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Vivek Wadhwa
Articles by Vivek Wadhwa

Regardless of the fears and risk, the space race will benefit all of us

The opportunities are endless: biological experimentation; resource extraction; figuring out how to live on other planets; space travel; and tourism

The NASA space shuttle programme cost about $209 billion over its lifetime and made a total of 135 flights, costing an average per launch of nearly $1.6 billion. Team Indus has built their lunar rover with only $35 million of funding and a team of rag tag engineers in Bangalore(HT File Photo)
Updated on Jan 19, 2019 02:51 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

We are challenging our evolution

We have just entered the era of designer babies with China’s first gene-edited baby. The question is whether they can use this newfound superpower in a responsible way that will benefit the planet and its people.

In a nutshell, we don’t know the limits of the new technologies, can’t guess what lifetime effects a single gene alteration will have on a single individual, and have no idea at all what effects alteration of genes in sperm or ova or a foetus will have on future generations(SHUTTERSTOCK)
Updated on Nov 27, 2018 04:17 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

Why Apple failed in India — and how it can recover

Apple could use India’s market to its advantage: to make it a testbed for its experimental technologies.

Philip W. Schiller, senior vice president, Worldwide Marketing of Apple, speaks about the new Apple iPhone XR at an Apple Inc product launch event at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California, US, September 12, 2018(REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 13, 2018 03:01 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

Trump’s trade war offers the Indian IT sector an opening

Helping the US bring manufacturing back home could create a $100-bn market for Indian farms

Indian IT can design new, America-based value chains and factories; install and program robots; and monitor manufacturing operations in the same way that large data centres are remotely managed(Bloomberg)
Updated on Oct 23, 2018 12:11 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

India has not lost the AI race, it can still build a trillion-dollar industry

Software’s real value lies in its implementation: what you do with it. Anyone can use openly available Artificial Intelligence codes to build advanced applications

The Jaguar I-Pace with Google’s Waymo self-driving technology is unveiled during an event in New York, US, March 27, 2018. Waymo cars have collectively driven close to 10 million miles, yet are nowhere near ready for release(Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Updated on Oct 05, 2018 07:44 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

How clean energy can be India’s saviour

India should cut red tape, offer subsidies, and do whatever it takes to transform the majority of its energy generation to solar and wind — by 2025 or sooner

Employees inspect panels at a solar power project near Bhagwanpura, Madhya Pradesh. Today, we have gotten much better also at figuring out how to squeeze more out of the solar energy we capture(Bloomberg)
Updated on Sep 26, 2018 12:58 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

Indian entrepreneurs should use tech for humanity rather than just for profit

You can be sure that governments and investors are funding the most profitable and malicious uses of technologies. That is why it is so important to teach India’s entrepreneurs about the advances and to inspire, motivate, and support their efforts.

Cray XK7 Supercomputer System. With the advances in computers, which keep getting faster and smaller, the smartphones we carry in our pockets are many times more powerful than the Cray supercomputers of the ‘70s and ‘80s were. It is important to teach India’s entrepreneurs about the advances and to inspire, motivate, and support their efforts.(AFP)
Published on Sep 04, 2018 06:13 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

Apple or Google should take over Tesla

Now, as Tesla struggles with its cash balances, extremely negative press, and Elon Musk’s erratic tweets, it is at another crossroad and, in order to reach its potential, needs a strategic partner. It may not make sense for it to continue as a public company.

Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla(Reuters)
Updated on Aug 22, 2018 01:05 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

It’s time to bust a few Silicon Valley myths

Age, gender and lack of capital should not come in the way of building an innovation economy

An innovation festival at Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai. It’s a myth that entrepreneurs are born, not made. Look at Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Jan Koum. They didn’t come from entrepreneurial families. Their parents were dentists, academics, lawyers, factory workers, or priests.(HT)
Published on Aug 06, 2018 06:08 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

WhatsApp groups are a hazard and need to be recalled

The encryption of messages prevents law-enforcement officials and even WhatsApp itself from viewing what is being said

Facebook claims that because WhatsApp messages are encrypted, it has no control over their content. It is blaming the design of its product for the carnage it is causing. Facebook made similar excuses when the United Nations accused it of having “a determining role” in the genocide against Rohingya refugees in Myanmar — except that there was no encryption involved, just lax policy enforcement.(Bloomberg)
Updated on Jul 13, 2018 12:09 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

Why liberal arts and the humanities are as important as engineering

An engineering degree is very valuable, but the sense of empathy that comes from music, arts, literature and psychology provides a big advantage in design.

Steve Jobs gave credit for the success of the Mac to a calligraphy course that he attended. He also highlighted the importance of art and design at the unveiling of the iPad 2, when he said “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough — it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing, and nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices”.(AFP)
Updated on Jun 22, 2018 06:28 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

Silicon Valley needs to wake up to the dark side of its inventions

The problems won’t solve themselves; policy makers and academics don’t understand enough to take the lead. The creators of the technologies must lead the discussions on ethics, regulations, and controls.

An employment web site advertises to job seekers on Highway 101 leading from Silicon Valley to San Fransisco(Getty Images)
Updated on Jun 09, 2018 04:29 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

Why India’s investors need to get over their inferiority complex

Flipkart tried hard to raise money locally but was ridiculed and turned away, leaving only the foreign giants to rescue it. This pattern will repeat itself until India’s investors realise that the best opportunities are not in Silicon Valley but at home.

Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart has created shockwaves in India, with the realisation that the vast majority of its $16 billion price will go to foreign investors, namely Tiger Global, SoftBank, Naspers, and Accel Partner(Reuter File Photo)
Updated on May 24, 2018 07:46 AM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

Copy and steal — the Silicon Valley way

The good news is that as the world’s entrepreneurs learn from each other, they will find opportunities to solve the problems not only of their own countries, but of the world

Tourists at Facebook’s headquarters, Menlo Park, California. Mark Zuckerberg also built Facebook by imitating MySpace and Friendster, and he continues to copy products(NYT)
Updated on May 01, 2018 03:33 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

I was wrong. Too much technology is ruining lives

Research shows that social media may well be making many of us unhappy, jealous and – paradoxically – antisocial

Perhaps we should go back to our smartphones and, instead of playing Netflix or sending texts on WhatsApp, use their core function. Call up our friends and family and have a chat or – better – arrange to meet them(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Apr 17, 2018 04:27 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

While Facebook faces the music, maybe it is time to #DeleteWhatsApp | Opinion

It is time to hold all the social media companies accountable for their massive breaches of our privacy

WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton expressed outrage at Facebook’s privacy policies by tweeting: “It is time. #deletefacebook”.(Reuters File Photo)
Updated on Apr 04, 2018 11:15 AM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

It is not only Ambani’s companies, every industry is about to be disrupted

With electric cars becoming cheaper and more capable, demand for petroleum will decrease, causing oil prices to fall to $20 a barrel or less. I expect this to happen by 2025. This will surely boost the economies of India and China and decimate the oil producers. Imagine the impact on Ambani’s oil refineries when there is a massive shift away from fossil fuels

Uber became a threat to the transportation industry by taking advantage of the advances in smartphones, GPS sensors and networks, and their convergence(Reuters)
Updated on Mar 28, 2018 07:48 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

Why you need to live in the future — as I do

I live in the future as it is forming and this is happening far faster than most people realise, and far faster than the human mind can comfortably perceive

GM's planned Cruise AV driverless car features no steering wheel or pedals.(General Motors/Handout via Reuters)
Updated on Mar 14, 2018 11:12 AM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

Quantum supremacy: The next $100 billion gold mine for Indian IT

A lot of good will come from quantum computing, in better weather forecasting, financial analysis, logistical planning; the search for Earth-like planets; and drug discovery. But it will also open up a Pandora’s Box for security. I don’t know of any company or government that is prepared for it; all urgently need to build defences.

These computers are straight out of science fiction. They rely on particles called quantum bits, or qubits, to process data.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Feb 22, 2018 11:19 AM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

The party is over. India’s tech firms must re-invent or perish

There are literally $100bn opportunities elsewhere in the digital space that India has the expertise and capacity to exploit – yet it shows no evidence that it is likely to take them.

When I talk to Indian CEOs, they acknowledge the threats of digital transformation, and can see the opportunities for diversification. Yet they turn away from our conversations to focus on closing another legacy outsourcing deal – fiddling while Bangalore burns.(MINT)
Updated on Feb 09, 2018 01:02 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

How Trump is making China and India great again

With his constant tirades against immigrants, particularly from what he calls “shithole countries”, Donald Trump is giving many countries the greatest gift of all: causing the trickle of returning talent to become a flood

Protectionist demands by nativists are causing American political leaders to advocate immigration policies that were (and are) choking US innovation and economic growth(AFP)
Published on Jan 23, 2018 11:03 AM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

Why Bitcoin is the largest Ponzi scheme in human history

With Bitcoin supply constrained and increasingly falling short of demand, instead of functioning as a currency, Bitcoin is a speculative empty asset.

ATM machines (L and R) for digital currency Bitcoin are seen in Hong Kong on December 18, 2017. Bitcoins’ market price is almost certain at some point to crash and burn, just as the dot-coms did.(AFP Photo)
Updated on Dec 30, 2017 08:22 AM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

Why India needs to protect its technology companies

India has an advantage over China: its engineers are building Silicon Valley’s most advanced technologies and leading many of its companies. And with the protectionist sentiments of the Trump administration and constant anti-immigrant rants, foreign-born people are getting a clear message: Go home; we don’t want you. This is a gift to India and China, because the immigrant exodus is boosting their innovation capabilities.

India must stop the unfair competition using its best weapon: regulation and taxes. Doing so will not stifle innovation but boost it, because Indian startups will be able to copy what they need to and compete on a level playing field(AFP)
Updated on Dec 12, 2017 04:19 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

The amazing possibilities of a technology-enabled future for India

Computers are doubling in their capabilities every year on a trajectory known as Moore’s Law. And everything they touch is advancing on the same exponential curve, including sensors, artificial intelligence, robotics, genomics, and energy technologies

With AI-based learning apps and virtual reality headsets, which will also become affordable within five years, India’s entire education system could be transformed.(AFP)
Published on Dec 02, 2017 08:36 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

Obama takes the Silicon Valley spirit global

The GES will be a huge opportunity for the Indian government to examine how to make regulations more conducive to innovation and new businesses, but also to bring some of the world’s brightest to see the dynamism of India’s economy and its entrepreneurs.

During his recent trip to the US, Modi persuaded Obama to hold the next Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in India next year.(HT File Photo)
Updated on Jul 29, 2016 09:09 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

A solar revolution can be India’s ray of light

It is clear that more than tinkering with road rationing, solar is the bet that Delhi — and India — should be making

Tesla Motors expects to release a luxury electric vehicle, the Model 3 (above), in 2018, which will cost $35,000 and can go more than 200 miles (320 km approx) on a charge.(REUTERS)
Updated on Jun 08, 2016 10:50 PM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

As China falters, here’s how India can be Apple’s next manufacturing hub

China is becoming unpredictable because of its faltering economy. Robotics are changing costs. It makes sense for Apple to locate some of its manufacturing closer to other markets such as India

Every iPhone contains compoments sourced from hundreds of suppliers located in several countries. Apple’s complex value chain now faces a challenge in China.(REUTERS)
Updated on May 18, 2016 01:13 AM IST
ByVivek Wadhwa

The Indian Dream

If the only cause of the exodus from the US were the economic downturn and political pressure, then stopping it would be less difficult. But research has shown that Indians and Chinese are now leaving the US for professional and cultural reasons, writes Vivek Wadhwa.

HT Image
Updated on Dec 17, 2009 02:08 AM IST
None | ByVivek Wadhwa
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