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Innovation Mandate: Patrick Byrne Lays It On The Line


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Guest ValueCarl

I wonder if Akamai is attempting to have Overstock.com modify their IPv4 address system, rather than convert to IPv6, the rapidly emerging higher bandwidth ready technology incorporated in CDN's?


If Patrick is ever the first to have his live agents appear in video format while conducting business with their customers over the internet, he might need more bandwidth than "free loaders" riding on their last mile ISP's laurels, are willing to expend.


Wow, I remember telling him once, to make a long term investment in "bandwidth" for what I saw on the horizon.


The young man is a hell of a lot smarter than me, however.  :D 


He seems to have America's conundrum down to a science as well. 


InformationWeek: Some look at Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and others and point out that these are all U.S., and mostly Silicon Valley, success stories. Should we really be that down on our prospects?


Byrne: The holes we have dug as a country are bigger than what companies like Apple can get us out of. Overstock.com works with some tremendous, U.S.-based technology vendors. Teradata is unbelievably good and has been a big help to us. Akamai has given us tremendous technology that has helped us forego a lot of capital costs. RightNow has given us leading customer-service capabilities. Look at the move toward the cloud. I think that's an incredible paradigm. So there are a few dozen companies creating this wonderful, leading-edge technology.


But we have to import engineers from India and China to make them tick. Silicon Valley can still be turning out leading-edge technology while the rest of the country is going the way of Detroit. Those are not incompatible possibilities. As we're approaching 50% of people graduating from high school, those people are not going to be able to participate in that world that is being created by Silicon Valley. Do we end up with a country where you have some technological elite, who are generating the value, and then a mass of government that's in the business of transferring that value?


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