The hypocrisy in Silicon Valley’s big talk on innovation

By James Temple – “Technology innovation in this country is somewhere between dire straits and dead,” said the PayPal co-founder Max Levchin.

Venture capitalists are eager to cash out on their investments in as few years as possible, which requires products ready to ship and stable financial track records. And the public markets don’t reward big risks; they applaud predictable growth.

Private markets are loath to put up the billions of dollars and patiently wait a decade or more, yet that’s precisely what’s needed to develop breakthrough drugs, disruptive clean energy technologies or that new, new thing you and I can’t yet imagine.


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