Was recently reading an interesting book review in the FT of a book called The Venturesome Economy – How innovation sustains prosperity in a more connected World, by Amar Bhide.
The thesis is well worn – that innovation will keep developed economies like the US and UK ahead of the marching hoards of the BRIC economies.
I’ve been quaking that India and China are each spitting out a million MBAs per annum and thinking that my kids will not have any hope in the 2020s because our world will be overrun by the brainboxes of the emerging nations.
Good news for them! And, it chimes with intuitive thoughts I’ve had about our more developed marketplaces… it’s not necessarily the innovation that has kept our economies ahead, it’s the fact that our consumers are more willing to embrace new technology and this ‘venturesome consumption’ which drives the market, which drives the innovators, which drive the economy.
So, here’s to the early adopters of the bleedingly trendy. Here’s to Tweeters on Twitter… to flashmobs, to Huddle, to Six to Start, to Oil Productions, to Velo Agency… to nonsensical fashions in Hoxton, or crazy artists in the Tea Building… it all adds up to a vibrant marketplace that tests, filters, champions.
And, creates progress. And prosperity.
Another blog post picks up the topic here. Saying stuff that I’d pick up – on the public policy context for innovation… should government help start-ups at all? which ones – the big near-successes or the myriad of small/risky?:
Amar Bhide channels Austan Goolsbee when he writes:
[…] there is little evidence of an “undersupply” or a need for public policies to stimulate the production of more high-level know-how or to subsidize the training of more homegrown scientists and engineers. Rather, given the realities of modern innovation, there is a good argument for reversing policy biases against the development – and even more importantly – the effective use of mid- and ground-level innovations. Public policies should stop trying to rob mid- and ground-level Peters to pay high-level Pauls.