Nobody will ever put that on the window of their car

Music, Spies And Exact Change: The Strange History Of Electronic Tolls
September 15, 2016
http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/09/15/487804992/music-spies-and-exact-change-the-strange-history-of-electronic-tolls

Cardullo wanted to demonstrate an electronic toll collection device on the George Washington Bridge. The prototype was the size of two packs of cigarettes.

“The first thing they [said] to me was, ‘Well, nobody will ever put that on the window of their car, it’s too big,’ ” Cardullo remembers.

He reassured them he could make it smaller. But the Port Authority passed.
Cardullo’s patent expired in 1990 — and that’s when electronic toll collecting exploded.

Distributed innovation

How the U.S. Gets Manufacturing Policy All Wrong
June 2, 2015
By Martin Neil Baily
Bernard L. Schwartz chairman in economic policy development at the Brookings Institution
http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-the-u-s-gets-manufacturing-policy-all-wrong-1433301281
Washington measures success by the number of jobs, when it should be focused on speeding up automation

distributed innovation, in which crowdsourcing is used to find radical solutions to technical challenges much more quickly and cheaply than with traditional in-house research and development.

…putting robots in place of workers. There will still be good jobs in manufacturing, especially for those with big-data, programming and other specialized skills needed for advanced manufacturing.

It is hard to let go of old ways of thinking, but continuing to chase yesterday’s goals only puts off the inevitable. Instead of dragging out the fight for more manufacturing jobs, we need to focus on speeding up the manufacturing revolution, funding basic science and engineering, and ensuring that tech talent and best practice companies want to produce in the U.S.

Andrew McAfee: Are droids taking our jobs?

Are droids taking our jobs?
Andrew McAfee. TEDxBoston, Jun 2012
http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_mcafee_are_droids_taking_our_jobs

I took the last 20 years of GDP growth and the last 20 years of labor productivity growth and used those in a fairly straightforward way to try to project how many jobs the economy was going to need to keep growing.

I for one welcome our new computer overlords.

TED Radio Hour
http://www.npr.org/2013/08/16/173000457/are-droids-taking-our-jobs

Innovation now requires more knowledge

NIH plan to give ageing scientists cash draws scepticism
Agency wants to pay senior biomedical researchers to wind down their labs.
11 February 2015
http://www.nature.com/news/nih-plan-to-give-ageing-scientists-cash-draws-scepticism-1.16895

The age of first innovation itself might be increasing, too, according to analyses of patent filings and the age at which Nobel laureates win their prizes.
Benjamin Jones, an economist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, has found that over the past century there has been a shift towards productive science at older ages, perhaps because innovation now requires more knowledge [1].

[1]
Age and Great Invention
Benjamin F. JonesKellogg School of Management and NBER
http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/rest.2009.11724
Great achievements in knowledge are produced by older innovators today than they were a century ago. Nobel Prize winners and great inventors have become especially unproductive at younger ages. Meanwhile, the early life cycle decline is not offset by increased productivity beyond middle age. The early life cycle dynamics are closely related to age when the PhD was received, and I discuss a theory where knowledge accumulation across generations leads innovators to seek more education over time. More generally, the narrowing innovative life cycle reduces, other things equal, aggregate creative output. This productivity drop is particularly acute if innovators’ raw ability is greatest when young.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necessity_is_the_mother_of_invention

https://franzcalvo.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/the-candle-problem