Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What is unimaginable these days

Think it's time for someone(not me, of course) to compile cases of all the buy-outs (mainly by equity firms) and M&As, that have happened in the semiconductor industry in these few years, especially recently. Will be hard to keep pace with who's still there and who's not, if the action and movements continue for a while. Facts or rumors...Intel to buy Nvidia ? Equity firms target Cypress Semiconductor ? Freescale considered buying Philips Semiconductor(now known as NXP) ?

In an emerging sector, quality is often defined as functionality and reliability. But as a sector matures, it's really "give me exactly what I want exactly when I want it !!!" (hmmm...how many times have you heard this from your boss ?). So, it seems that speed, convenience and customization are shifting the 40- to 50-ish mindset in the electronics industry. Is a unimaginable* new industry going to evolve from here ?

Well, I like to relate this to a piece I just came across about tech gadgets that are "banned" from the United States. That article tried to pin down on why some innovation products such as super-lightweight laptops from Japan and feature-packed smartphones from Europe, are not making it (at least for now) onto the U.S. retail shelves. Then you begin to question. Isn't U.S. the haven for all things creative and innovative? And then, you start to understand, it just works out to a different business and organization model in each country (and culture). For instance, in Japan, a majority of the cutting-edge innovation occurs due to consumer demand, while in the U.S., they're mainly driven by business needs (don't forget, many large retailers in the U.S. have to answer to shareholders...not only to consumers!). Also, the inherent infrastructure in one geographic location may not support cutting-edge products. So, when it does not make business sense to introduce (or import) high-end products, it just does not make sense.

Ok, can you see the linkage between the 2 different news snippet I've put up here ?

* This is what I called unimaginable...the Fish-N-Flush Toilet


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