Andy Grove on Innovation

Technology Watch:  In Portfolio magazine, Andy Grove uses the example of Apple and the iPod to espouse the unique ability of large companies to innovate in areas that resist innovation.  He encourages WalMart to reshape the Health Care industry with in-store clinics and General Electric to produce an electric car and the infrastructure to support it.

It makes sense.  Tech companies have gotten much smarter about adapting to a changing competitve and technological landscape.  Witness how Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, Cisco and IBM have evolved over the last 10 years vs. the Novells, Wangs and Digitals that led the tech sector in the 1970s and 1980s.  They may not be preventing the rise of every Google that comes along, but they also aren’t getting put out of business by them, either.

Verizon’s Smart Move

Technology Watch: I applaud Verizon’s move to open its network to other hardware and applications developers.  It is a good move for consumers, an also for Verizon:

1. No more need to subsidize phones.

2. No more need to operate retail stores.

3. An ecosystem of developers building cool devices and applications for your service.

Are you listening cable industry?  Please open up your set top boxes! Embrace it!

More opposition to Cablevision buyout

Technology Watch: Clearbridge has joined Mario Gabelli in opposition of the proposed buyout of Cablevision by the Dolans.  I agree with Clearbridge and Gabelli on this one.  If the cable industry is going to gird itself for long term competition with Verizon and AT&T, they should be bulking up thier scope now, and not retreating into family-owned fiefdoms.  Cablevision should be a part of Time Warner Cable, or perhaps Comcast.

3 Ed Gubbins Articles on the coming explosion of fiber traffic

Technology Watch: At Telephony Online, Ed Gubbins has three pieces on the coming explosion of internet traffic due to video, video calls, virtual worlds, P2P file sharing, business IT traffic, and remote backup services.  In the first, he discusses how the carriers are scrambling to catch up; in the second, he discusses George Gilder’s claim that demand is increasing so quickly that bandwidth prices may start rising soon; and in the third, he says the problem is even worse than the carriers think, and that they need to get ahead of it rather than just catching up.

Facebook vs. LinkedIn

Technology Watch: TechCrunch asks whether new features added by third-party developers could allow for Facebook to usurp LinkedIn as the business-social networking tool of choice.  I have seen some social networking deals recently and am wrestling with the same question…is the network effect of a Facebook all-powerful, or is there room for specialized social-networking sites to co-exist?