Technology in danger?

It is no secret that many countries in the world are currently dealing with some difficult economic times. Up until recently the whole "economic crisis" was limited to the financial/investment market, but the technology sector has started to take a hit as well.

Companies such as Comcast, Yahoo! and HP have all had a large number of layoffs as an attempt to reduce their budget and save some money (list of tech layoffs). Just this week, Circuit city announced that it will be closing about 155 stores nation wide because they are loosing too much money. Some people feel that the Circuit City disaster was just a matter of time since on-line retailers with no physical store are a lot more popular in this day and age, but there is not doubt that the economy helped accelerate this process.

Many people in the tech area are worried, not only about their jobs but about technology in general. With companies trying to cut corners all over, will they stop investing in Research and Development (R&D) of new technologies? But as a Computer Science student in my last year of University, I am not too concerned about this.

Why you may ask? Because in times of 'crisis' brilliant people tend to shine. My favorite example is digg. We all know that it's a community-based news aggregator, but what many don't know is that Kevin Rose would have never started this idea if he had not been laid off from TechTV. Because of his layoff, Kevin had the time (and probably the need) to invest in his own side projects which a day job does not leave time for. Kevin has now made over $60 million dollars (since 2004) with what once was a 'side project'.

So don't worry about the future of technology in these seemingly rough times. My best advice to anyone who has found them self caught in the turmoil to use this time to explore their innovative side and take on those projects that you 'never had time for'.

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Circuit City where I used to live was a rip-off; I'm not surprised they're closing many stores. With online sites like Newegg, to me there is simply no reason to buy electronics from a store nowadays.

And Maurice, it's 'losing' too much money, not loosing. Loosing is what you do when something is too tight and you want it loose.

Shiranui said,
Since when are Circuit City, Comcast, Yahoo! and HP producers of technology?

Since when did this article specifically state producers of technology?

Circuit City sell technology. Comcast provide telecommunications technology, and Yahoo! has online technology.

How many tech startups have failed over the course of history ? My assumption is about 90%. Gaining an idea might not be very hard but making it work commercially is.

I think the biggest problem is when do new products not actually do anything better then old products?

For 99% of america, and core 2 duo with 2GB of RAM will do email, word documents, basic movie and photo editing, and music playing with a breeze. They don't need the new i7 or Core 2 Quads or whatever.

Things like the new iPod nano. Cool, but it does nothing that the old nano couldn't do, and isnt that much smaller.

Its things like this that make it hard to consider upgrades.

The new iPod nano has the genius function. I like that.
And my first iPod, the 3rd gen, the screen broke. Then I got scammed on ebay trying to buy a 60GB one...then I thought screw this i'll get a shuffle i'm not wasting any more money. Then it went through the wash...and IT STILL WORKS! (kinda. sounds a bit weird)
Now I'm going to buy an iPod nano me thinks :-)

Brandon said,
I think the biggest problem is when do new products not actually do anything better then old products?

For 99% of america, and core 2 duo with 2GB of RAM will do email, word documents, basic movie and photo editing, and music playing with a breeze. They don't need the new i7 or Core 2 Quads or whatever.

Things like the new iPod nano. Cool, but it does nothing that the old nano couldn't do, and isnt that much smaller.

Its things like this that make it hard to consider upgrades.

If manufacturer's didn't tell customers that their Pentium IVs and GeForce 4s weren't ample for the job, we wouldn't have dual, quad or the upcoming i7 platform and powerful videocards at consumer sensitive prices now would we!