Thursday, August 28, 2008

Does Silicon Valley Face an Innovation Crisis?

"Judy Estrin, who has built several Silicon Valley companies and was the chief technology officer of Cisco Systems, says Silicon Valley is in trouble. In a new book, “Closing the Innovation Gap,” which will be in bookstores Tuesday, she writes that the valley’s problems are symptomatic of a crisis in innovation facing the country as a whole.
In an interview in her Menlo Park office Thursday, Ms. Estrin said that the United States is stifling innovation by failing to take risks in sectors from academia to government to venture capital. “I’m not generally an alarmist, but I am really, really concerned about this country,” she said.
In her book, Ms. Estrin discusses everything from problems in elementary education to drug development, but her expertise is in information technology. Beginning in 1981, she co-founded three tech companies: Bridge Communications, Network Computing Devices and Precept Software. In 1998, Cisco acquired Precept and appointed her chief technology officer. She left in 2000 and co-founded Packet Design, now JLABS, where she is chief executive."

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