WALL STREET JOURNAL In January 1912, the United States emerged from a two-year recession. Nineteen more followed—along with a century of phenomenal economic growth. Americans in real terms are 700% wealthier today. In hindsight it seems obvious that emerging technologies circa 1912—electrification, telephony, the dawn of the automobile age, the invention of stainless steel and…
WALL STREET JOURNAL On June 13, 2010—merely Day 55 in the nightmare of the Deep Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico—a fleet of naked bicyclists rode the streets of Manhattan to protest oil and BP, the company whose reputation is now so badly stained by a well that will not stop gushing. YouTube immortalized…
The image of the oil industry is captured (admittedly, delicously) by Bruce Willis play the rough-and-ready character of an oil roughneck in the 1998 Hollywood blockbuster Armageddon – driving golf balls off an oil platform aimed at a Greenpeace ship. Dirty, tough, old-world, almost Jurassic. Oil, in short, is seen as old tech. So yesterday.
At the most basic level, there are just two types of security: physical security to protect people and assets, and information security to protect bits and bytes in data systems. And, information security products are generally more intelligent than physical security products.
Publicly and behind closed doors, an increasingly vocal faction of experts claims we need an Apollo-type program to create new technologies for homeland security and military force protection. Some may miss the days — and the model — of the Bell Labs. Some are unreformed Cold Warriors — the Manhattan Project is their analogy.
All are well intentioned, but all are quite wrong. These models are a mistake for two reasons: Today the character of the threats, and the nature of innovation, is vastly different.
With oil prices sinking, not soaring … will investors from Wall Street to Silicon Valley lose interest in energy technology? Not hardly. But in the cold dawn of more “rational” oil prices, investors and policy makers will fare better keeping in mind seven energy realities.