Innovation

Government Is the Biggest Threat to Innovation, Say Silicon Valley Insiders

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The biggest barrier to innovation in the United States is the government itself—so says a panel of "50 executives, innovators, and thinkers" surveyed by The Atlantic. Specifically, 20 percent of them say that government regulation/bureaucracy is the worst hurdle to creativity, while another 16 percent finger immigration policies as the worst offender.

Barriers to innovation
The Atlantic

Unsurprisingly with this tech-savvy audience, more than three times as many (35 percent) consider Edward Snowden a "hero" as consider him a "traitor" (11 percent). Twenty-four percent pick "neither/it's complicated."

And what's the biggest threat to privacy? While 8 percent of the panel picks government, twice as many put the blame on unconcerned citizens and a complacent culture (14 percent said Facebook and 11 percent tag Google).

See the full survey here.

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  1. I wonder who they donate to? Not.

  2. Regardless of whether or not it’s worthwhile, who the hell is stupid enough to genuinely think that the biggest barrier to tech innovation is “lack of diversity”? I guess Steve Jobs should have just hired more brown people and we would be up to our nads in flying skateboards and sexbots… or something.

  3. It seems to me that “Immigration policies” and “The need for patent reform” should be bucketed with “Government regulation/bureaucracy”, giving it a total of 44% — more than all the other listed answers put together.

  4. I’m always a little baffled by the tech industry whining about immigration.

    I thought the whole point of the tech industry was to make things like where somebody is in meatspace irrelevant. These are the people constantly yammering on about how the whole uptight corporate micromanagement culture thing is soooo last century, and then they demand that their workforce be under one roof in cubicles so they can be micromanaged.

    1. I thought the whole point of the tech industry was to make things like where somebody is in meatspace irrelevant.

      While the products of technology might help make where somebody is irrelevant, I assure you that the effectiveness of developing that technology is very much dependent on where people are.

      1. I still don’t buy the fact that the ONLY workers these companies can hire are from India.

        1. India is indeed an outlier in tech immigration. From numbers I found at migrationpolicy.org, it looks like there were as of 2011 around 274,000 Indian immigrants in information technology and 88,000 Chinese immigrants in information technology.

          But it shouldn’t be terribly surprising. India has four times the population of the US and an educational system that assiduously funnels students into tech fields. We should expect four technology-capable high school graduates in India for every one in the US. If only a quarter of them ended up in the US, their rookie class would match the US-born rookie class every year.

          More to the point, cutting off well over 80% (just between India and China) of the potential high skilled labor market is not only extremely hard on technology companies that really do have snowballing needs for good tech workers: it is patently insane as economic policy.

  5. The biggest barrier to innovation in the United States is the government itself

    Who could possibly believe this? The government is where innovation originates.

  6. The sad part about this is that the tech industry is likely one of the least regulated industries in the US, and still regulation shows up as the most sited impediment.

    What would executives in the pharmaceutical industry, medicine, food production, manufacturing, transportation and finance have to say about regulation and its effect on innovation? Tech is the tip of an iceberg.

  7. Shit. 58% of what they deemed the biggest threats are controlled wholly or in part by government.

  8. while another 16 percent finger immigration policies as the worst offender.

    :Eyeroll:

    I’m all about open borders, but I have to say I’m getting a little tired of companies sitting around saying we can’t find aaaanyone qualified to work for us unless we can import them from India.

  9. So we can expect Silicon Valley insiders to contribute significant sums of money to Libertarian candidates in California and national elections, right? Right???

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