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TED (conference)

TED (conference) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This TED Talk seems to contradict my general position that the private sector drives invention and innovation. After all, a well-funded government effort lost the race for manned flight to bicycle mechanics, and the Internet was in Black and Green until private geeks had access and was little more than an affectation of that niche until monetization.

But the speaker makes her case too well to be ignored. Government HAS led initiatives and taken chances on markets that didn’t exist yet. Much of this was for military advantage, the national equivalent of brand competition in the marketplace. Regardless, the idea to glean from this video is not to argue too strongly in favor of the state over private enterprise, but that the state can have an even more defined and effective role as the manager of an innovation fund that not only pays out, but is funded BY the successful development and bringing to the marketplace of new technology.

And that is where I do not object to such a view. Such a process gives benefit to the market (and therefore everyone) without potentially deleterious consequences of gambling tax money in the already pervasively corporatist paradigm we live in.