At Churchill Club’s Top Ten Technology Trends Debate, Silicon Valley’s leading visionaries John Doerr, Steve Jurvetson, Roger McNamee, Joe Schoendorf, and Ann Winblad were once again gathering together, predicting and debating the top ten technology trends that will fly for the year ahead.
The predictions included energy such as solar power, wind power, bio-fuel, wireless technology, bio-science renaissance, consumer electronics, etc. The topic of China as low cost labor as well as low cost world class innovator was also among the heated debate. The panel discussion was very absorbing and inviting, filled with humor and audience interaction.
Being in Silicon Valley, we got to see these luminaries who are the “movers and shakers” making the companies such as Netscape, Intuit, Yahoo!, Amazon, Google, etc. Having been impressed enough, I would think nothing they say could impress me more. Yet John Doerr never ceases to impress me each time I hear him. His vision is always one step ahead. He is still the venture capital “seer” after all these years!
John emphasized that the investment in environment and life-science will create innovation and broad benefits across the globe. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has recently backed the entrepreneurs in green-tech and flu-prevention technology that fight global environmental degradation and pandemic.
Joe Schoendorf of Accel Partners made a strong point that the US is losing its competitive advantage in innovation to China. Every year, Chinese universities produce some 600,000 engineering students, compared with only 70,000 engineering graduates in the US. Joe is traveling to China every 5 weeks, and each time he sees the pendant of innovation shifted toward the east.
Having been in both worlds, I still see the gaps between the US and China in term of innovation. The fact that US companies are being agile and not complacent is really a sign of the greatness of this country. I finally understand what it means by “only the paranoid survive!”