Integrity Matters Broadcasts
February 13, 2008
– Dr. Henry Kressel
What follows is an endorsement of Competing for the Future, a book with wisdom that was written by a friend, Dr. Henry Kressel. Competing for the Future identifies challenges that must be addressed if the United States is to remain seriously competitive for the long-haul in the digital age. Short-term profit-taking has been creating generous bonuses for senior managers while providing immediate financial gratification for investors – but, such an approach is not sound, long-term. Patient, prudent and purposeful investment, along side delayed gratification – from Wall Street to Main Street – in the context of a clear and accurate understanding of where the digital age has placed us - all of us – is essential for a secure future.
Competing for the Future is a must read for leaders over 35 and aspiring individuals under 35. The digital revolution requires clear understanding by every leader in modern society; including those who would guide nations, businesses, and institutions dedicated to education and social services. Older individuals, including those of us in our 60’s, will better grasp today's global challenges by accepting the revolutionary changes created by the intellectual horsepower that invented and applied digital technologies, enabling globalization. The “digital” genie is best managed with knowledge, business savvy and a longer-term view of return on investments
Competing for the Future shows how a handful of U.S. inventions launched the digital revolution, and traces how digital technology has sparked economic growth and improved human life around the world.
Henry Kressel and Thomas Lento reveal how digital technology has sparked the globalization of commerce and enabled the rapid industrialization of previously underdeveloped countries, particularly in Asia.
They warn that the U.S. risks losing its competitive edge – and the basis of U.S. prosperity – by outsourcing – at least more recently - much of the production to the developing countries. Competing for the Future shows the close link between invention and production, and notes that if you don’t produce what you invent, you eventually lose the resources and knowledge to invent it...
Ultimately, Competing for the Future argues, the U.S. must encourage the manufacturing of high-tech products if it is to continue to be an important source of technological and economic progress. The message is just as pertinent to other countries that are allowing their manufacturing prowess to decline.
Readers come away with a basic grasp of the technology, an appreciation of the mechanisms created to finance its commercialization, an understanding of how technical skills have spread around the world, and a sense of what is required for a country to maintain its status as a technological and economic leader.
Once in a while, watershed events are understood in the midst of the very event itself – and those willing to engage in a serious assessment of the challenges can help change the course of history. The United States can avoid mortgaging its future, but only if those in positions of leadership right the ship by rethinking the definition of success in the current era. Delayed gratification – in taking profits – is but one step. So too must educators guide intellectually curious students to refine their minds with the rigors of math and science alongside interpersonal and cultural skills. If the road to hell was paved with good intentions, then most certainly the road to ruin is created by greed, laziness and ignorance. Competing for the Future is a wake-up call – and should be required reading for every student who enters a college or university – regardless of career objective. Competing for the Future is the primer for being a responsible citizen in Twenty-First Century America.
Just to make sure that such kind words are more than my personal opinion, here are some comments by notables -
'Competing for the Future is a must-read for anybody interested in applying science to the marketplace, whether it be the entrepreneur, the technical researcher, the investor, or the manufacturing floor supervisor. Dr Kressel's 50-year historical perspective is literally one-of-a-kind, given his pioneering place in history at the beginnings of laser technology, semiconductor transistor manufacturing, and the venture capital industry."
Alan Willner, Professor of Electrical Engineering Systems, University of Southern California
'Competing for the Future tells the story of unparalleled innovation. And when put in a global context, it gives the reader a deeper understanding of the roles that technologists, venture capitalists, markets, industries and governments played in this technological revolution. Dr. Kressel has not only written an excellent book - he lived it, as a contributor and catalyst of important innovations. This is important reading for anyone strategizing about the future of high tech innovation."
Michael C. Thurk, President, Global Communications Solutions
'Henry Kressel takes us from the physics of transistors and solid state lasers to the financing of the companies that created the information technology and communications revolution with a breadth of expertise that is truly astonishing. As a key player himself, his insight is invaluable in explaining what has led to success and why today it is the small companies funded by private equity and venture capital that have largely supplanted the big corporations in creating genuinely new technology."
Lord Broers, University of Cambridge and Chairman, House of Lords Select Committee for Science and Technology
'… a must-read for anybody interested in applying science to the marketplace, whether it be the entrepreneur, the technical researcher, the investor, and the manufacturing floor supervisor. Dr. Kressel's 50-year historical perspective is literally one-of-a-kind, given his pioneering place in history at the beginnings of laser technology, semiconductor transistor manufacturing, and the venture capital industry."
Alan Willner, Professor of Electrical Engineering Systems, University of Southern California and President, IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society
'…essential reading for scientifically astute industrial leaders, entrepreneurs, academicians, venture capitalists, plant managers, researchers, and government officials involved in the innovation process. It will be invaluable in planning new innovations and assessing the viability of various options in the planning process itself. It will surely join the list of must read books at leading business schools throughout the world."
L. David Pye, Dean Emeritus, The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University
'At a time when 'innovation' has become an industry and political buzzword, Henry Kressel provides a comprehensive, clear-headed and insightful survey of the rise of digital electronics, how it has transformed society over the last half century and where digital electronics might take us - for better or worse - in the next 50 years."
George Leopold, Director, EE Times Network.
Please purchase Competing for the Future, read it and then let me know what you think.
If my proposition is right, then what is the most effective way to get this book into the hands, minds and hearts of the student generation?
James F. Bracher
Dimension Five Consultants, Inc.
Bracher Center for Integrity in Leadership
P.O. Box 22467
Carmel, California 93922
James F. (Jim) Bracher, Director
Executives in Residence
Foundation of CSUMB
California State University Monterey Bay
100 Campus Center,
Building 201 - Suite 101
Seaside, California 93955
Phone: direct: 831-582-5038
Ruby Sanchez (831) 582-5015
(831) 582-5019 Fax