Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Sramana Asks A Good Question . . . Why Isn't There Enough Risk Taking In VC Investments?

Posted by Tom Foremski - January 30, 2009

Sramana Mitra sent me an email:

As our industry works to reinvent itself, here are some thoughts on the Future of Innovation. I am fully aware of the issues around the need to conserve cash and limiting capital calls for the venture business for the moment.

However, there are also other issues that need to be addressed. Companies that ought to be funded are struggling. Where are the big ideas?

As always, I am happy to you hear your thoughts.

Here is an excerpt from her latest Forbes column, which less about the Future of Innovation, and more about describing the current state of innovation: barriers.

. . .While scientists are experiencing strong support, the entrepreneurs trying to work at the cusp of different industries seem to still be having a difficult time. It is worth exploring why.

. . .Yes, you do find some technologists who grasp the cusp. But then you also need business people and investors to play their parts for an innovation to successfully make it to the market.

But many more entrepreneurs and venture capitalists get excited about Web 2.0 than about the cusp of design and manufacturing of semiconductors. Why? Because these two fields are extremely complex, requiring a level of technical depth, intellectual horsepower, business savvy and appetite for risk that is rare in today's technology industry. Spreadsheet jockeying by some MBAs with little real instinct for innovation is not enough.

I totally agree.

Please read the entire column here: Barriers To Innovation - Forbes.com

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