Finance, and the fake innovation of today's Silicon Valley


Because that is what “data rentiership” means.

Finance, and the fake innovation of today's Silicon Valley /img/call-out-fake-innovation.jpg

Is the Silicon Valley of today a global epitome of an innovation cluster”? Not really, says K.D. Birch, and I agree. Because, as Birch writes, key characteristic of Silicon Valley are:

  • the pursuit and entrenchment of a strong intellectual property (IP) regime…
  • presented as the best way to ensure or renew national competitiveness

But this model, or maybe I should say this definition of innovation creates big problems exactly because it is, quoting Birch again, “based on locking down new ideas and technologies”. More in detail:

  1. Although IP rights are supposed to provide an incentive to promote innovation, it’s debatable whether this is still the case.
  2. Even when IP does support innovators, it often ends up being used as a handy tool for reducing corporate tax liabilities through the shifting of the IP to low corporate tax jurisdictions.
  3. The Silicon Valley model of innovation turns out to be a chimera of sorts. Much of it has more to do with finance than technology

I find the third point the most important, and for two reasons. One is that, as Birch puts it, “Finance is backing these types of innovators not because they are innovative or solve real problems, but only, of course, “because of the monopolies they see coming over the horizon”.

The other reason is that, besides being fake and subtracting crucial resources to more urgent challenges, this focus on capturing finance is exactly what has already made “Big Tech (way too much) like Big Banks.

Image source: screenshot from “Call Out Fake Innovation.

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