EP86: Dr Jeffrey Lee Funk, Technology Economics Thought Leader: The great technological slowdown
💬 “Today's startups aren't doing as well as they did in the past because there are fewer breakthrough technologies. For example, rideshare is not a breakthrough technology. It's a taxi service that is a little more convenient, but it's still using the same type of cars on the same kind of roads. There's no productivity change. These cars are not handling more people, they're not travelling faster. There's a lot of these “technology” companies that probably should never have achieved the valuations that have.”
This is a conversation with Dr Jeffrey Funk.
🎙️ Jeff has a PhD from Carnegie Mellon working mostly as a professor but also as an engineer and consultant in the U.S., Japan, and Singapore. He was one of the first to recognize the potential for smart phones during the late 1990s and early 2000s in Japan, and helped several mobile service providers succeed.
🎧 In this episode, Jeff talks about the reason that so many modern start-ups are not turning a profit and far fewer are becoming unicorns that in previous decades. The reason, he says, is that we are not getting the major technological breakthroughs any more like we used to have with chips and transistors. He uses the example of how the predictions for autonomous vehicles were overhyped and how this may have prevented Uber from achieving profitability. I asked Jeff if this could change as new technologies come out of the lab and into businesses, things like 5g, Massive IoT, Virtual and Augmented Reality. I also challenged him on whether we even want unicorn businesses anymore. He had a great answer.