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Don't Panic, But We've Passed Peak Apple (and Google, and Facebook)

timothy posted about a year ago | from the everything-that-will-be-invented-has-been-invented dept.

Facebook 307

waderoush writes "Over the last decade, just three companies — Google, Apple, and Facebook — have generated most of the new ideas and most of the business momentum in the world of computing. (Add in Amazon, if you're feeling generous.) But it's been a long time since any of these companies introduced anything indisputably new — and there are good reasons to think they never will again. This Xconomy essay argues that the innovation engines at Google, Apple, and Facebook are out of gas (the most surprising thing about OS X Mavericks is that it's not named after a cat) and that other players will have to come up with the underpinnings for the next big cycle of advances in computing. Granted, it's not as if any of these companies will disappear. But the idea that they'll go on generating ideas as groundbreaking as the ones that landed them in the spotlight defies common sense, statistics, and the lessons of history, which show that real innovation almost always comes from small companies. Apple, Google, and Facebook aren't too big to fail — but they may be too big to keep succeeding."

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Business Map (4, Funny)

alphatel (1450715) | about a year ago | (#44014309)

When all your in-house innovation leads to outhouse fabrication, you can easily switch gears. Buy everyone who innovates and shut out any possible competition. It's been the premier business road map for centuries.

Re:Business Map (4, Insightful)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44014363)

Which is why Facebook is owned by Google, which in turn is owned by Microsoft, which in turn is owned by IBM, which.... oh wait.. nevermind. You can only buy if someone is willing to sell to you, no matter the size of your purse - if that is the entirety of your business road map you're bound to be left behind in the dust when someone comes along, innovative and unwilling to sell. Like Google+, Bing or OS2.

Innovation only from Google, FB, Apple ?? (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#44014465)

Without pioneering folks like Jack Kilby, you think we have electronic computers ?

Without hardware providers such as Intel which transformed CPU into affordable commodity items, you think we get $399 iPhone/iPad ?

And by the way, what kind of "innovation" FB has brought to the world ?

Re:Innovation only from Google, FB, Apple ?? (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44014479)

There is more innovation in home Garages and basements than Apple,Google,FB,Microsoft, and HP combined. They just lack funding.

Re:Innovation only from Google, FB, Apple ?? (-1)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44014557)

Without pioneering folks like Jack Kilby, you think we have electronic computers ?

Without hardware providers such as Intel which transformed CPU into affordable commodity items, you think we get $399 iPhone/iPad ?

I guess without the pioneering efforts of Intel, we would have iWidgets running on slightly slower, slightly warmer AMD CPUs, what the frigging hell is your point? What does that have to do with anything I said?

And by the way, what kind of "innovation" FB has brought to the world ?

...

You sir, are trolling. For shame!

Re:Business Map (1)

westlake (615356) | about a year ago | (#44014835)

You can only buy if someone is willing to sell to you, no matter the size of your purse

That someone, however, can be a group of stockholders with a controlling interest in your company.

It can be someone you owe a great deal of money --- someone who can force a change in management, ownership, or outright liquidation,

Re:Business Map (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014891)

oh wait.. nevermind. You can only buy if someone is willing to sell to you, no matter the size of your purse.

I guess you've never heard of a hostile takeover [wikipedia.org] before? Willingness to sell is incredibly helpful, but is not necessary when dealing with any publicly traded company.

Outhouse fabrication? (5, Funny)

mangu (126918) | about a year ago | (#44014487)

When all your in-house innovation leads to outhouse fabrication

How much innovation is needed to fabricate a tiny room [google.com] ?

Buy everyone who innovates and shut out any possible competition

In this case, I believe you mean shit out any possible competition.

Sorry (3, Insightful)

blackicye (760472) | about a year ago | (#44014311)

But I won't believe it till Netcraft confirms it.

Hmm, maybe (4, Insightful)

MrDoh! (71235) | about a year ago | (#44014333)

To be fair, once Google gets their cars that drive themselves, glasses that give me information at all times, and provide TV/phone services through a high speed fiber connection for cheaper than anyone else, I'm ok if they take a break for a bit and coast, just improving what they've already done. THEN they can start on the jetpacks, holograms, and teleportation.

Re:Hmm, maybe (-1)

aabha88 (2842999) | about a year ago | (#44014355)

I think you are right Google have provided so much to people like Hanging out with their family and friends via Google+ also a better search engine where you can search safely without any adult contents which automatically help somewhere in parental controls and many more things like that.

Google need to slow down (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014391)

They are getting so much persona data from us all that they need to build 'n' more data centers around the world to process it all let alone all the data they are going to get from Glass.

Thankfully, if you Google for me, you come up with nothing. How long can I get away with this? My guess that not very long, eventually everyone will be have there relationship with everyone else mapped out all nice and cleanly and pretty for their NSA Overlords.

Google, the worldwide arm of the NSA. The world is sleep walking onto a surveileance state where the uSA is watching everyone in the world legally or not, they don't care really.

Re:Google need to slow down (5, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#44014697)

Thankfully, if you Google for me, you come up with nothing.

Oh? [google.com] About 3,410,000 results (0.19 seconds)

Re: Hmm, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014447)

Google still have a lot of gas

Glass... (-1, Troll)

Parker Lewis (999165) | about a year ago | (#44014547)

Google Glass is too nerd for common people.

Re:Glass... (4, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | about a year ago | (#44014685)

Google Glass is too nerd for common people.

I remember when the name "iPad" would provoke giggles.

Re:Hmm, maybe (2)

taxman_10m (41083) | about a year ago | (#44014549)

glasses that give me information at all times

That will be awesome. A pint glass that displays FULL, HALF-FULL, EMPTY status. Two words: game changer.

Re:Hmm, maybe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014583)

I'd rather have a glass that displays an internet meme appropriate to my level of intoxication. Who needs friends and socialising when you have interwebs in a glass?

Re:Hmm, maybe (2)

taxman_10m (41083) | about a year ago | (#44014593)

You are now: drunk. Go home.

Re:Hmm, maybe (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year ago | (#44014667)

I'd rather have a glass that displays an internet meme appropriate to my level of intoxication.

My life's obviously a lot simpler than yours. I just want a glass that is always full. :)

Re: Hmm, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014595)

I see it as half-empty you insensitive clod!

Re:Hmm, maybe (1)

ZDroid (2938715) | about a year ago | (#44014679)

To be fair, once Google gets their cars that drive themselves, glasses that give me information at all times, and provide TV/phone services through a high speed fiber connection for cheaper than anyone else, I'm ok if they take a break for a bit and coast, just improving what they've already done. THEN they can start on the jetpacks, holograms, and teleportation.

I want to fly with one of that jetpacks, and teleport every 5 secs. Oh, that Google.

Glass??? (1, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | about a year ago | (#44014335)

Google Glass is not completely new? In what way?

Yes there has been VR before and there has been AR before but not like this and not in a format digestable by any consumer.

I seriously think Glass is going to change the way people operate.

Re:Glass??? (2)

mozumder (178398) | about a year ago | (#44014387)

Not only that, but the new Mac Pro is probably the most original desktop computer design since.. desktop computers were invented.

And it's only been 3 years since the iPad was invented.

Facebook is going to disappear, though - hardly anyone goes on it anymore.

Re:Glass??? (1, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44014435)

> Not only that, but the new Mac Pro is probably the most original desktop computer design since.. desktop computers were invented.

Only if you ignore hobbyists.

If you acknowledge the enthusiast case modding scene, then nothing that Apple has done with the Mac Pro is at all interesting. It's notable primarily for how it is mismatched to the market segment they are trying to sell it to.

The trash can would make a great high end consumer Mac.

Forcing it on computing professionals is criminal stupidity.

Re:Glass??? (1)

second_coming (2014346) | about a year ago | (#44014531)

I still can't believe they did away with the XServe.

Re:Glass??? (2, Insightful)

dfghjk (711126) | about a year ago | (#44014623)

"The trash can would make a great high end consumer Mac."

That is, in fact, what it is, or at least would be if they'd offer even a single drive bay.

By any traditional definition of "workstation" it is not one. It is no more a workstation than the Mini is. Both need additional products to make them functional as such.

Re:Glass??? (1)

andydread (758754) | about a year ago | (#44014631)

Absolutely. When you look at the modding scene even for designs going way back [mashie.org] you see that there is absolutely nothing innovative as far as design goes here.

Re:Glass??? (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44014763)

You understand that there is a huge gulf between "hundreds of man-hours to cram square stuff into fun shapes" and bringing to market a mass-produced product? I have no idea what the price of the Mac Pro will be, but I'm fairly sure it will be more commercially viable than a hand-build one-off.

Re:Glass??? (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44014711)

The trash can would make a great high end consumer Mac.

You're missing your calling as an industrial designer [wikipedia.org] , at least according to iFans.

Re:Glass??? (1, Troll)

alendit (1454311) | about a year ago | (#44014543)

I can't imagine how much R&D went into this new geometric form, they call "cylinder". Now, they just have to patent it so not one can't wrongfully profit from their innovation.

Re:Glass??? (2)

taxman_10m (41083) | about a year ago | (#44014561)

I can definitely see Facebook disappearing. I've reached the point where the vast majority of my facebook friends aren't people I even remotely know. I've unsubscribed from everyone's newsfeed. Only thing I use it for is to RSVP for events and say "Happy birthday!" on people's birthdays.

Re:Glass??? (1)

andydread (758754) | about a year ago | (#44014601)

erm? no. Not in the slightest [mashie.org] And some of these are from way back in 2002.

Re:Glass??? (1, Interesting)

dfghjk (711126) | about a year ago | (#44014613)

"Not only that, but the new Mac Pro is probably the most original desktop computer design since.. desktop computers were invented."

Really? Because it sure seems derivative to me, and entirely self-serving on Apple's part. It's a disposable appliance with little configurability, serviceability or expandability---just like all of Apple's development for quite a while now. It follows their trend away from "desktop computer design" and it represents THE threat to traditional desktop computing. It does not do what you want it to, it does what Apple wants it to. Other than the shape, it's hard to distinguish it from a game console. Take it or leave it, the Apple way.

If it were square rather than round it could be far more expandable, but then it would be obviously derivative even to people like you.

Re:Glass??? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44014779)

At first I thought it was reminiscent of their "cube", but the tear-down cured me of that. They really veered from the typical PC layout with this thing.

Re:Glass??? (1)

Ensign_Expendable (1045224) | about a year ago | (#44014833)

The complete reliance on external expansion by the new Mac Pro could be seen as, perhaps not a "game changer," but certainly as a new direction for a desktop workstation.

Re:Glass??? (1)

sottitron (923868) | about a year ago | (#44014395)

And I think the subtle thing that Google realized and did absolutely right is that Glass isn't something that needs a new service contract from Verizon or AT&T or TMobile. Everyone in the market for Glass has a smartphone and probably high speed internet at home, so Glass is a peripheral to your smartphone when you are away from home. This is what the iPad should have been - a bluetooth peripheral to your iPhone. Tethering be damned!

Re:Glass??? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year ago | (#44014419)

I seriously think Glass is going to change the way people operate.

You might be right. We may see an unprecedented surge of violence against nerds (or geeks, if you prefer) from people who see these non-corrective glasses as an intrusion on their privacy.

By way of an example, I suggest wearing that device in a public urinal. Bring someone along with you to count the number of seconds before the big guy at the next stall gets the wrong idea and beats the living crap out of you.

Re:Glass??? (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44014527)

"By way of an example, I suggest wearing that device in a public urinal. Bring someone along with you to count the number of seconds before the big guy at the next stall gets the wrong idea and beats the living crap out of you."

First what kind of moron would wear it in the urinal? Normal people stand outside of the urinal and pee into it.... I think your momma did not teach you how to use the bathroom right.

And second, I have several times. Nobody even notices, but then people that have an IQ above 40 knows it has a big bright light on it when the camera is active, and it has to be pointed at what you are recording.... Are you the type that stands there staring at other mens junk? That is probably what will get your ass beat.

But then you don't know anything at all about Google Glass and are just talking out your uneducated butt.

In reality, I have people asking what they are and asking how they work, cant they see through them, etc... 100% of the people that see me with them are curious and really want to know more about it.

Re:Glass??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014553)

And then the big guy gets a .38 special right in the chest....

Re:Glass??? (1)

helfen (791121) | about a year ago | (#44014423)

I seriously think Glass is going to change the way people operate.

Maybe, but it can as well end like for example cybersex of the 90. and 00. (anyone? :-)) It is really, really hard to predict which technology will catch on.

Re:Glass??? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44014497)

I suggest you learn about Wearable computing. Prof Thad Starner and Prof Steve Mann have been working on basically what is Glass for over 20 years. Students at MIT and UofT have been wearing and using glass for almost all of that time.

Let me guess, you also think tablets are new. I had a tablet in 1995 it was a 7" model and ran windows

Re: Glass??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014551)

There's a difference between the tablet of 1995 and the tablet of today. Namely, people actually enjoy using them enough to pay for them.

Re: Glass??? (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44014591)

A lot of that difference is cultural rather than technological, though. In 1995 people didn't want something like a tablet, even if it were cheaper and better.

Re:Glass??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014881)

I just love the fanbois here. Had Apple done the same thing you'd be crying "where's the innovationz?!?!?!?!"
 
Total fucking bullshit. Just go do a search for HUD glasses and you'll see that there have been working prototypes that could easily have been turned into GoogleAss for the last three decades.

Error in summary ? (1)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | about a year ago | (#44014337)

Summary says: Apple, Google and Facebook "areN'T too big too fail". Shouldn't it it say "are too big to fail" ? Makes more sense IMHO...

Re:Error in summary ? (5, Insightful)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#44014383)

They can absolutely fail, that they have not yet proves nothing. Nokia is barely hanging on, yet 10 years ago we would easily have believed that label on them.

Re:Error in summary ? (3, Informative)

rossdee (243626) | about a year ago | (#44014445)

Can you see the government bailing them out (as they did wall street and the car makers?
Thats what 'too big to fail means

Re:Error in summary ? (1)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | about a year ago | (#44014533)

I know what too big to fail means. I mean if you bail out Google Facebook or Apple, chances are a new "dot-com bubble" crisis could happen.

Re: Error in summary ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014609)

No, too big to fail is Orwellian doublespeak. It used to mean Facism, but a government controlled education system is a perfectly executed (positive ?) feedback loop.
Herding cattle is harder than herding people.
Which is why google and apple will be just fine.

Confusion (0)

countach (534280) | about a year ago | (#44014343)

Apple has always been more about taking the technology available and packaging it into something easy to use and accessible. Unless technology itself has stopped evolving, I see no reason to see why this can't continue. The problem is, people have been accustomed to assuming that the Next Big Thing is necessarily going to happen every year or two. This is asking too much.

Amazon: they're a retailer. Their innovation is being online, and are rather good at it. That's it. There doesn't seem to be any obvious next big thing in selling stuff. Google is in the business of online search, applications and so forth. They're always coming out with new stuff, but there are diminishing returns on how it will change my life. We've arrived in the post-internet era. Calm down, enjoy, stop caring about the Next Big Thing. It may come, it may not. I realise this isn't good news for the online media, but so be it.

Re: Confusion (2)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44014393)

Amazon is cloud computing. The retailer part is just left overs from the 90's

Re:Confusion (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year ago | (#44014643)

Their innovation is being online, and are rather good at it.

There are arguments both ways on that. I've bought lots of books and CDs from Amazon (and still do buy a fair number of CDs), but Amazon's lockout policy with ebooks for owners of non-Kindle reader devices is just silly. I'm just one individual, and if Amazon have missed out on a few sales to me just because I happen to prefer a Sony reader, multiply that number by $BIGNUM and it. will end up as a sizeable chunk of money they have failed to grab.

Ditto their policy with music. Amazon offers a good service in allowing the buyer to listen to tracks before putting any money down. But since I have now built myself a decent music box, I prefer not to store CDs if I don't have to, so their silly policy of not selling recordings in lossless format often leads me to look elsewhere.

Even iTunes offers lossless recordings (it's easy to convert from .m4a to FLAC), though the selection of recordings is fairly limited.

Re:Confusion (3, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44014765)

Apple has always been more about taking the technology available and packaging it into something easy to use and accessible.

Hear, hear!

Apple's real strength is industrial design [wikipedia.org] . Their engineering is competent, but nothing terribly inventive (certainly not relative to the stature of the company). People whose only understanding of technology is going "ooh, ahh" over the latest consumer product don't seem to understand the difference. In terms of engineering and innovation the real McCoy has been the work done by others to create the latest gen fab process, OLED displays, or wireless standards and chip level implementation. Apple puts them together into nice packages. There is nothing wrong with that as a business, but the real technological innovation comes from their suppliers and other companies.

Facebook is even less of a tech company. Obviously they use computers and networks, but so do banks. Does anybody call banks tech companies because of that? Facebook is about marketing an idea, not any great technological innovation.

Re:Confusion (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44014783)

In all fairness my original post overlooked Apple's chip design work. I don't know enough about it to say how innovative it is.

Deinvent cycle. (-1)

mrmeval (662166) | about a year ago | (#44014345)

Google is dumbing down and de-inventing itself, closing up, monetizing and ossifying.
Facebook wants to be Google yet NotGoogle.
Apple wants to suck off the unconvicted criminals at Intel some more rather than do any hardware innovation.

All of them suck off the NSA on command.

I don't see anything but the tinker groups who are doing anything cool with a chance of being the next big thing. 3D printing and various microcontroller hacking has a lot of potential but there are other types of tinkers and I'm sure we'll hear from them soon.

Re: Deinvent cycle. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014389)

There is a lot of the next big thing coming up and as far as the big 3 mentioned it will come from Apple in the form of a smart watch and hopefully their tv. With Google it will be from their smart glasses and automated cars. As far as the rest it will come from visionaries outside of those companies like Elon Musk with EV, spacex, and hopefully lives long enough superloop. The rest of the next big (consumer) thing will come from the 3D printing and robotics.

Re: Deinvent cycle. (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44014509)

Smart Watch? That's nothing more than what tinkerers were doing 10 years ago. Tech has just improved since then to make it less of a freakish side show idea.

Re: Deinvent cycle. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014633)

Next big thing is TV? Are you kidding me? Really? How about go outside and like help people?

Re: Deinvent cycle. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014565)

I was unaware that designing your own processor and then shipping millions of devices based on it was "sucking off Intel" when Intel has exactly nothing to do with those processors or devices.

'Peak Data' theory incorrect (0)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about a year ago | (#44014351)

Data is abiotically generated by natural entropic processes in the mantle of novel pragma. As yet we have only skirted the edges of the Mandelbrot Set [wikipedia.org] because we are fond of semantic connectitude. But research into anomalous fusion has hinted that some day we may find a way to plumb the depths of the Lake to find the answers to life's Big Questions, and a joke whose punchline would make the cosmos shudder, then contract.

I'm already there.

Re:'Peak Data' theory incorrect (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014539)

Bingo! I've got Bingo!

Not So Fast on Google (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014367)

Was this article commissioned by Microsoft? Google seems to be doing fine, Android is taking over the planet. It is a funny thing about Apple, the masses thought Apple was genius to take old MP3 player technology and color it with different colors, what are the odds that Apple has lost some of its creativity? Facebook is the most likely to fall, because that is what every previous social network has done.

what is innovation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014377)

I would not have asked the question if FB was not in the set. Arguable almost innovation is just a significant (or sometimes not so) improvement of existing stuff. FB has not done anything however that would qualify as improvement. At least I fail to see any improvement FB actually made. I guess I am too old.

Re: what is innovation? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014579)

I'll go one further and say that the Facebook of 5 years ago was better than the Facebook of today. If that's considered innovation, then maybe Google and Apple are better off without.

Overly high expectations (2)

Camembert (2891457) | about a year ago | (#44014379)

These companies cannot easily or quickly go way beyond their current expertise, like for example investigating human genome related innovations, but that does not mean that they cannot be transformative again. Apple as an example has released a lot of transformative products in a short time frame: iPod, iphone, ipad, macbook air have all been hugely influential. It is perhaps too high an expactations to expect them to keep up the current pace. However I think that the smartwatch, once it get released, can be another transformative step towards a world of in essence invisible, wearable computing. Google glass falls also in this category. I can also imagine that these companies will continue to buy up small companies with really good new ideas. Didn't Apple and Google each buy home automation companies? That is another area where I expect transformative products.

Facebook, google invented little (0)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about a year ago | (#44014401)

This article must be flamebait. Google didnt invent much, there were dozens of search engines when it came around. Web mail was already thought up when it came around. Even facebook didnt invent, the profile thing had already been implemented by numerous other people. It was mainly marketing and repackaging of existing ideas. All innovation has come from three companies? Give me a break,

Re:Facebook, google invented little (5, Interesting)

pthisis (27352) | about a year ago | (#44014511)

This article must be flamebait. Google didnt invent much, there were dozens of search engines when it came around

There were, but they sucked. And I say this as someone who was at Carnegie Mellon when they came up with Lycos (and had been through webcrawler, and archie and veronica in the pre-http days), and suffered through altavista when it was still at digital.com and plenty of other early efforts.

The idea of using the number of links to a page as an indication of its importance was huge, and it and the rest of PageRank were truly innovative--you went from normally going through 5-10 pages of results and sometimes more to almost always having the thing you were looking for on the first page. Simply the concept of having an "I'm feeling lucky" button was unthinkable in the earlier days.

They were also among the earlier places to recognize that XMLHTTP/XmlHttpRequest wasn't just an Outlook plugin, bringing AJAX into the mainstream (which was hugely significant, and one of the reasons we're not saddled with shitty Flash sites anymore).

Even facebook didnt invent

They're the obvious outlier here, they haven't invented crap. They've tied together other technologies in ways that people like, built a network, and marketed well, but they've never had anything technically significant.

Re:Facebook, google invented little (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44014519)

It's part of the Ayn Rand mentality where all credit is given to the appropriate tyrant whether or not that guy is actually an "entrepenuer" or not. No one considers the little guy whether that's current upstart startups or just the cogs in the tyrant's company.

Re:Facebook, google invented little (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44014603)

You have to admit it's easier than doing real historical analysis, though! Technology is a complex thing, and analyzing who contributed to technological innovation requires a lot of tracing connections and contributions. You know, the kind of work historians of technology do.

Wouldn't it be a lot easier if, instead of having to do work, we could just sort companies by how much their stock has gone up, and declare that a measure of innovation?

Is Loon not innovative? (4, Insightful)

simplexion (1142447) | about a year ago | (#44014405)

I guess this isn't happening then? http://www.google.com/loon/ [google.com]
Maybe whoever wrote this article isn't impressed by interesting things that these companies create. Do they believe that because they are big and their innovations should also be "big"? This article is stupid.

Re:Is Loon not innovative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014515)

What the hell is this? As if pollution is not already a problem, the idea is to fill up the sky with balloons? :/

Re:Is Loon not innovative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014695)

Are you retarded?

I dare say things like "the smartphone", "the search engine", "the social network" are a damn sight more innovative and world-changing than some ridiculous feel-good PR effort involving free wi-fi..

It's not innovative. It was done over 50 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014859)

What you incorrectly consider to be "innovations" are actually called "balloon satellites" and they've been around for over half a century now.

Read up about them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balloon_satellite [wikipedia.org]

Chrmoe FRAM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014409)

seriously? I still use ass tabs. And force everything to stay in the ass and keep the gay bar. That's what is pissing me off. I need the gay bar.

Innovation source (1)

GrahamJ (241784) | about a year ago | (#44014461)

Innovation comes from minds and the minds that invent the next big things can be in big companies just as easily as small ones. Link bait.

Have they? (5, Insightful)

Voyager529 (1363959) | about a year ago | (#44014495)

Facebook was the result of some epic timing, but I can't necessarily call them innovative. Before Facebook, there were some pretty well populated social networks, Myspace being the one whose problems they solved, but Geocities, AIM, and IRC before it also helped break ground. Facebook brought very few foundational ideas to the table.

Apple is a victim of its own success. No matter what they release, it will be compared to the iPhone (which brought smartphones and data plans to the masses), or the iPad (which all but started the tablet PC market). Very few companies have ever had products that successful, and the fact of the matter is that it's nearly impossible to maintain that momentum consistently.

Google might have a handful of good ideas left in it, but they have a different problem. When they started, it was basically a haven for geeks where they could throw Jell-O at the wall and see what stuck. I'm certain that there were projects that spent a week being added to the drawing board and were never pursued, to say nothing of the projects that have ultimately been scrapped over time. The problem is that Google has financial expectations on it now, which means that the geeks who could come up with some innovative ideas need to allocate their time pursuant to whether they can meet their deadlines. This kind of thinking leaves a lot of the gambling on the table.

Amazon doesn't need much innovation. They're the Wal-Mart of the internet, and this isn't a bad thing. They all but 'personify' the term "economies of scale". .If it's a good idea, Amazon can throw resources at it, whether it be servers, distribution, money, or audience. They have all of these things in great abundance, and generally keep their customers happy with cheap prices and (unlike wal-mart) generally very good customer service, and do so extremely efficiently. As long as they keep doing this, and do it as well as they have been for nearly 20 years, then they will continue to be profitable.

The problem with innovation in this context is that it doesn't seem to count, except when it does. The Newton was innovative. The PocketPC was, at some level, innovative. "Innovation" isn't what's being looked for. What is being looked for is "Innovation that immediately captures the public's attention and makes a substantial amount of money, market share, and mindshare in a very short period of time".

Re:Have they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014629)

Apple is a victim of its own success. No matter what they release, it will be compared to the iPhone (which brought smartphones and data plans to the masses), or the iPad (which all but started the tablet PC market).

That's true, now. Once, Apple releases were compared to the iPod, and before that, the Mac.

Just Journalistic Lazy Opinion (5, Interesting)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year ago | (#44014499)

Innovation does NOT occur just in "big pieces" in hardware and software. Arguably, the major innovations done today affecting the 'big pieces' are logistical and nano-structure components. Jounalists often see only the forest, not the trees, so they can't see what has just popped out of the soil.

These innovations are leading to miniaturization at a fast rate, parts with new properties, electronics with new functions, multi-functions, faster performance and software that knows how to integrate functions across devices and time.

The innovations inside the new MacBook Air don't excite a journalist as he has "seen that before", but to an innovator there is a lot to see both in hardware, ICs, battery and software. People forget that the MacBook Air is about 1/4th of the weight of the old PowerBooks of a half dozen years back and are faster and work longer hours on a charge.

Improved software systems are easy for journalists to ignore because that requires testing and journalists are basically lazy on doing actual testing and comparisons and retrospective analysis as software systems improve.

Re:Just Journalistic Lazy Opinion (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#44014755)

they are english major's who's comprehension of the world rivals those flipping burgers, except they have status, money and power they demand be respected.

I say don't respect them, and call them who they are.

This study is full of shit (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44014537)

Just based on the title you can tell this is a bunch of crap. First, Apple hasn't invented anything new since the 80s and it's arguable if they ever did even then. Google came up with their search engine and Android, but other than that they've basically just bought up other companies that have had good ideas... wait, didn't they buy Android to? I don't care enough to look it up. And Facebook? What on earth did Facebook do?

As was always the case, all the innovation is coming from start ups and individuals in their basements that have good ideas. Then they go on to get bought by some larger company.

Re:This study is full of shit (2, Insightful)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#44014749)

google bought android, like they bought most other technologies they recently "innovated"

like apple bought mac os, and microsoft stole it.

the real innovators seldom get credit.

I wonder why no one wants to go into engineering or computers in college. Anyone who can, rather do business and own the ideas the engineers and computer people make, and then laugh when they kick them to the curb when they have nothing left to give.

GPL your code, and throw it on github, if your not business savy enough. Its that much more for the public tha parasites can't use leverage.

Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014555)

Finally. Apple. The irony of today's hippie. Facebook. The autist trap even the Extraverts walked in to. Google. Altavista. Thank you, goodbye. Time to get some REST.

Absolute Flawed Causation (1)

SinisterRainbow (2572075) | about a year ago | (#44014563)

Has nothing to do with the size, has everything to do with one mind (or rarely two) that run the company (or who no longer runs it). And I see correlation with how old they are (related to being driven perhaps). Companies aren't a democracy, when they lose their big innovator they just become run-of-the-mill from what I can observe.

"Over the last decade, just three companies &mdash (2)

csumpi (2258986) | about a year ago | (#44014575)

— Google, Apple, and Facebook — have generated most of the new ideas and most of the business momentum in the world of computing."

Stopped reading right there.

Bizarro Computing World Maybe (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014589)

So yeah I'm only a top UNIX syadmin for a 100 billion dollar 150 year old company so I may be out of the loop. But Apple, Google, and Facebook are exactly no where to be found in our platforms. It's the usual suspects, IBM, HP, Microsoft, Oracle, even Redhat. Maybe little Johnny with his phone counts as the world of computing online. Yes, some people with Mac laptops bother us sometimes because they are just too cool to use company issued stuff and instead end up being the most annoying little buggers of all because nothing the company uses works on their cool machines and they actually think we are thrilled to help them every other week even though.. sorry rambling.

In no small measure ... (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about a year ago | (#44014621)

... these companies were founded on an initial innovation, but bought, borrowed or stole most of their innovation hence.

Rubbish (1)

sunfly (1248694) | about a year ago | (#44014627)

The truth is we don't know. Big groundbreaking ideas are rare which is why it is amazing Apple has had 3-4 in the entire history of the company (Not every year as media for some weird reason expects), Google 2-3 maybe, and Facebook 1. These companies simply refine existing ideas over and over and make them into great products. For example Google search was groundbreaking, but gmail was taking an existing idea and cleaning it up and making it something you might want to use. Google Earth was purchased from independent developers. Until someone reinvents the phone again we will likely never see a new product that takes off like iPhones and Android again, there is simply very few things almost all of the billions if people in the world wants to own. Breakthrough innovation is really rare, but it will continue to happen. In the mean time Google and Apple will refine like crazy (sorry, just can't bring myself to put Facebook in here) and continue to make great products.

Re:Rubbish (1)

itsdapead (734413) | about a year ago | (#44014843)

The truth is we don't know. Big groundbreaking ideas are rare which is why it is amazing Apple has had 3-4 in the entire history of the company (Not every year as media for some weird reason expects),

3-4? Lets see:
Apple II (Maybe a tie with Commodore PET and the TRS-80 for 'take home and plug in' personal computer).
Lisa/Mac GUI (Yes, I know it was inspired by Xerox, but Xerox weren't going anywhere with it.)
Laserwriter & DTP (Apple didn't invent the laser printer, but they put the pieces together: GUI computers with built-in networking to share the expensive printer).
Powerbook No they didn't invent the laptop, but the first Powerbook introduced the now-standard laptop format with the set-back keyboard and central pointing device (ISTR the previous Mac Portable, although a flop, was the first with a TFT display).
Newton he who makes no mistakes, usually makes nothing... and if nothing else, Newton was influential.
iMac ...yup, in a world of beige boxes, people will buy an attractively designed all-in-one. Also kicked USB out of limbo.
iPod & iTunes ...yada yada Nomad yada yada... but innovation is about successful marketing, too.
iPhone Yah, I know, Steve built a time machine and travelled 3 years into the future to rip off Android. But even then...
App stores ...now everybody wants one.
iPad Just a big iPhone without the phone... except, turns out that people wanted a big iPhone without the phone. Whoda thunk it?

Oh yeah, and somewhere along the line they actually, finally, got Unix onto the desktop, which had been going to happen next year since 1988.

As for "what have Apple done for us recently" well, they've been pushing >200ppi displays when the rest of the world had stalled at 1080p. The MacBook Air popularised (if not introduced) the Ultrabook concept. They're pushing hard on SSDs as standard. They've just announced a workstation the size of a Watney's Party Seven, with dual high-end GPUs and only Thunderbolt for expansion. Not rocket science, but they're still pushing.

...but then I don't equate "innovation" with "invention". Innovation involves taking inventions and turning them into successful products that alter the industry,

Facebook, and innovation, together? Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014649)

And what FB innovated in, exactly?
Their IPO was the easiest short sell, ever!

Re:Facebook, and innovation, together? Seriously? (1)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year ago | (#44014907)

"And what FB innovated in, exactly?"

They've created an incredibly successful mechanism for gathering detailed information about millions of users. Unlike past methods of market research, FB has provided a sufficient incentive for people to willingly surrender troves of personal information.
Remember, FB users are the "product" not the "customer".

I'd never buy their stock, because I think they're a long term bust, but I've got to respect their talent for information gathering.

Why read if the first line is a lie? (1)

Nova Express (100383) | about a year ago | (#44014723)

Why would I even read the link if the first line of is an obvious, lazy, over-generalized lie?

"Over the last decade, just three companies — Google, Apple, and Facebook — have generated most of the new ideas and most of the business momentum in the world of computing."

Only a moron who's view of computing comes from the pages of Time magazine would make such a pathetic, sweeping overgeneralization ignoring the vast innovations that have been happening in the wold of computing, driven by thousands of innovative startups. Linux, cloud computing and a dozen other area have thrown up a wide variety of innovations that have nothing to do do with those three very important (well, two very important, plus Facebook) but overhyped companies.

Article is rubbish (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#44014735)

It looks at innovation only from the conumer stand point on what brand he sees as the end consumer. This is why I hate the press, why I hate journalists, and why I hate anyone who studies English or whatever other language is native to them in college. Your worthless pricks with no more understanding of the world, than the average guy mowing your lawn, or serving you burgers, but your confidence and arrogance in repeating urban legends and your inability to see your own confirmation bias is disgusting.

Your mentioing the biggest companies in tech who got there by buying innovation from start ups if the start ups were lucky, and downright stealing it if they weren't.

Apple invented nothing. They just used their massive PR campaign to popularize technology that previously existed, they still don't make but stuck their name on, to the rich hipsters, who are to socially concious to be looking like a nerd.

Google is probably the only one in the lot who at onetime invetened something. The remade webmail into the default mail interface, and they made the modern search engine.(first one that didn't suck).

Facebook was never a real innovator, except winding up on top of the social network game.

And if they're not lost in their own perception bias, their sole concern is how much money they are going to make for shareholders, at the expense of their users and sometimes developers.

Death of the Engineer? (4, Interesting)

tanveer1979 (530624) | about a year ago | (#44014737)

The period from 1950s to the 1980s was the age of invention.
People haven gotten stupider since then. They have wisened up. Why spend hard work on invention when you can buy a patent. And these smart people have created an ecosystem which nurtures MBA, Law and other non contributing disciplines. Its the culture of "Manage" rather than do. And when everybody just goes ahead and wants a pie from the big machine, what happens, slowly but steadily, invention, innovation starts dying. Over every invention lies the sword of patent. Invent a new touch screen? Give it to XYZ for free because you are stepping on some tiny patent somewhere.
And this will continue. Very soon the engineers will vanish, and the world will be doomed, as deserved.

Re:Death of the Engineer? (2)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year ago | (#44014875)

Companies do seem to go through a perverse transformation as they grow. I'd add "accountants" to your MBA and lawyer list. The companies start out as innovators and inventors when they're run by engineers. Once the bean counters take over, it's all about the quarterly numbers. When your time frame for decision making is 3 months, or at most a year, who cares about innovation and invention that *might* pay off years later?
I think patents definitely drain resources because companies are involved in defensive patenting or spend time pursuing or fighting lawsuits. I believe that this pervasive short term thinking is what really strangles invention however.

Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014769)

I cannot believe that no one mentioned how patents have effectively ruined the fabric by which innovation is made possible. If you're an inventor, you will spend as much time checking patents as you do inventing. This is why more innovation has been cooped up in home basements and garages, and rarely gets further than friends and family using said invention.

Innovation vs invention. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44014825)

It looks like you people are getting confused with this notion of innovation. Quick excerpt from wiki catches this accurately:
Innovation differs from invention in that innovation refers to the use of a better and, as a result, novel idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself.

In that sense Apple, Facebook and Google are of course innovative.

Sell! Sell! Sell! Sell! Sell! (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year ago | (#44014873)

Article is nothing more than an attempt to play with the stock market. It is quite obvious when you start off with a giant pile of bullshit line like:

Over the last decade, just three companies — Google, Apple, and Facebook — have generated most of the new ideas and most of the business momentum in the world of computing.

Right, because there are only like 5 or 6 computing companies in the world. Certainly smaller companies could never contribute anything worthwhile to society. Oops, what he really means is that smaller companies are not good for stock trading.

And even still, the premise of "Apple and Google have run out of ideas," is ludicrous at best. (I will give him Facebook, they never had any ideas to begin with.)

How does Economic Gurus still get away with this.. (1)

Youngbull (1569599) | about a year ago | (#44014883)

One thing is that some wallstreet wannabe wrote this, but that it pops up on Slashdot is another thing.
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