Rant: Neelie Kroes, You Need To Push More On Startups And Innovation

dottavi —  16 June 2014 — 1 Comment

2007-european-parlament-bruxelles

Un blog post interessante quello di Neelie Kroes su Uber, i taxi, la Sharing Economy e, insomma, la Digital Innovation. Però non mi sembrano sufficienti le conclusioni. I punti fondamentali (evidenze mie):

The debate about taxi apps is really a debate about the wider Sharing Economy. That debate forces us to think about the disruptive effects of digital technology and the need for entrepreneurs in our society. And that’s what the Taxi protests are really about.

[Much appreciated]

It is right that we feel sympathy for people who face big changes in their lives. Drivers need to feed their families and plan for the future – but how can they if that future includes not only price competition from Uber, but also driverless cars? …

Whether it is about cabs, accommodation, music, flights, the news or whatever. The fact is that digital technology is changing many aspects of our lives. We cannot address these challenges by ignoring them, by going on strike, or by trying to ban these innovations out of existence.

[Ok] 

That is why a strike won’t work: rather than “downing tools” what we need is a real dialogue where we talk about these disruptions caused by technology.

[Dialogo? Siamo l’Europa! In quanti siamo, 3-400 milioni? Come dialogo? Abbiamo bisogno di indirizzo, no dialogo!]

We need to see that even if the change requires adjustments, it also is a sign of much needed entrepreneurs… I believe it is a fundamental truth that Europe needs more entrepreneurs: people who will shake and wake us and create jobs and growth in the process.

[Eh, appunto!!! Imprenditoria, spinta per la trasformazione digitale, formazione, startup… insomma, indirizzo!!!]

We also need services that are designed around consumers. The old way of creating services and regulations around producers doesn’t work anymore. They must have a voice, but if you design systems around producers it means more rules and laws (that people say they don’t want) and those laws become quickly out of date, and privilege the groups that were the best political lobbyists when the law was written.

[Wow, questa è forte: servizi e regolamentazioni progettati sui … consumatori, orrenda parola, cioè sugli utenti e non sui produttori. Stai dicendo che sì, in effetti, finora l’Europa si è occupata di favorire i produttori e non i cittadini. Non è bello]

That is old-fashioned compared to a system that helps all of us as consumers and encourages entrepreneurs. We need both those elements in our economy;

[Ok, importante]

Otherwise we will be outpaced to our East and our West. We’ll be known as the place that used to be the future, but instead has become the world’s tourism playground and nursing home. I don’t want Europe to have that future. That is not the world I imagine by grandchildren growing up in.

So that is why I have been vocal about taxi apps. Because the disruptive force of technology is a good thing overall. It eliminates some jobs and it changes others. But it improves most jobs and it creates new ones as well.

[I personally agree]

If we don’t use digital technology then millions of jobs will simply move elsewhere and Europeans will get angry that they are denied the conveniences that people in Asia and Australia and America and Africa take for granted. Many of the people making those innovations will come from America and other places, but just as many will be home-grown innovators that the rest of the world is jealous of. All of it will contribute to our prosperity.

[It is! Wherever they come from, non importa. Però è importante che ci siamo anche noi!]

More generally, the job of the law is not to lie to you and tell you that everything will always be comfortable or that tomorrow will be the same as today. It won’t. Not only that, it will be worse for you and your children if we pretend we don’t have to change. If we don’t think together about how to benefit from these changes and these new technologies, we will all suffer.

[Esatto!]

So it’s time for people at local and national levels to sit around a table and come up with reasonable accommodations of innovation.  We cannot criminalise a whole class of citizens, or drive tourists away from places that need money, in order to protect a few industries that think they can be exempt from the digital revolution. It’s not fair on everyone else, and it’s not realistic.

[…ok, diciamo che è ok. Sedersi intorno a un tavolo è un po’ poco ma vediamo dove va a parare…]

If I have learnt anything from the recent European elections it is that we get nowhere in Europe by running away from hard truths. It’s time to face facts: digital innovations like taxi apps are here to stay. We need to work with them not against them.

Ehi, aspetta! E quindi?!? “Work with” is a ten years old story! Sono millenni che diciamo così. Questa è roba anni ’90. Il Web ha 25 anni. Internet e la Legge di Moore – quindi la base delle tecnologie elettroniche dei circuiti integrati – ne hanno 45. E quindi? Dobbiamo lavorare “con” e non “contro”… Dove siamo, all’asilo?!? Abbiamo un’agenzia spaziale, abbiamo fatto l’Airbus, sappiamo qualcosa di Pharma, Bio e Chimica e… Imprenditoria digitale? A zero! Siamo fermi al palo!!! Forse non ci siamo capiti: questa roba non è industria pesante. Non è come buttar giù i binari nel 1830 e far le feste quando arriva il treno in una nuova citta. Non è lineare la crescita, qui, è esponenziale. Questo vuol dire che tra due anni noi, seduti intorno a un tavolo, avremo fatto una normativa per i taxi e nel frattempo Uber sarà 8, 16, 32 volte avanti. Avrà avuto accesso alla rete di satelliti che sta lanciando Google. Avrà una registrazione talmente raffinata delle nostre abitudini che ci proporrà di venirci a prendere prima che li chiamiamo noi. Andrà a prendere i nostri figli da scuola gratuitamente il giorno del loro o del nostro compleanno. Conoscerà talmente bene i pattern “big data” del traffico che sarà in grado di consigliarci gli orari più economici. Venderà consulenza ai sindaci dei comuni con la viabilità più disastrosa, come Milano, indicando come modificare le strade o i sensi di marcia o i semafori.

Forse non ci siamo capiti: la prima conferenza europea sull’Information Society si è tenuta a Bruxelles, su stimolo di Al Gore, nel 1995. Io c’ero, e me la ricordo. Sono passati vent’anni. E non possiamo più porci il problema di “Lavorare con l’innovazione”. Dobbiamo farla!!!

via My view on today’s taxi protests and what it means for the sharing economy – European Commission.

dottavi

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Journalist, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Advisor. Writing about tech, culture and society since 1991. Formerly contributor at Forbes, Co-founder Blomming.com. Now Partner at Fashion Technology Accelerator.
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