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The Masked Tulip

Why Steve Jobs Couldn’T Find A Job Today

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Yep, good article. I was just thinking the other day that there have been hardly ANY new inventions in the last 10 years. Not like the 70s/80s/90s with microwaves, VCRs/CDs/DVDs/MP3s, colour and then flat screen teles, internet etc. Even the Toyota Prius Hybrid was launched in the 90s!

What have we had since 2000??? :blink: (the kindle or IPOD/IPAD doesn't count as we had very similar devices in the 90s!).

p5unit.jpg

Edit to add that I still have this exact PalmPilot model from 1998 somewhere in the basement - it was (and still is) a beautiful piece of equipment!

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life is pretty much the same today as it was 10,000 years ago.

You get up, you eat, you do something for a living, you shag, you go to bed.

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Yep, good article. I was just thinking the other day that there have been hardly ANY new inventions in the last 10 years. Not like the 70s/80s/90s with microwaves, VCRs/CDs/DVDs/MP3s, colour and then flat screen teles, internet etc. Even the Toyota Prius Hybrid was launched in the 90s!

What have we had since 2000??? :blink: (the kindle or IPOD/IPAD doesn't count as we had very similar devices in the 90s!).

All sorts of things - the e-ink screens in kindles, better batteries, oled screens, wifi, multicore chips, solid state hard drives, motion sensing interfaces (wii, kinect), etc just in computer tech. 3d TV, bluray, home media centres, internet radio, digital terrestrial TV etc in consumer electronics. Hydrogen powered cars (hybrid is so passe!), SCRAMjet drones, UAVs, 30% faster airplane journeys in transportation, and that's just what I can think of off the top of my head on a sunday morning.

Most things come on with lots of incremental advances over the years though. For instance the microwave has been around since the 40s, not the 70s - but they just didn't sell them in the UK. VCRs are not that much advance over wire recorders from before world war II. The internet pre 2000 was a very different place to now. etc. A new 'format' eg tablet, palmtop etc in computing, doesn't come along very often, but the palm pilot and a current tablet are very different beasts in terms of the technology inside.

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All sorts of things - the e-ink screens in kindles, better batteries, oled screens, wifi, multicore chips, solid state hard drives, motion sensing interfaces (wii, kinect), etc just in computer tech. 3d TV, bluray, home media centres, internet radio, digital terrestrial TV etc in consumer electronics. Hydrogen powered cars (hybrid is so passe!), SCRAMjet drones, UAVs, 30% faster airplane journeys in transportation, and that's just what I can think of off the top of my head on a sunday morning.

Most things come on with lots of incremental advances over the years though. For instance the microwave has been around since the 40s, not the 70s - but they just didn't sell them in the UK. VCRs are not that much advance over wire recorders from before world war II. The internet pre 2000 was a very different place to now. etc. A new 'format' eg tablet, palmtop etc in computing, doesn't come along very often, but the palm pilot and a current tablet are very different beasts in terms of the technology inside.

What he said.

I thought the article was a bit ridiculous. Industries have always been torn between innovation and efficiency gains. Nothing's new in that regard.

Steve Jobs would never have found a job because he's clearly an enterprising person who doesn't want to work for someone else.

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I'm sure the governments have heaps of secret tech that we don't know about.

I'm sure they haven't. There's probably some interesting secret military projects that the US is working on, but even that can be reasonably predicted. (*cough* terminator *cough*)

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All sorts of things - the e-ink screens in kindles, better batteries, oled screens, wifi, multicore chips, solid state hard drives, motion sensing interfaces (wii, kinect), etc just in computer tech. 3d TV, bluray, home media centres, internet radio, digital terrestrial TV etc in consumer electronics. Hydrogen powered cars (hybrid is so passe!), SCRAMjet drones, UAVs, 30% faster airplane journeys in transportation, and that's just what I can think of off the top of my head on a sunday morning.

Most things come on with lots of incremental advances over the years though. For instance the microwave has been around since the 40s, not the 70s - but they just didn't sell them in the UK. VCRs are not that much advance over wire recorders from before world war II. The internet pre 2000 was a very different place to now. etc. A new 'format' eg tablet, palmtop etc in computing, doesn't come along very often, but the palm pilot and a current tablet are very different beasts in terms of the technology inside.

a couple to add

Mainstream SatNav

Large data over mobile networks

NFD

the Euro ;)

We have advanced technology in the last decade over the decade before that, 10 fold, but most of the innovation hasnt been real raw invention, but improving/evolving process and hardware to exceed what was expected of it before. where some products started out as a "toy" (in the 90's) and the professinoals in that area scoffed at it, now rely on it whole heartidly.

no one in the 90's beleived you could have something more powerfull than the most powerful mainstream computer of the time (in clock speed, RAM, ROM and storage space) in a package smaller than a then current mobile phone, as a mobile [smart] phone

i could argue that 99% of these in the link are just natural progression/evolution of the technology that proceeded it, even if there isnt a natural predecessor, but thats not taking away from the fact they are inventions

http://inventors.about.com/od/timelines/a/ModernInvention.htm

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a couple to add

Mainstream SatNav

Large data over mobile networks

NFD

the Euro ;)

We have advanced technology in the last decade over the decade before that, 10 fold, but most of the innovation hasnt been real raw invention, but improving/evolving process and hardware to exceed what was expected of it before. where some products started out as a "toy" (in the 90's) and the professinoals in that area scoffed at it, now rely on it whole heartidly.

no one in the 90's beleived you could have something more powerfull than the most powerful mainstream computer of the time (in clock speed, RAM, ROM and storage space) in a package smaller than a then current mobile phone, as a mobile [smart] phone

i could argue that 99% of these in the link are just natural progression/evolution of the technology that proceeded it, even if there isnt a natural predecessor, but thats not taking away from the fact they are inventions

http://inventors.abo...rnInvention.htm

Sorry, I was in fact referring to real raw invention, not merely improving/evolving processes and hardware/software to exceed what was expected of it before. Most of the following was indeed around in the 90s (or before) in some form or anther: e-"ink screens in kindles, better batteries, oled screens, wifi, multicore chips, solid state hard drives, motion sensing interfaces (wii, kinect), etc just in computer tech. 3d TV, bluray, home media centres, internet radio, digital terrestrial TV etc in consumer electronics. Hydrogen powered cars".

My theory on why there haven't been so many 'real raw inventions' is that companies these days are much more wary than before of introducing a new product into an unproven market with an unknown level of demand. This is because of the costs/risk of failure to launch a new & innovative product, including the possibility of setting up a new supply chain and distribution channel(s), along with new sales/marketing strategies.

Far easier to simply enhance an existing product that already has a proven demand (and established R&D, supply chains, distribution channels, sales/marketing).

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Sorry, I was in fact referring to real raw invention, not merely improving/evolving processes and hardware/software to exceed what was expected of it before.

then in that vein, i would say there has been no REAL invention for about 100 year, if not more, as nearly all products developed certainly in the last 50 year if not more, is evolution/improving.

for instance.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell power Car, you can draw the roots back to the water wheel, as everything inbetween is an improvement/automation/more powerful improvement on what came before that, and if you want, you could trace it back to the invention of the wheel.

Hell one of the first automated, non steam, non horse drawn/power "automobile" was battery powered

TV, way back to the camera obscurer (SP)

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no one in the 90's beleived you could have something more powerfull than the most powerful mainstream computer of the time (in clock speed, RAM, ROM and storage space) in a package smaller than a then current mobile phone, as a mobile [smart] phone

Uh, what? Ask any competent IT person in the 90s if you'd be able to get something faster than a 1990s workstation into a phone by 2010 and they'd have said 'yeah, definitely'.

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All sorts of things - the e-ink screens in kindles, better batteries, oled screens, wifi, multicore chips, solid state hard drives, motion sensing interfaces (wii, kinect), etc just in computer tech.

WiFi debuted in 1999 most notably with the launch of Apple's iBook and AirPort base station in July of that year.

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Uh, what? Ask any competent IT person in the 90s if you'd be able to get something faster than a 1990s workstation into a phone by 2010 and they'd have said 'yeah, definitely'.

Exactly - having lived in San Francisco/Silicon Valley between 96 and late 2002, EVERYONE there knew that something faster was just around the corner.

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then in that vein, i would say there has been no REAL invention for about 100 year, if not more, as nearly all products developed certainly in the last 50 year if not more, is evolution/improving.

for instance.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell power Car, you can draw the roots back to the water wheel, as everything inbetween is an improvement/automation/more powerful improvement on what came before that, and if you want, you could trace it back to the invention of the wheel.

Hell one of the first automated, non steam, non horse drawn/power "automobile" was battery powered

TV, way back to the camera obscurer (SP)

FYI, the Honda Hydrogen Fuel Cell car debuted in 1999 - over 11 years ago.

I disagree with your post - I think mankind is getting worse and worse at innovation, precisely because of the reasons I laid out.

Logically, you'd think that we'd be getting better and better and faster and faster at innovation because of the: increases in computer power; increases in networking between people from all corners of the earth, but the opposite is happening IMHO.

(I guess you can even look at pop music these days - nothing new at all for possibly exactly the same reason!).

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FYI, the Honda Hydrogen Fuel Cell car debuted in 1999 - over 11 years ago.

I disagree with your post - I think mankind is getting worse and worse at innovation, precisely because of the reasons I laid out.

Logically, you'd think that we'd be getting better and better and faster and faster at innovation because of the: increases in computer power; increases in networking between people from all corners of the earth, but the opposite is happening IMHO.

(I guess you can even look at pop music these days - nothing new at all for possibly exactly the same reason!).

I'd disagree. But then given that most consumer tech is based on discoveries from the 80s at the moment - you see the problem - it takes 10 or 40 years to take something like spintronics and give it a general public use - and that will only happen if it gives a consumer more for less money. Inventions are coming faster than ever, but it still takes a long time to get them to market, and is becoming ever more complicated to keep costs down.

When I looked round some of the stuff going on in labs round here though - solid state quantum computers, cruciate ligaments grown on a scaffold from a donors own cells, plasmonic control of light, metamaterials, bacteria that controllably exude dental enamel, or sieve precious metals from the environment, piezoelectric actuators with sub-angstrom precision, terahertz imaging. I could go on for hours. But it will probably be a long time before any of these are available in Dixons or the like.

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I'd disagree. But then given that most consumer tech is based on discoveries from the 80s at the moment - you see the problem - it takes 10 or 40 years to take something like spintronics and give it a general public use - and that will only happen if it gives a consumer more for less money. Inventions are coming faster than ever, but it still takes a long time to get them to market, and is becoming ever more complicated to keep costs down.

When I looked round some of the stuff going on in labs round here though - solid state quantum computers, cruciate ligaments grown on a scaffold from a donors own cells, plasmonic control of light, metamaterials, bacteria that controllably exude dental enamel, or sieve precious metals from the environment, piezoelectric actuators with sub-angstrom precision, terahertz imaging. I could go on for hours. But it will probably be a long time before any of these are available in Dixons or the like.

The dental enamel is new on me - do you have a link?

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I'd disagree. But then given that most consumer tech is based on discoveries from the 80s at the moment - you see the problem - it takes 10 or 40 years to take something like spintronics and give it a general public use - and that will only happen if it gives a consumer more for less money. Inventions are coming faster than ever, but it still takes a long time to get them to market, and is becoming ever more complicated to keep costs down.

When I looked round some of the stuff going on in labs round here though - solid state quantum computers, cruciate ligaments grown on a scaffold from a donors own cells, plasmonic control of light, metamaterials, bacteria that controllably exude dental enamel, or sieve precious metals from the environment, piezoelectric actuators with sub-angstrom precision, terahertz imaging. I could go on for hours. But it will probably be a long time before any of these are available in Dixons or the like.

Good to hear - I hope that you're right and I'm wrong!

However, be wary of what I said wrt marketing,supply chains etc. being a barrier to the introduction of new inventions now more than ever before...

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Logically, you'd think that we'd be getting better and better and faster and faster at innovation because of the: increases in computer power; increases in networking between people from all corners of the earth, but the opposite is happening IMHO.

The more money you spend on 'diversity monitors' and building 'executive apartments', the less you have available for innovative uses.

Imagine that all the money which went into BTL and worthless government jobs in the last decade had gone into developing new technologies instead and you'll understand the problem. The West is old and fat and more interested in collecting rent (in all its forms) than working for a better future.

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The dental enamel is new on me - do you have a link?

I'll have a look - something I saw in a seminar so it might not be published yet.

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Good to hear - I hope that you're right and I'm wrong!

However, be wary of what I said wrt marketing,supply chains etc. being a barrier to the introduction of new inventions now more than ever before...

Something I worked on in the ninities, is in the penultimate stages of getting to market - I would agree that it is difficult and slow.

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The Forbes article citing a PwC papers is a typical bit of large company nonsense! (PwC don't address the SME market, particularly: their client-base is all big ticket stuff).

Expecting innovation and invention to come out of large sprawling multinationals is a bit like suggesting that if say, Dulux or Dupont hired 1,000 art students, they might start creating art works to rival Da Vinci!

Most innovations which changed applications in the commercial World have emerged from very small businesses or an engineer or scientist or two working in their garage or a tiny workshop. Such was the basis of HP, for example.

Apple started in a garage when Jobs and Wozniak created micro-computers for hobbyists: same with Gates and Allen.

Why didn't IBM do what Bill Gates and Paul Allen did?

Intel (First usable microprocessors) was a small start-up led mainly by Noyce.

The man who patented Xerography (Carlson) was a Patent Attorney, not an engineer or scientist. The man who patented the safety razor (King Gillette) was a crown top (Bottles) salesman. The Hungarian Biro (Ball Point Pen) was a sculptor!

Big company culture is to fiercely defend market share and extant product range: innovation threatens this and must be exterminated!

The other large company strategy is to steal ideas and innovations: and to clone patents. Or suppress those which threaten extant market and market share (e.g. Bryant and May and their purchase and shelving of the re-usable match).

The first port of call in any major company, offered a new product is the Marketing Department: which comes up with a series of reasons why the concept is rubbish. Mainly since if they do not, then the CEO's next questions tends to be "I'm paying you half a million a year to come up with new ideas and why did you not dream up this?"

The Workmate: perhaps one of the most ubiquitous DIY and professional portable workbenches in the World.

Rejected by EVERY major UK tool and accessory manufacturer: including Black and Decker!

Etc.

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Uh, what? Ask any competent IT person in the 90s if you'd be able to get something faster than a 1990s workstation into a phone by 2010 and they'd have said 'yeah, definitely'.

I remember not so long ago Nasa putting out an all bulletins asking people to donate their antique 1086 (and co) processors to keep the space shuttles running! ;)

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A good book worth reading is Accidental Empires which details how the likes of Jobs, Gates et al came to be in the position they are in today.

Its also worth noting how Dyson hauled the vacuum industry into the next century and the marketing dept of Hoover did a good job by getting the consumer to call vacuuming "hoovering" or "putting the hoover around".

And how Amway tried to rob Dyson by breach of patent license in the USA and how Dyson sued and won and gained the capital to build his Malmesbury Factory.

And how Hoover having turned down Dyson's concepts, shortly after copied his design (Even to the flexible tube on the side! Which was of the main things they stated would never catch on!) and Dyson later on managed to successfully sue Hoover, as well, for jumping the gun on emulating his design IPR when the original patents were due to expire.

As I said, don't innovate: steal.

One of my valuable reference sources also is "The Sources of Invention"> See here:

I'll look at that other book: thanks.

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