Here is a very interesting interview with Amar Bhide, featured in the Inc.com. 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.]