Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Saturday, December 23, 2006
Zogby has a poll asking, among other things, whether the next Bill Gates will come from the United States.
Q. From which of the following countries do you think the next Bill Gates is most likely to come from?
My bet is that he/she will, but that would put me in a distinct minority. Most people surveyed think he/she will come from Japan or China.
Problem is, neither China nor Japan has - to date - been very innovative in a "Bill Gates, gee, we never saw that thing before" type of way. It is still not clear if a Bill Gates would be allowed to internalize the benefit to a substantial, earth-and-life changing innovation. Perhaps they would - but if they can't then don't look for the innovation to be coming from China. Likewise, in Japan it isn't clear that an individual would be encouraged to develop such ground breaking changes. Perhaps I am incorrect in that, but my reading of Japanese culture suggests something different than the rebel-without-a-clue attitude a great innovator needs to have.
Here are some cross-tabs of the survey.
Two other questions I found interesting:
Q: Who do you think knows more about the Internet - the average 12 year old or your congressperson?
Average 12 year old 83.1%
Q. Which do you think was the greater invention - the printing press or the Internet?
Printing Press 64.8%
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