Friday, November 06, 2009

Technological Leadership

Was at Disneyland yesterday. Fun, short lines, etc. Went to the ASIMO demo. Honda in 1950 made motors for bicycles. Today FCX and Hondajet and a robot that can actually run. GM? They have GMAC and an iPod jack in their Buicks.

I weep for the Republic. Spend six minutes with Race Against Time to see what we've lost.


Lou Minatti said...

We still have a lot of innovation, Rob. I am not talking about innovation in financial crap, I am talking about real product innovation.

Take a break from CR. :-)

EconomicDisconnect said...

I can say with full confidence that the US is numero uno in biotechnology and genetic engineering innovation.

I am almost certain we lead in reality TV show ideas category, but the UK is a close second.

w said...

We lead the way in farming as well. Don't listen to those arrogant Israelis and Dutchmen. Their pretty greenhouses are nothing more than a niche.

Orange10 said...

Boomers have introduced the concept of regularly stealing from their own children and grandchildren to pay for Boomers' continued living high on the hog.

It's worked out just great. Just like every other sociological disaster brought to us by the Boomers.

H Simpson said...

Hey Orange

So exactly who invented all the advances to build a computer that used to be the size of a gym and maintained by 10 people to something you could fit on your lap? Why are 80 percent of the computer companies in the US? And when it comes to commercial software, it is just about a lock except for SAP.

Satillite tv, Polar Fleece clothing, ATMs, restored rivers and lakes. All technology from boomers.

How about the aggressive commerialization of the Internet?

As for autos Rob, one of the best electric cars is manufactured just up the road from you. But the fact is you are bitch'n like a typical SoCal Birkenstock wearing wuss. Americans (well except for pinheads who think we ought to bicycle to work through 18 inches of snow and Congress looking to piss away money for votes) know electric cars are BS without nukes to power them.
And who invented ABS and airbags?
Yup, those folks you deride at GM.


Rocco said...

Hey, Homer, catch a clue. We deride what GM became. GM succumbed to greed and complacency. They tried to become a financial company instead of an automotive builder. They bet heavily on one of the worst auto types ever invented (the SUV). They signed whatever labor contract the unions proposed, no matter how silly it was. Why not? Each executive was so hugely compensated that even outrageous company failures resulted in huge gains in their personal fortunes.

H Simpson said...


I completely agree with you.

When Roger Smith, a frick'n accountant came on board as CEO and decided to make 4 basic cars with different sheet metal & emblems I howled with pain. I knew what would happen.

Then they used their GMAC finance arm to work the shenighans for CASH BACK to move cars.

I saw the handwritting on the wall as they offshored to Mexico and then laid off all the component groups. Always playing financial games instead of listening to customers and building cars folks wanted.

The last couple of years have shown GM can make quality cars and more importantly innovate in areas other than hydrogen power.

I love the idea of hydrogen. But it is DOA until the government comes up with a way to make it NOT using fossil fuels. That means nuke plants. Without it, you are just trading the hydrocarbon source and keeping acid rain.

Ford and GM know it will take 10 years to make a viable distribution systems for hydrogen and they do not see the investments to make it happen. So why go invest there? With biofuels, they saw the midwest senators/congressmen back the initative, so they went forward.

The real concern is how we are re-doing the same dumb @ss Harvard Business School techniques in high tech to hit short term numbers. Manufacture in China via partners, call center in India/Romania/Costa Rica, Mgt in some warm climate in the US. You can bet they will be next under pressure as the jobs go overseas to save a couple bucks this month.

There are great innovators in the states even for automobiles.

We need to stop off-shoring the majority of the work, because not everyone is an engineer in this country.

Stop ranking/rewarding financial engineering over real engineering. A lot of ills would start to heal in this country and abroad.

And I was responding to the fact Gen Xers think the baby boomers stole all the money. The are some stupid geezers out there, but they will pay dearly when they cannot retire at 62, 65, or even 70. Just wait until the dollar falls and what little is in their account is worth less with inflation.


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