if I were home

I’m in Michigan right now, but if I were home, I’d go see PARC Forum Series on Innovation […]

I’m in Michigan right now, but if I were home, I’d go see PARC Forum Series on Innovation | October 28, 2004

“It is fashionable, but premature to write off the future of the US info tech sector. The dot.bomb collapse and offshoring are quite real, but hints of the path forward are hidden in the history of Silicon Valley and the tech sector. And the secret is this: innovation advances from failure to failure, not from success to success. The time has come to understand and embrace this hidden source of the US’ technological dynamism, lest we end up like Venice in it’s last century, trapped by old habits and sinking beneath the sea that once sustained it’s economic and innovation miracle.”

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    David Locke

    The economic theory that says offshoring frees up capital, so that new higher value services can be created is a macro notion. It doesn’t say that if Joe loses his job to offshoring that Joe will be hired to create those higher value services.

    The job ads I see say five years or less experience, non-managerial. I have 14, and I managed a group too small to qualify me for another managerial job, but managerial enough to keep me out of non-managerial jobs. It’s been 18 months now, so it’s time to get out.

    Getting out isn’t so bad, because that just means starting a software startup, instead of being employed by one. And, it means transferring what I know to other industries. Last week though, it meant flipping burgers for no dollars just to get myself out of the house.

    So macroeconomics aside, when you step away from the depersonalization of statistical masses and fluid dynamics, individuals who have bills to pay have to move on.

    The larger issue will be what the kids think when they decide to give tech a chance or do something other than design jobs. That is where we will really hurt ourselves with this outsourcing. It has already begun. Kids whose dads got laid off at the ripe old age of 40 aren’t going to follow in dad’s footsteps.

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