We now exist an interesting interstitial moment, one defined by big corporations producing much of the innovation and some of the world’s richest companies – Apple, Amazon, Uber, Facebook – trying to solve big hairy problems.
These are the problems that startups would have once solved but because they are so expensive – I’m talking about commercial VR, self-driving trucks, gene editing, and the like – there are no startups capitalized to tackle them.
First, it means the frothy startup mania that defined this past decade – and was largely chronicled on this site – is going to slow for a while.
Small companies could pull off upsets – Compaq and Microsoft leading the charge – but most of the heavy lifting was done by IBM, TI, and the other massive corporations.
It also means that big companies will be tackling big problems with big money and it’s time for those selfsame companies to start doing these things in places outside of SF, London, and New York.
Their continued revival is critical to the country’s ability to innovate and compete, create jobs and raise incomes and living standards.