Amit Paranjape’s Blog

Innovation In America – Professor Amar Bhide’s View

Posted in Financial Markets/Economics by Amit Paranjape on November 12, 2008


Here is a very interesting interview with Amar Bhide, featured in the Professor Amar Bhide is one of the most respected authorities in entrepreneurship and innovation and is a Business Professor at the Columbia University. Prior to that, he was a Professor at Harvard. He did his studies at IIT and Harvard.


Professor Bhide argues that the US Consumer has been one of the important drivers of innovation. The need to consume increasingly advanced and sophisticated products drives new R&D. He further states that innovation is not a ‘winner-take-all’ race and that America is not competing with China and India as feared by what he terms as ‘techno-nationalists’. Scientific innovation in any country benefits the entire world, but specifically that country (like US) whose consumers want to leverage it to the fullest. Even in the 1920s depression era, Americans were actively innovating, leading to the gains at a later point.


These thoughts are further explained in his new book, “The Venturesome Economy”, which was recently published by Princeton University Press. For more information on Professor Bhide’s work, you can checkout his website.


[Note – I have ordered this book and looking forward to understanding his views in further detail. I will post my interpretations here.]




One Response

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  1. Uday Phatak said, on November 12, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    My remarks are based on the interview of Professor Bhide , a small portion of which was available on the internet and may need correction after reading the book.
    He has mentioned the successful commercial use in US of the “outside invetions”such as i pods etc and wants to give credit and praise American attitude of being open to new things etc.I feel the commercial sucess of new things depend a lot on the available surplus with the potentil consumers.For example in India we knew about fridge ( and it’s advantages) for many years ,still it was not a successful item till late 70s because very few persons had ‘surplus’ money of even Rs 4000 /5000 till that time.Compared to this the spread of mobile phones was very fast because now people have ‘surplus’ money to spend (read: throw) on thing like mobiles which many of us do not fully utilise. I feel the growth in the economy does not depend mainly on the ‘Attitude of people'( of trying new things) and their spending habbits but depends lot on the “available surplus” with the people.
    We are eagerly waiting to here from you more about the views expressed in the book.
    Uday Phatak.

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