Overall, the trend in patenting is up - both in absolute numbers and controlling for population. Innovation has increased over the past decade, but not at the breakneck pace of the 1980s and 1990s. There have been two dips in patenting over the past decade - the first in the wake of the tech crisis of 2001 and the second, more recently, concurrent with the onset of the housing and financial bubbles and the subsequent economic crisis.
Here's a map of job postings by metro area (h/t: Steven Pedigo). The map controls for population. D.C. has the most openings and Baltimore is second. San Jose, Austin, Hartford, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Denver, Boston, Las Vegas, Charlotte, and San Francisco all are doing reasonably well, relatively speaking.
As we saw yesterday, Michael Mandel argues that commercial innovation in the U.S. has slowed in recent years. To shed light on this, my team and I tracked U.S. patent data for the past decade - and for the entire 20th century.
In a widely read cover story published earlier this month, Business Week's chief economist Michael Mandel asks, "To what degree has American innovation been 'interrupted'?" Mandel argues that the economic crisis is partly the result of America's failure to generate high-impact commercial innovations: "What if, outside of a few high-profile areas, the past decade has seen far too few commercial innovations that can transform lives and move the economy forward? What if, rather than being an era of rapid innovation, this has been an era of innovation interrupted?"
Most people think the biggest threat to globalization is mounting economic nationalism and trade protectionism. That may well be true. But in a thoughtful and provocative article in the Harvard Business Review, George Stalk argues that globalization faces another threat - a looming infrastructure crisis that is creating huge bottlenecks in the flow of global products and services.
In the wake of Michael Jackson's death, there's been no shortage of predictions about how his passing represents the end of the "age of celebrity."
Dutch start-up SellaBand has built a platform that allows artists to crowd-source funding from music-lovers around the world. Established in 2006 by two Sony-BMG music executives, it provides a Bowie-bond like process for up-and-coming bands to raise $50,000 to record their album by selling ten dollar "parts" to online "believers."
Ed Glaeser has some very sensible things to say about the shrinking cities brouhaha.. Despite the growing hype, there's not a shred of evidence that the Obama administration is considering bull-dozering anything. Glaeser says it makes a heck of a lot more sense to favor people over places. Invest in human capital and encourage people to be mobile, Glaeser contends, promise much better long-term economic payoffs than undertaking expensive and dubious strategies to try to revive dying places.