Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 26th Feb 2014 12:31 UTC

John Gruber, on Google's Project Tango:

Google is starting to remind me of Apple in the '90s: announcing more cool R&D prototypes than they release actual cool products. Even the R&D team names are similar - Google's is called "Advanced Technology and Projects"; Apple's was called "Advanced Technology Group".

Funny. Google's 'moonshots' actually remind me more of another R&D-focused company. Interestingly enough, without that company, the computer industry would have been set back decades, and Apple would most likely have been reduced to a footnote in computer history.

I would rather large companies spend their cash on potentially awesome research that may (or may not) advance computer technology and the human race, than have them stash it away in shady overseas bank accounts.

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Basic research moves us forward
by wargum on Wed 26th Feb 2014 14:47 UTC
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I think the R&D approach taken by Apple is only good for them, whereas companies like HP or IBM do basic research that is ultimately good for anybody. Just think of the memristor! And there are many other areas, like quantum computing, that Apple doesn't want to touch because they are only interrested in the next cool product. Anybody dismissing all the hard research many companies are willing to pay for is not seeing the big picture, IMHO. Anyways, go basic research!

Edited 2014-02-26 14:54 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Alfman Member since:


I agree it's good to do research for the sake of research. And I think it's good when the research can be shared among others to maximize public benefit, it is not good to lock it up in vaults. However it seems there is a risk that those who do the R&D won't be credited for it. Some companies just aren't altruistic enough to do research for the public good. Altruism is hard.

From personal experience, I've learned just how difficult it is to do work and NOT get credited for it. At a previous employer I conceived a new way to embed mainframe applications inside client applications, they liked my prototype so I took the project from conception to R&D. My employer built a product out of it. I was really taken aback when the boss promoting the product to a client claimed it was the achievement of a higher ranking coworker, who had made no material code contributions whatsoever. It makes me wonder about all the other faceless "cogs" in companies who's work was used to promote the image of those above them.

Edited 2014-02-26 16:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4