Week 5 – Questions

Questions for this week:

  • Brian:
    1. Is the US patent system a good way to protect innovation? [CLOSED] If not, what would be a good way to protect innovation and what impact would this have on innovation and the innovators?
    2. Are disruptive technologies bound to succeed? [CLOSED] Could the telegraph have done more to stop the telephone? [CLOSED]Why does it seem like some technologies are inevitably going to succeed?
    3. Can old technologies still have a place in current society like the turntable? [CLOSED] Why would this happen?


  • Chao-Wei
    1. Intel is a company with exceptional competence to turn threatens into opportunities; what would be the environmental threaten to Intel, such as antitrust laws or other government policies, which are out of Intel’s control and get damaged  
    2. From the innovative theories’ point of view, what is the best strategy for AMD or other entrants to challenge Intel’s leading role in the industry?
    3. Foundries don’t have the ability to design chips hence they are highly depending on fabless companies or IDMs. Is it better for foundries to possess the competence of designing chips? [CLOSED]


  • Chris
    1. In Bush’s article, he made several predictions about where technology would make advancements in the future. His thoughts on compression of resources such as encyclopedias materialized in the form of the world wide web. Where do you see compression affecting other print volumes in the future, and do you believe we are too attached to the idea of holding physical novels to ever replace those with digital copies on a large scale?
    2. Bush discusses records throughout his article, and talks about the possibilities of ways to record vast amounts of information (his “memex” idea in part6). As more and more records are converted to digital form, the emphasis always seems to be on how vast amounts of information are at our fingertips, and how much space it is saving us….why does there seem to be less of an emphasis on how this is better for the environment to not have as many things printed?
    3. Christensen talks about how Moores Law has affected business models, as customers demand more performance out of products. How has overshooting allowed companies to change competition?
  • Harry
    1. Vennavar Bush bemoans the fact that Mendel’s concept of the laws of genetics was lost for a generation because “his publication did not reach the few who were capable of grasping and extending it.” Will some of today’s major discoveries get lost in the mountain of information being generated every minute today? [CLOSED]
    2. Christensen talks about looking beyond Moore’s law to find the next disruptive technology. Will the chip manufacturers be able to shed the incumbent position and look outside the realm of making more and faster? [CLOSED]
    3. How will the current economic turmoil impact the development of disruptive technologies – will innovation slow because companies are unwilling to risk scarce resources [CLOSED]?
  • Peter
    1. How would Christensen’s model of innovation and disruption change when economic instability leads to overall decreased market demand? Who would be the least affected by such decreased demand?
    2. Christensen says the semiconductor industry will move towards a “system similar to the one in which Toyota makes cars.” How could the reverse (car companies operating in a system similar to the one in which Intel makes semi-conductors) help speed up development of greener cars?
    3. In what scenarios could customization lead to commoditization?
  • Jeff
    1. Why were the innovators working on the telephone and the phonograph so hesitant to pronounce them as ‘break-away’ inventions from the telegraph?
    2. What other industries (beyond the Intel example) have a growing number of obviously overshot customers? What industries might develop this problem soon? What are some potential outcomes in addressing these challenges?
    3. When considering information discovery and filtering as when a user is doing research or following a whim, and then considering Google as an example of a service provided for this purpose, what is ‘the next thing” on this path? Why?
  • Paolo
    1. Moore’s law basically says that technology is growing smaller, less expensive and more powerful at an exponential rate. What are some examples of technologies today that are growing at this rate, especially those that apply to communications?
    2. Because Moore’s law results in “overshooting consumers,” consumers are benefitting from technologies they haven’t ever needed. This changes market dynamics drastically, making consumers expect more of the unexpected. Are consumers expectations now unrealistic (i.e. the hoverboard in Back to the Future) because of Moore’s Law?
    3. Much of the technological advancements of the day are now virtual (i.e. search engines, virtualization, etc). How does Moore’s law apply to virtual innovations?
  • Pei-Chieh
    1. How dose Moore’s law apply to other technologies possibly?
    2. Bush encourages scientists to improve the accessibility of knowledge, more than increasing physical abilities. How will he measure the achievement is reached or not based on the current technologies, like wikipedia?
  • Ross
    1. Christensen, ‘Whither Moore’s Law’ the future of semiconductors
    2. What are the signs that advances in microprocessors are NOT overshooting the market?
    3. What is the basis for predicting there will be fewer processor hungry applications in the future?
    4. How will the economic slowdown affect Moore’s law?
  • Rubi
    1. In Chapter 7 from Seen What’s Next, Christensen mentions that one of the innovation’s dilemmas in the case of Intel is that Intel continues to improve its technology, but this creates opportunities for upstarts (disruptive entrants) “The very thing that makes Intel great is the very thing that creates opportunities for the attacking firms.” (171). In this regard, how incumbents like Microsoft can protect themselves from the disruptive entrants’ unique skills as the undershot customers shrinks?
    2. From Chapter 7 from Seen What’s Next by Christensen: What other circumstances can change the actions follow by a company that were successful in the past that may not be successful in the future, especially in companies like Google in regards to Moore’s Law?
    3. In the article As We May Think by Vannevar Bush, the author was able to see or predict what could be next based on the technology available back in 1945. Many of his technological predictions became true. If the internet would have existed back then, what do you think Vannevar Bush would have seeing next after the internet?
    4. On chapter 2 from Winston reading, there was a battle between Gray’s and Bell’s innovations back then, if this would have happen now, what are some of the patent regulation laws that could protect Bell?
  • Yu-Hsuan
    1. How can patent accelerate the speed of the innovation-decision process? Sometimes, patent is a barrier for adopting a technology, so how can we alleviate the obstacle result from the patent?
    2. Besides the factor of the expected trajectory of performance improvement beyond the performance improvement required by mainstream market, what other factors may affect us to access promising disruptive technologies, such cost or something else?
    3. As the technology improving, many amateurs can dedicate in the professional field now. What is the trend for this kind of innovation or what existing industries that require specialized professionals today might become available to all tomorrow?
  • Yun
    1. How to cultivate the ability to capitalize on disruptive opportunities since Intel had a victory in this case? What experience and lesson can be drew from it?
    2. What are the steps and routes that a disruptive innovation like semiconductor grow from niche markets to the establishment of an industrial kingdom?
    3. “Everyone always hopes for the emergence of new,unimagined applications.But the weight of history suggests the unimagined often remains just that;ultimately ever more demanding applications will stop appearing or will emerge much more slowly than anticipated.But even if new, high-end applications emerge,rocketing toward the technological frontier almost always leaves customers behind.” It seems the pace of technology development is prone to exceed the demands pace of people. Thus,what is the upper limit of technology development if there is one(how about people being satisfied with their status quo)?
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