computers are ubiquitous in many societies of the world. We are on the verge of yet another change in social thinking, and the coming generation of multi-technology machines are going to be at the center of it.
Everyday Max sees new electronic machines and can see where these machines will lead.
The question that comes to Max’s mind is where these inventions will occur. In his life, Max often saw things created long before they came to be owned by anyone. Some of the inventions, such as the memory now used in flash cards, existed as early as the 1970’s.
Major companies bought patents and prevented development of many of these inventions until they had sold their old technology.
Other inventions became the property of large companies and gave us great advances in office technology at a price of having only one flavor of the technology.
Because we have treated technology that should change every few years as though it could be copyright or patent protected, we have guaranteed that many of the technology advances will happen outside this country.
Ideally, patent and copyright protection for software, chips and some technologies should be for a shorter time line to facilitate U.S. advancement.
As usual, Max is starting to move away from the point.
In order to take advantage of the possible changes and uses of new technologies the U.S. needs to increase the number of business incubators. It may take a combination of specific X prizes and business incubator support to get something going fast enough to replace the tens of million of jobs that are on the verge of being eliminated forever.
Every manually run warehouse is at risk of being replaced by a totally automated environment within a decade. A small number of these warehouses already exist.
Smaller computers mean that assemblers of many kinds of products are on the verge of being displaced.
The green economy will bring with it a green automated electronic industry which needs only a few people to throw the switch. This poses a threat to highly populated nations and workers in 1st world environments.
Supporting incubators will need to go hand in hand with defining jobs people can do in a more automated economy. Incubators in training new skills may be one of the things that could be put in place at the same time.
Max wishes you well in all your choice efforts.
Max writes about greenways, rare diseases, timely topics, places to eat, travel and other issues of interest. He encourages you to add your comments.
Link one is a timeline of the modern computer’s creation.
Link two is a little computer history using Fairchild.
Link three is to the buggy whip example of the music industry.