|By Roger Strukhoff||
|December 2, 2016 09:00 AM EST||
There was a time, in the 1990s, when Silicon Valley and Redmond thought Washington, DC, didn't matter. Top executives would occasionally appear in front of Congress to inveigh mostly against one another, then quickly return home to resume making money. The notion that clueless DC regulators and legislators mattered was ridiculed when it wasn't ignored.
Things changed in 1999, when the Department of Justice (DOJ) won a judgment against Microsoft. The presiding judge lowered the boom in April 2000, starting the catastrophic dot-com implosion (which took all of tech with it), then declared in June of that year that the company would be broken up.
Microsoft eventually survived this scare when the judgment was overruled, in no small part to the original presiding judge bragging about how bad-to-the-bone he was in breaking up one of the more powerful monopolies in business history.
Later that year, George W. Bush was elected in a tortuous election, then proceeded to disrupt the U.S. economy and world politics utterly with his reaction to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
It was clear by 2002 that Washington, DC, did matter, and that the Silicon Valley bubble mindset needed to adjust. The technology business, in which I've spent the past 30 years of my life and career, is among the most dynamic industries in the world, and can be a key agent for positive, global socioeconomic change. I believe this as strongly and sincerely as I believe breathing is good and baseball is great.
These were my thoughts on the evening of Tuesday, November 8, 2016, as I watched my TV in horror. A review of my tweets over the past year will show I've been seriously distracted by the Presidential election, probably to the detriment of my work. At least I didn't let my fear of seeing this fabulous industry destroyed creep into my story writing.
Now it's time to examine that fear. Is it warranted? Will the coming years, as with many dreaded things in life, be far less painful than imagining them has been?
Viewed another way, the question is whether the tech industry can make Washington, DC, irrelevant again, not only in its thinking but in reality.
The industry is global in a way today that it wasn't a generation ago. Does that make Washington, DC, more relevant to it, or less so than in the 1990s? Beyond the tech industry, even as the world's billions of people watch this election in its full awful glory, does Washington, DC, really matter to them as much as they believe?
The United States is not the world's only immigration or entrepreneurial beacon anymore, nor is it the only important technology development nation. An America First administration should further the trend of decreasing the country's importance in these areas.
My hope is that our 45th President is simply as full of bluster as his supporters believe, that he won't wreck the world economy and/or start a nuclear war. I can't imagine him being as reckless as Bush was in the Iraq misadventure, which opened up enough cans of worms to last another century. Rather than imagining a bold leader, I can imagine him merely tweaking any number of policies and agreements that he says he loathes, rather than having the energy and discipline to tear them up and start over. I can imagine him being very loud but ultimately inconsequential, in the best sense of that word.
I'm not in favor of anything revolutionary outside of new technology, and I look for the current fervor in American civics to cool as people learn we now live in such a connected age that a great paternal leader is neither desirable nor possible. I trust that Godwin's Law will continue to hold, even as I expect a few ugly incidents on the streets of America in coming days.
I find most political commentators and spinners to be loathsome, so won't be wasting time or thought on them. I laugh a little thinking of them applying their second-rate minds to the challenges routinely faced, discussed, and conquered throughout the globe in the industry that I love.
I know that my focus will be purely on my business now. I think the big issues of eliminating poverty, reducing violence, and promoting benign government transcend everyday concerns of who's fat, who's loyal, even who will get taxed at which rates.
Assuming that Dr. Strangelove remains a hilarious dark comedy, I'll carry on burbling about cloud computing, Big Data and the IoT, blockchain and fintech, and whatever other technologies can continue to try to propel us forward.
Note: my Twitter handle is @IoT2040, reflecting my twin beliefs that we need to take a quarter century to deploy and properly analyze the impact of the Internet of Things and that I'll be around in the year 2040 to appreciate what we've wrought. You can find my brief epistle on the topic at the website of the small ICT research institute that I started in 2011. Here is the URL: http://www.tauinstitute.com/iot-2040.html
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All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Track 1. FinTech
Track 2. Enterprise Cloud | Digital Transformation
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The upcoming 20th International @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is open.
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