Thursday, May 26, 2016

Alphabet's Eric Schmidt nails it: Incremental thinking holding back progress

Speaking at Bloomberg’s Breakaway conference Wednesday in New York, Schmidt also said Alphabet, the holding company that owns Google and other businesses including Nest and Fiber, will probably never break up and its job is to seek out transformative solutions. “There’s tremendous optimism around this next generation of scientists and thinkers,” Schmidt said. “There are problems that bedeviled us for centuries that can in fact be solved.” The government should play a role in accelerating these developments as they’ve done in the past, he said, pointing to initial public investment in Silicon Valley that allowed it to become the high-growth area it is today. Schmidt, who supports Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, said the politicians and business leaders in the country have gotten used to accepting incremental solutions rather than taking bigger risks for the larger reward of innovative technologies and methods.“Government spends an enormous amount of money on the wrong things,” he said. “I would just like to have a little bit of it on these things which are moonshots, enormous-scale things that can benefit the country.”
Source: Google’s Schmidt Sees Genetics Advances, No Alphabet Breakup

When it comes to modernizing America's legacy metallic telecommunications infrastructure designed for a bygone time of voice telephone calls and cable television, Schmidt nails it when he points to incrementalism as a major impediment. 

As I wrote in my recent eBook, Service Unavailable: America’s Telecommunications Infrastructure Crisis, over the past two decades the nation has concentrated on achieving incremental increases in "broadband speeds" on legacy infrastructure rather than modernizing and replacing it with fiber optic connections for every home, business and institution capable of supporting the Internet-protocol based information, communications and services of today and tomorrow. In my eBook, I propose a crash federal initiative to build it given how far behind the nation has fallen. Google Fiber can't do it alone.

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