Craig Barrett Interview

Excerpts from a SF Gate interview:

You didn’t have the right specifications initially for the product. You didn’t staff the product properly, either numbers or the numbers with right expertise in terms of employees. Or you weren’t carefully managing the project. In 20 years I’ve looked at projects that have not met the schedule at Intel, it usually falls into one of those three categories.

This convergence of computing and communications, wireless technologies are popping up everywhere. The concept of a digital home where you have digital entertainment, digital computing, digital capability and the ability to move and manipulate personal content and professional content around the home, there’s lots of excitement.

There are four things you can do in the United States to be competitive, and none of them is easy. The education system is first and foremost. You need to fix the K-12 education system and have a higher influx of kids into college in the technical areas.

The second one is research and development, because R&D is the seed corn for products and services of the future. How much does the U.S. invest annually in agricultural subsidies, the industry of the 19th century? If you put food stamps in, you can get to a figure of $30 billion or $35 billion. If you keep food stamps out, you get $20 billion to $25 billion. How much does the United States invest annually in basic R&D in physical sciences? About $5 billion.

Depending on how you count it, you spend four to six times more on agricultural subsidies, the industry of the 19th century, than you invest in producing the ideas for the industries of the 21st century. So, R&D spending is critical. It’s also infrastructure. It’s not bridges or roads. It’s communications infrastructure, information technology infrastructure. You know that the United States is a laggard in broadband. We’re kind of a third-world country from a wireless standpoint.

And the last thing that you can worry about is the Hippocratic oath of “Do no harm,” but not applying to doctors, applying to governments. California (is) a wonderful example of where government rules, (and) regulations and policies are not only restrictive, but detrimental, in driving business away. Other countries are aggressively pursuing investment, much more than the United States.

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.