Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eric Schmidt on what's ahead in 2009

There is no shortage of people coming to Washington these days with ideas for how to address some of the serious challenges we face. Today in D.C. our CEO Eric Schmidt offered some of his own ideas for how policy makers might approach some of those challenges. He said that despite these concerns, he is an optimist, citing the combination of new technology and "the genius of the American people."

In a talk sponsored by the New America Foundation, Eric noted that for years there's been a debate in Washington about the proper role of government in our economy -- but now we've reached a consensus that the free market must be the engine of economic growth but government has a critical role to play in supporting growth and creativity.

To address our economic problems and create jobs, Eric continued, we need to put innovation first. He identified these priorities:
  • Broadband and infrastructure. We need to invest in a 21st century infrastructure, going beyond the usual litany of roads and bridges to new communications and information networks. Government should free up more spectrum for broadband, and we need a universal broadband strategy that includes targeted incentives to increase competition.
  • Research and development. Noting that his own graduate student research was partially funded by federal agencies, Eric called for increased federal funding for R&D in science and engineering and technical education; making the R&D tax credit permanent; and modernizing our legal framework by passing patent reform legislation.

  • Energy. Discussing Google's Clean Energy 2030 proposal, Eric recommended attempting to reduce demand through energy efficiency; increasing support for clean energy (wind, solar and enhanced geothermal); deploying smart electric grids; and putting millions of plug-in electric vehicles on the road.

  • Restoring public trust in government. The 2008 elections demonstrated how technology can increase political participation. Eric called for applying that power to making government more accountable, by making government information more accessible online, and using the Internet to increase citizen participation.
We released a booklet today spelling out these 2009 policy priorities and more. We'll post video of Eric's speech soon, but in the meantime, tell us you think of these ideas What other things should policymakers be doing to promote economic growth in 2009?

Update (11/20): Here's video of Eric's talk.


reinharden said...

I'd argue that the biggest problem blocking economic growth remains the relative collapse of the financial markets. It's practically impossible to get funding for companies in the current environment. Warren Buffett and the various world governments are busily bailing out the multi-billion dollar conglomerates -- but there's nobody doing anything for the startups.

That's the market we need to kick start.


Tante Waileka said...

Since I own a golf cart and drive it everywhere on the more than 110 miles of strictly golf cart trails in The Villages, Fl, where I currently reside, I agree with the electric car idea, but I also think that more people need to work from home, as I do. I have tanked up my 2001 GMC Sierra long-bed truck only twice in the past 2 months, because of my golf cart / working from home situation.
I do not agree about broadband, because I have an air card for my laptop and dialup for my desktop computer. Dialup is not as slow as some may think, if you know how to use it effectively. Besides, all libraries have internet-enabled computers and people could do themselves a favor by actually USING their libraries!

As for startups, I started a 'startup', but I called it 'a business' and didn't get hung up on 'needing angel investors' etc. If you have a product idea, etc. then by all means, start a business, but forget about giving your employees air hockey, pingpong tables, free breakfasts and 'flex hours'. Buy used furniture and give your employees a refrigerator / microwave as a 'benefit'. It certainly worked for MY company. I started out with myself and one employee. He's still with my company but now there are 432 employees, and the attrition rate is 0.005%.

Just stop calling new businesses 'startups' and stop looking for $$$$$ and do it on your OWN. Kick start that!

LEADSExplorer said...

@ Tante Waileka.
Definitely the way to go: bootstrapping a new business, taking advantage of the currently available technologies from Internet to Mobile for lowering the operation costs.

. said...

My city is discuss public records request policy... why it sum information should be online.