Presentation on Innovation (IceWeb 2008)

skjaldarmerki-2Ever since the banking crisis struck Iceland a few weeks ago, I’ve been running out and about to advocate for innovation as the way to rebuild the economy.

Yesterday, I was privileged to give a presentation on the topic at the IceWeb conference. The title of my talk was “The Innovation Renaissance” and the slides can be found below:

Með því að opna kynninguna á SlideShare er hægt að skoða hana “full screen”.

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P.S. There are a few quirks in the layout as I create my presentations in Keynote, SlideShare only accepts PowerPoint files, and the conversion is not perfect. But they weren’t that pretty anyway 🙂

P.P.S. Egill Harðar “two-dot-o-ified” the Icelandic crest for my presentation – thanks!

3 comments

  1. Very interesting presentation, thank you! But what is the probability that VCs will invest in so risky area as innovative projects in crisis times? Looking around I can see that my compatriots consider buying USDs and EURs as the best kind of investment. 😦

  2. SVK: You’re absolutely right. On top of the cautiousness, an investor can actually get a 15-20% return in Dollars or Euros on bonds from relatively save corporations these days, so the competition is stiff.

    I do however believe that there are local investors that still have Icelandic Kronur (ISK) and see no better use for it these days than to help build companies that will have revenues in foreign currency.

    Besides, it does not take a lot of money to start many kinds of businesses, especially when salary expectations have changed as dramatically as they have here with the crash.

  3. “… it does not take a lot of money to start many kinds of businesses, especially when salary expectations have changed as dramatically as they have here with the crash.”

    I agree, but you can’t make salaries less then the cost of living anyway and the latter AFAIK still be quite high for Iceland. IMHO there are several possible solutions:

    1. Use some esoteric languages and tools to improve developer’s performance so less number of engineers is needed. For example, Lisp has a reputation of such “secret weapon”. From my experience, this can be true or not depending from the problem.

    2. Outsource development to countries with smaller cost of living and social security payments. This will require some cash outflow in foreign currency but the net total can be positive. Note, that outsourcing some innovative project is not the same as outsourcing some business-assistance software. Big and known outsourcing companies are performing well on typical business problems, but I’m not sure that their CMM Level 4-5 will be crucial for exploratory programming needed in innovative project. I think, enthusiastic individuals are more appropriate in this case.

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