- File Size: 613 KB
- Print Length: 77 pages
- Publisher: TED Books (November 21, 2011)
- Publication Date: November 21, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006C1HX24
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#591,558 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #237 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Business & Money > Technology > Innovation
- #316 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Business & Money > Entrepreneurship & Small Business > Entrepreneurship > Management
- #2287 in Kindle Store > Kindle Short Reads > Two hours or more (65-100 pages) > Business & Money
Launching The Innovation Renaissance: A New Path to Bring Smart Ideas to Market Fast (TED Books Book 8) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Tabarrok puts forward the view that the US can reignite innovation by changing the patent system, in particular reducing the time for software patents or abolishing them altogether and having patents of different durations and patents that the US government would then buy under certain circumstances. Tabarrok is also a big fan of prizes for innovation and thinks that more of them will improve innovation citing examples like the Ansari X-Prize and others. Tabarrok also thinks that better teachers are required. He believes that paying teachers more for performance and allowing the removal of poor teachers would improve the system. He is not a fan of increasing college attendance and points out that while college graduation rates have increased in the US they have increased in majors that are not creating innovation and not in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields. He also makes the very much needed point that the greater wealth of the world will mean more innovation as there is more demand and there will be more people with the time and education to innovate. Tabarrok also looks at US spending on innovation against welfare spending.
Tabarrok doesn't look at are why with the average education the US has long had how it continues to be the center of world computer technology and a major centre for medical and other research areas. He doesn't look at how the US has produced Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Genentech and others while the rest of the world seems to capitalise less on this sort of innovation. He also doesn't get into detailed questions such as if permanent bodies such as NASA and the NIH are better at research than grants for Universities.
The book is impressively crisp and thought provoking. It's a really interesting book that is well worth reading for anyone with an interest in what could be done to enhance innovation and wealth. It's not a complete popular study but hopefully Tabarrok or other people inspired by the book will follow this important area of economics and public policy.
The one chapter/set of points that I wasn't so enthusiastic about was the one about "too many regulations". He offers no advice on how to get rid of them. Quite the contrary, he states that many regulations might be good ones, but taken all together they lead to stagnation. If they're good taken individually, how do you select which ones to eliminate? It's all well and good to wave one's hands at "too many regulations", however, constructive advice on how to rid ourselves of the bad ones without throwing out the baby with the bathwater would have been a nice thing to see.
The basic thesis here is that we can perhaps end our period of stagnation by improving our policies and culture in five core areas: Patents, prizes, education, global markets, and cosmopolitanism. He addresses each of these, offering a vision for what the U.S. would look like if we had more appropriate laws and principles in place. I found myself agreeing with Tabarrok's ideas and suggestions despite thinking that I didn't really see a path to reach them. The path, I think, requires enough people rallying behind them and turning them into legislation and major social change; neither of which seems realistic in the short term. So if you are looking for a step-by-step approach to increase American innovation - you won't find it here. If you seek a picture of what we are capable of, and what a framework for what a more innovative America would look like, this book is a good place to start.
Alex Tabarrok is also known for the Tabarrok curve of decreasing innovation when patent protection increases beyond a certain level. Not dissimilar to the Laffer curve of diminishing tax returns when the tax burden increases!
His view on patents and how the increase in patent protection in the 1990's in the US, in particular in the field of software patentability, is actually diminishing innovation instead of fostering it, is very interesting, and quite aligned with what we exposed in some early blog posts such as 'How patent litigation cost half a trillion dollar inefficiency in the last 20 years!'
It is quite a short book, very easy to read, and to the point. One small issue though is that it is very US-focused and would gain to be broadened more globally looking at the innovation issues world-wide. Issues are not the same everywhere, but at the end of the day innovation does benefit everybody.
Add it to your summer reading list!
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