A MIT entrepreneurial history by Jean-Jacques Degroof

With an impressive foreword by Bob Metcalfe (the inventor of Ethernet et cofounder of 3Com) who rightly renames MIT a “Innoversity”, Degroof explains in From the Basement to the Dome that entrepreneurship is engrained in the MIT history and culture, not so much from a political decision but from serendipitous events. Its motto (Mens et […]

Grothendieck, a genius

I’ve written about Grothendieck here before, through two books about this mathematical genius published shortly after his death: Alexandre Grothendieck, 1928 – 2014. Summer is an opportunity for listening to radio broadcasts and I had the pleasure to rediscover this extraordinary character, first of all through Alexandre Grothendieck : un mathématicien qui prit la tangente […]

Notes on the Rainforest by Hwang and Horowitt

I must thank here first Bogdan Ceobanu from the European Commission. After spending a few hours discussing the challenges (and opportunities) of innovation in Europe, he sent me his copy of The Rainforest – The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley by Victor W. Hwang and Greg Horowitt. Bogdan is one of the leading […]

Google in the Plex – Part 4: so many products

If I consider the first 3 chapters of in the Plex as an amazingly great description of Google’s technology (chapter 1), business (chapter 2) and culture (chapter 3), the remaining chapters are also very good but I will not describe them in as much detail. Chapter 4 is about Google products that should be considered […]

What has Silicon Valley to do with Capitalism?

(this is a quick and dirty translation of a French post as it is linked to a French radio broadcast – sorry for the bad english if any) I was a guest yesterday of French radio Culturesmonde France Culture in a series about capitalsim entitled Des capitalismes (1/4) – Silicon valley: l’émancipation par l’argent. I […]

At the Frontier of Research – the Universe and the Brain – and how Science works?

I just read two amazing books, which at first sight do not seem to have much in common, but indeed have. The first one is Time Reborn by Lee Smolin. The second one is Touching a Nerve by Patricia Churchland. Beware Newton, Leibniz (not only Einstein) is back! Lee Smolin revisits the current challenges of […]

The Entrepreneurial State: the important role of government in innovation (part 1)

Mazzacuto’s Entrepreneurial State is I think an important book. The author claims we have been unfair with the role in innovation of government and the public sector in general, which has provided funds for most not to say all R&D (Pharma, IT, Space). I share the blame as I am a strong supporter of start-ups, […]

What is (open) innovation ?

A few publications I read recently push me to revisit a topic which is quite well-known and (I discover it is not that) simple. I would like to discuss again the basic definition of innovation and then mention why the term “open” before innovation has been quite misleading for many readers. Innovation is not invention, […]

Google, Silicon Valley and the spin-off virtuous cycle

It’s one of Silicon Valley strongest assets: entrepreneurs do not stay for long in established companies and create new ones. And it is accepted as a fact. Let us just me quote again Richard Newton: “The Bay Area is the Corporation. […When people change jobs here in the Bay Area], they’re actually just moving among […]