Morning Advantage: Going Public Kills Innovation

According to a new study from Stanford, once a company goes public, innovation declines. And that’s not all: Top inventors also tend to bail, and those who remain, waiting for their options to vest, typically suffer a decline in productivity. As described in Bloomberg, Shai Bernstein, assistant finance professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, came to this conclusion by analyzing the patent data of over 1,500 public and private U.S. technology firms between 1983 and 2006 — a data set that includes Microsoft and Google, among others. The problem, he found, is that instead of fostering in-house innovation, public companies tend to rely on acquisitions for innovations.


Google’s Alternative to the Password (MIT Technology Review)

Passwords may be going the way of the dodo — that is, if Google has anything to do with it. There are a whole host of reasons why passwords just aren’t working: people choose them badly, lose them, write them down, and reuse them across services. Plus, passwords can be intercepted by malware or password servers can be compromised over the Internet. Google engineers hope to change all of that, by developing security alternatives such as a USB key — or even jewelry, such as a ring on your finger — that would allow you (and you alone) to log in to your computer or a website. It could mean that in the near future, people will rarely use passwords at all, or would only need a strong password for deep backup.


Job Opening at Apple: Writing for Siri (Quartz)

Siri, the iPhone’s “virtual personal assistant” may be a veritable font of useful information, but Megan Garber at Quartz wonders why she has to be so dull. “Siri, bless her, doesn’t do banter,” writes Garber. But, that could all be changing soon, as Apple recently posted a job for a writer/editor for Siri. That’s right – Siri’s getting a speechwriter. And this person is expected to make your future interactions with Siri sizzle. Siri’s ghostwriter is going to need to explain things in engaging, funny, practical ways. And while Garber questions whether the world really needs its cyborgs to be verbally dextrous and personality-laden, she surmises from Apple’s job description that Siri is about to get a lot more sassy.


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