June 3rd, 2007
the March issue of The Economist has an article “Out of the dusty labs” on the rise and fall of corporate R&D. Quite interesting to see how V. Bush’s initial idea (of separating research and development) blurs in today’s economy.
The “fusion of research and development” helps in addressing a fundamental issue in Bush’s separation: how do (good) ideas get into marketable products?
At IBM “technology transfer” is even considered a bad phrase: there should not be a need for a handoff anyway.
The success of Dell and also Apple’s iPod are good examples that basic research is not a necessity for having success in the IT sector: (new) business models get more important, again, the classic way (basic research, development, marketing, etc.) is not true any more.
And finally: Mr. Brown (formerly running PARC) is cited the following way: “When I started out running PARC, I thought 99% of the work was creating the innovation, and then throwing it over the transom for dumb marketers to figure out how to market it. ” And now I realise that there is at least as much creativity on finding ways to take the idea to market as coming up with the idea in the first place. I would have spent my time differently if I had figured out that early on.”