Under Kevin Bullis' article Can ARPA-E Solve Energy Problems? in Technology Review, I posted the following comment:
Hi Kevin,Note: the actual poll can be found in the upper left corner of this webpage.
I sort see what would Bill Gates do right now about energy innovation. But, what would Steve Jobs do?
You wrote that “Bill Gates warned that energy innovation moves a lot slower than innovation in software.” I guess there is a big difference between the playing fields between software and energy in terms of regulation: little for software, and a lot for energy. In that case, the existence of a powerful status quo (PSQ) in energy results in a huge barrier to innovations that can be considered as bad regulation .
What if Gates is not concentrating on that key issue, which it's not then that “underfunding is delaying the rate of progress,” but the PSQ? Suppose for a moment that the real problem of short term innovation is the result of having a PSQ. To see what sort of reactions might emerge, I started a poll in blogger ( http://bit.ly/GMH057 ) that says:
Let’s say one country has a good electricity regulation, meaning it doesn’t have a PSQ. A new Steve Jobs makes a proposal to customers that they don’t expect but love. What will the proposal do?
-- spread like crazy without delay.
-- be delayed in countries with PSQ.
-- be blocked in countries with PSQ.
-- none of the above.