Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"This is our generation’s Sputnik moment ..."

Yup. I am old enough to [vaguely] recall Sputnik in real time.  Don't tell anybody.

In addition to verifying that I am older than I ever thought I'd be, this also means that I've been "hangin' out" in the technology sector since before there was a Microsoft, Windows, fax machines -- and, yes, even an Internet.

But, do you know the one thing that's never, ever changed -- what has propelled and sustained us -- over the decades?

The sheer joy, exhilaration and rewards of INNOVATION.

So, what did I find the high point (and least covered segment) of last night's State of the Union address?  President Obama's eloquent remarks on you-guessed-it:

"What we can do -- what America does better than anyone -- is spark the creativity and imagination of our people.  We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook.  In America, innovation doesn't just change our lives.  It's how we make a living."

Damn straight.

And let's not overlook the wood behind that arrow:
"Two years ago, I said we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven't see since the height of the Space Race.  And in a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal.  We'll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology  -- (applause) -- an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people."
(Transcript of address, courtesy of NPR*)

We're on the cusp of an enormously important -- if not critical -- and exhilarating period in science, business and innovation.  And, take it from me, this may well be the most important, if not crucial, era of development we have tackled.

I can't wait!
... just thinking out loud.

*For a full transcript of President Obama's 2011 State of the Union address, I recommend: