BusinessWeek reports that Silicon Valley CEOs are issuing a wake-up call to America. The same call needs to be issued in NZ. One of the central gating factors is broadband – which is a critical innovation enabler. It’s just too expensive. It just takes too long to get installed. And once you’ve got it, punitive billing strategies limit use. It’s not so great in the US either:
Jerry Yang, co-founder and chairman of Yahoo! (YHOO), pointed out that the U.S. remains far behind some Asian countries in broadband. Korea and Japan, for example, offer consumers far faster broadband connections than the standard in the U.S.
That’s a problem, said Reed Hastings, CEO of the DVD-rental service Netflix (NFLX). Hastings thinks the next phase of the Web won’t arrive until people in the U.S. can get bandwidth of 10 megabits per second, or about 10 times the common rate here, at a comparable price. Only then, for instance, will people really be able to watch video online comfortably. But he says that’s now three to six years off.
Just as these CEOs are doing, NZ needs to recognize that it isn’t the threat isnt the US – it is Asia. Driving home, I can barely hold a mobile phone call in the Valley. During a week in China, I didn’t drop a call. And my minutes cost me a fraction of what they did in NZ.
Dyson was the most direct: “The country has grown lazy and complacent,” she said. “We’ve created a country where we’ve outsourced the intellect to other countries.” Instead of trying to figure out how to beat the Chinese, she said, we need to try to “beat ourselves and help the Chinese” succeed, so that the U.S. has that huge market to sell to, she said.