Following on from my recent blog about “Is Manufacturing Coming Back to the US?” one of Morgan Stanley’s Investment guys, Ruchir Sharma, (Managing Director and the head of the Emerging Markets Equity team) has a book out called ‘Breakout Nations’ and in it he says:
“Every Investment idea is right for a while”
He was talking to Fareed Zakaria on his GPS program. Fareed cited that in the 1980’s investing in Japan made you a big winner until the 90’s came around. In the 1990’s it was all about Tech stocks. Then the Tech bubble burst. The Fad for the 2000’s was emerging markets.
And he asked are emerging markets submerging? I was interested mainly because the discussion lead to which countries invest most in R&D, and that is a leading indicator of success for economies worldwide. In fact, the numbers don’t lie. It looks like we may be entering a new phase with different leaders of growth, and it may be the US that becomes the new focus of manufacturing and innovation.
In my most recent blog “U.S. manufacturing: is it sustainable?“, I referenced an article about how U.S. manufacturing has been leading the economy out of the depths of the Great Recession. The authors put forward a thesis with supporting data that suggest Americans believe the manufacturing industry is the basis for wealth creation and is fundamental to a sustained and successful U.S. economy.
The rub is that only 30% of Americans said they have or would encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career.
Why such a discrepancy? An answer to this question is not simple. However, I do believe we must seek that answer and address the gap, if the U.S. is to remain competitive in the global marketplace. Being an engineer myself--a manufacturing and controls engineer no less--I know the first and most essential step to a solution is making sure we’ve defined the problem well.
According to the survey, the top three reasons why kids aren’t interested in engineering:
Kids don’t know much about engineering (44 percent).
Kids prefer a more exciting career than engineering (30 percent).
They don’t feel confident enough in their math or science skills (21 percent) to be good at it. This is despite the fact that the largest number of kids ranked math (22 percent) and science (17 percent) as their favorite subjects.
Survey findings on the adult side:
Only 20 percent of parents have encouraged or will encourage their child(ren) to consider an engineering career.
The vast majority of parents (97 percent) believe that knowledge of math and science will help their children have a successful career.
So, while American children and adults both feel that math and science are important (even enjoyable), there is an ironic disconnect (cognitive dissociation?) between recognizing the importance and committing to pursue a career in engineering and manufacturing.
For quite a few years, experts within the wireless communications industry have been expressing concern about the potential for running out of wireless network capacity. Moreover, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski noted the ongoing challenges in his 2009 address at CTIA.
In July, the Fortune article, Spectrum Squeeze: The Battle for Bandwidth, envisioned a potential fight for wireless bandwidth frequencies between television networks and telecom service providers. In Canada, earlier in September, Shaw Communications announced it would use Wi-Fi as its next-generation wireless network of choice — in anticipation of future customer demand.
Do you remember not too long ago hopping into your car, driving, across town (when gas was $1- something) to your local retail store and searching the computer department to purchase a cereal box that contained between 2- 8 3.5” (or are you “wise” enough to remember 5.25” floppy) disks? The disk contained software that would entertain us, make us more productive and educate. If you don’t remember that, how about going to the record store and perusing the aisles for hours reading the CD boxes that were twice as big as the CD.
Well those days seem long past; and inserting a disk in anything these days….well, seems a bit ancient.
We’re now spoiled with the conveniences of iTunes, Salesforce.com, Facebook, Youtube, Yahoo Mail, etc.. In addition, we’re all too familiar with the seemingly millions of applications that run on a myriad of mobile appliances. None of these programs run on our PC’s hard drive. They’re browser based applications that are essentially utility services which we share with thousands of users.
So, I began to ponder the question, “What’s the big deal about the Cloud in Manufacturing and Enterprise?” Read More »
When I demonstrated Cisco’s newest network management technologies in my keynote address at Cisco Live last week, there were gasps and applause from the audience as they saw the difference between our next generation technology and the technology our competitors are touting as ‘good enough’.
The technologies I demonstrated (Cisco Prime, UCS Manager and the Cisco Virtual Switching System) are the great results of the more than $5 billion that Cisco invests in R&D on an annual basis. Cisco spends more on R&D than all of our networking industry peers combined and, for the record, we invest five times more (on a percentage of revenue basis) than the next largest networking vendor.
However, what’s more important than the size of our R&D budget is its impact and I’m proud to say that the Patent Board today recognized Cisco as the #1 innovator among 141 companies in its annual Telecom and Communications industry scorecard. Cisco ranked #1 for both the number of patents granted, as well as for the overall strength of the company’s patent portfolio, which is a combined measure of quality and quantity.
That’s a tremendous accomplishment, and I am very proud of our fantastically talented engineers. Credit is particularly due to Cisco Senior Vice President of Research and Advanced Development, Joel Bion, for his tremendous leadership of our R&D efforts. As I often say, great engineers make innovation look easy.
To our customers the message is also clear: whether it’s the 500 patents earned by the recently refreshed Catalyst 6500 (the world’s most popular switching platform) or those awarded in the creation of our ground-breaking Cisco Cius enterprise collaboration tablet, world-beating innovation is something you can always expect from Cisco.