Journal for a Progressive Economy, October 2016
What makes the iPhone so smart? Was it only the individual genius of Steve Jobs and his team, and the visionary finance supplied from risk-loving venture capitalists? No. In my book, The Entrepreneurial State: debunking public vs. private sector myths, I tell the missing part of that story through an analysis of the public funds, that allow the smart phone to do what it does so well with the Internet, touchscreen display, GPS, and the SIRI voice control—all funded by the tax payer! The point is not to belittle the work of Jobs and his team, which was both essential and transformational. But to render more balanced the historiography of Apple and its founders, where not a word is mentioned of the collective effort behind Silicon Valley. The question is: who benefits from such a narrow description of the wealth creation process in the high tech sector today?