Talk of the Bay
Longevity no longer part of high-tech success
By JAMES THORNER
Published September 4, 2006
Technology companies used to enjoy rich, long lives: Consider graybeards like IBM and General Electric.
Peter Marcotullio, an SRI International executive visiting St. Petersburg last week, said your average high-tech company is lucky to enjoy the life span of a pedigreed poodle.
Successful companies today tend to last about 20 years - the length of one or two product cycles - until technological innovation renders them obsolete.
As technological breakthroughs accelerate, companies in the future can expect to thrive only about 10 years, Marcotullio said.
The repercussions are large not just for investors but for employees seeking graduation-to-grave job stability.
Incidentally, Marcotullio's nonprofit company is close to announcing a deal to build a marine research center in downtown St. Petersburg. SRI's partner on the project is the University of South Florida.
The partners hope to spin off their technology, which could include underwater sensors to battle terrorism, into profitmaking ventures.
[Last modified September 4, 2006, 06:04:18]
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