Today is the Day of the Inventors and the Rationalizers!
I crossed checked “rationalizer” in a number of online dictionaries and it seems that it can to refer to someone who re-organizes or brings modern, efficient methods to an industry i.e. Management Consultants. Management Consultants, as I learned during my happy time at Russia’s National Carrier are creepy expat parasites, who, as HRH would say, are “You-zzz-eh-less” so I thought we might focus on the inventors.
We have, of course, talked before about Russia’s past contributions to world technology…that Periodic Table of Elements thing, so I thought what we might do is focus more on Russia’s future inventors and innovators.
Welcome to Skolkovo: Russia’s Silicon Valley
And what a great week to do so! As all Russia-watchers, and many techno-geeks know President Dmitry Medvedev, clearly off on good behavior, visited Silicon Valley on fact and fund finding missions for Russia’s “City of Innovation,” Skolkovo. Skolkovo, which is 20 kilometers from Moscow, was recently designated the site for Russia’s new innovation and technology center, where the focus will be on energy, information technologies, communication, biomedical research and nuclear technology.
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
~ Plato (The Republic)
Russia’s Gadget Geek President
Russia’s president is a real gadget geek and so this was like having lunch with all of the Disney Princesses for a 6-year old girl from Alabama. He visited Apple, where he got a new 4G iPhone from Saint Steve himself (to add to the pirated and “cracked” 3G one he already had), he met with the Russian programmer Diaspora, about whom he expressed the (wildly unrealistic) hope that they would all return home and work at Skolkovo, and then, he visited Twitter, where he set up an account, and sent his first tweet, with an adorable typo. He then proceeded to tweet the entire rest of the day, sending Twitpicks of the view from his hotel room, some random thoughts on Skolkovo, the good news that Belarus was going to repay its gas bill, and his latest tweet says he just met with David Cameron, and they agreed to stay in touch, and not just on line.
Having just worked my way through “Twitter for Dummies,” I was able to instantly “follow” the President. He isn’t following me. Yet, but I am sure that will be put to right as soon as he gets home and synchs his contacts on the new phone with his iPad and his Kremlin Hotmail account. I sent him (unanswered as of yet) a tweet expressing my hope (in 140 characters) that he had enjoyed his cheeseburger with President Obama, and congratulating him on the cool press conference. And you can send both President Medvedev and me tweets if you like as well. We’re up to speed.
Is Innovation Techology the new Management Consultancy?
The President’s visit got a lot of coverage, most of it positive, some not, but the visit put Skolkovo firmly back on the top-five dinner party topics, from whence, frankly, it had slipped slightly, what with the initial rollout being not super duper PR, and the oppressive heat, and the BP oil spill and everything. But, with companies like Nokia and CISCO pledging billion dollar investments into Skolkovo, we all wonder: is this the new hot place to look for a job? Is the Innovation Technology racket the new Management Consultant racket? Or do you have to, like, know something for this gig?
I’ll send you a hashtagged tweet if I find out!
Had you heard about Skolkovo before you saw the charming footage of Medvedev at the Twitter office? What do you think the Skolkovo crowd should focus on apart from how to contain the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which a lot of us believe they already know, but what else? Better ice machines and more powerful a/c are on the top of my list since it is 93.2 degrees today (which is 34 degrees Celsius for the Metric geeks among you.).