Richard Elkus – Winner Take All

US is losing its competitiveness due to financial issues and off-shoring of production.

Tonight I attended an excellent presentation by Richard Elkus, Jr. at the IEEE Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology Society (CPMT) Santa Clara Valley Chapter monthly meeting. He spoke about how the United States is losing its global competitiveness due to our financial issues and our inability to manufacture technology domestically.

Early in his career at Ampex he did the product planning for and led the team that introduced the VCR. In 1970, they partnered with Toshiba to manufacturer the units. He then illustrated with multiple examples,  how we lost our ability to innovate and to remain competitive when we “off shored” the production of a given technology. This is also the subject of his book Winner Take All: How Competitiveness Shapes the Fate of Nations.

IEEE 125th Anniversary Celebration

Computer History Museum by Dzou @
You can always learn something by hearing top notch presenters speak both in terms of content and style. And even after traveling the world, you may find hidden gems in your own backyard…

This evening I attended a local celebration for IEEE‘s 125th Anniversary. This was structured as a reception (code word: “networking”) followed by several keynote speeches.

First up on the program was a presentation to SRI (formerly known as the Stanford Research Institute) to recognize the 40th anniversary of the first transmission on the the ARPANET (the predecessor of the internet). At that time there were just four nodes: SRI, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara and University of Utah. A large number of the original engineers were on hand to have their achievement recognized.
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