Will High Tech Innovation Come From the Big or Small Players?

Tuesday in class we discussed whether high tech innovation is likely to come from start-ups and entrepreneurs or from the already established players like Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc. While the big players may face difficulties in pivoting to new technology and adapting to changed market preferences, I think the big players also have the resources, capital, and knowledge to create the “next new thing.”

One of the most valuable assets that entrepreneurs need is knowledge about their customers. Big players have extensive databases of consumer preferences.

Most of us have probably heard about Amazon’s efforts to develop consumer drone technology. This recent article reporting that Amazon has gotten FAA approval to proceed reminded me of the above mentioned discussion. While as an e-commerce business shipping is crucial so the success of its business, I don’t see the development of drones naturally aligned with Amazon. Therefore, perhaps this is an example of one of how the big players are leaders in developing innovative technology.


New breed of open source start-ups eye rising revenues and IPOs

This article discusses the second generation of open source companies and new profit turning trends. Traditionally, “Open source software companies rely on networks of volunteer developers to help write their code and build an initial user base. They then aim to turn users into customers, giving the software away free while selling support services or add-ons.”

Companies have begun to take advantage of cloud computing and big data analysis as a platform on which to base their services and are becoming more savvy about integrating commercial services with the free products. For example, through the use of add-on technology or running the software through their own servers. However, the problem of “turning reach into revenue” still remains and there is looming fear that the big tech giants will win the game before they’ve had a chance to compete.


A Push for Open Source Software: Netflix & India

The Indian government just required “the use of open source software across all systems used by the public sector, mandating that all Request for Proposals (RFPs) to instruct suppliers to consider the use of such applications.”


Software engineer at Netflix talks about the company’s “open source culture” and available open source libraries.