Thursday, July 27, 2006

Startups killed the research labs

Excerpts from an article that describes why having an industrial research lab is now a white elephant, and no longer a matter of corporate prestige.
The more agile start-ups played an important structural role in making pure research careers less attractive. It's not that everyone was suddenly lured away from doing science by the promise of instant wealth. The competitive pressure that start-ups and new industries put on established businesses ultimately combined with trust-busting, structural changes in the economy, social shifts, and an array of other factors to turn expensive prestige items like research labs into unaffordable luxuries. Thus it stands that to one extent or another, all of the aforementioned labs have been downsized and/or transformed over the years into places where research programs must now yield commercial fruit.

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