Ict From Silicon Valley To Al Madinah By Abbas El Gamal, Noor


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Knowledge Forum | http://www.noor.org.sa | Day 3 - Panel 2 - Ict From Silicon Valley To Al Madinah By Abbas El Gamal, Noor

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  • Ict From Silicon Valley To Al Madinah By Abbas El Gamal, Noor

    1. 1. ICT: From Silicon Valley to Al Madina Abbas El Gamal Professor and Director of the Information Systems Laboratory Stanford University Global Knowledge Forum 2008
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Elements of Success in ICT </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How Silicon Valley started </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From the Lab to the Market: 10 Lesson Learned </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How some developing countries succeeded in ICT </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Thoughts on ICT in Al Madina </li></ul>
    3. 3. How Silicon Valley Started <ul><li>Until the first half of the 20th century, the San Francisco Bay Area was mostly farm land </li></ul><ul><li>It had little industry of any kind </li></ul><ul><li>Now, it is Silicon Valley </li></ul><ul><li>How did this happen? </li></ul>
    4. 4. Brief History of Silicon Valley <ul><li>Stanford had strong tradition in science, engineering, and business education </li></ul><ul><li>It attracted talented and hard working students with desire to learn and make a difference </li></ul><ul><li>In the 1930’s, Fred Terman, an EE Professor, encouraged his students Hewlett and Packard to commercialize their invention (audio oscillator) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>He personally invested </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This defined the Silicon Valley culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and venture financing </li></ul><ul><li>And, Terman, Hewlett, and Packard became role models for many Stanford faculty, graduates, and entrepreneurs around the world </li></ul>
    5. 5. How I Got Started: 1978-83 <ul><li>Started out as a pure academic, but assimilated in the Silicon Valley culture </li></ul><ul><li>Learned about VLSI from Carver Mead of Caltech </li></ul><ul><li>Met Jim Koford through the ISL Industrial Affiliates Program. He asked me to help their startup, LSI Logic </li></ul><ul><li>Consulted for LSI for a couple of years and two of my students worked for them full time </li></ul><ul><li>LSI became the leader in Gate Arrays, wanted to diversify </li></ul><ul><li>Their CEO Wilf Corrigan asked me to start research lab </li></ul><ul><li>Lesson 1. One doesn't need to be born an entrepreneur to become one. Entrepreneurship can be developed through the right environment and role models </li></ul>
    6. 6. LSI Logic Research Lab: 1984-86 <ul><li>Started with 4 Stanford PhDs, grew to 25 technical staff in 2 years </li></ul><ul><li>The company gave us freedom to select focus areas </li></ul><ul><li>This made us think in a multi-dimensional way: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand LSI’s core competencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand technology trends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand market trends </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lab evolved into the Consumer product Division with over $1B in revenue </li></ul><ul><li>Lesson 2. Attracting top talent is key </li></ul>
    7. 7. Actel: 1986-91 <ul><li>Co-founded Actel to exploit anti-fuse technology invented by ex-Intel engineers </li></ul><ul><li>Co-invented Actel’s FPGA Architecture and managed design system development </li></ul><ul><li>Actel’s initial products were superior in performance and easier to use than competition </li></ul><ul><li>Actel went public, but never became market leader </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology lagged Moore’s law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing was weak </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Had management problems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lesson 3. Marketing is as or more important than technology </li></ul><ul><li>Lesson 4. Creating a cohesive team is essential </li></ul>
    8. 8. Silicon Architects: 1991-95 <ul><li>Developed efficient, process portable VLSI libraries and compilation tools </li></ul><ul><li>Technology enabled decoupling of VLSI design and fabrication </li></ul><ul><li>We initially didn’t know what the business model should be </li></ul><ul><li>Pioneered intellectual property model: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fee for design services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Royalties on chips </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technology adopted by over 30 companies </li></ul><ul><li>Company acquired by Synopsys, now leader in IP </li></ul><ul><li>Lesson 5. Innovation in business model can be more important than in technology </li></ul>
    9. 9. CMOS Image Sensors: 1992--Present <ul><li>My PhD student Boyd Fowler wanted to do research on analog artificial retina (a la Carver Mead) </li></ul><ul><li>We ended up inventing a new type of image sensor (Digital Pixel Sensor) instead </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We initially didn’t know anything about image sensors (digital cameras didn’t exist) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Had to rediscover many things </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Didn’t know what DPS is good for </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Industry became interested in image sensors </li></ul><ul><li>Formed Programmable Digital Camera project with significant industry funding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Found important application of DPS: High dynamic range imaging </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lesson 6. You cannot always plan research. It is difficult to predict next innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Lesson 7. University-industry collaboration is key element of successful applied research </li></ul>
    10. 10. Pixim: 2000--Present <ul><li>Helped my student David Yang start Pixim to commercialize DPS </li></ul><ul><li>The process technology needed was not available </li></ul><ul><li>We didn’t know what the “killer-app” would be </li></ul><ul><li>Spent first couple of years co-developing technology with TSMC, but with no product defined: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hired more people than we needed. Many with no domain specific expertise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spent money too fast </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Finally, decided on video cameras for surveillance </li></ul><ul><li>Some VCs gave up on the company, others stuck it out </li></ul><ul><li>Pixim is fast becoming a leader in this market </li></ul>
    11. 11. Lessons Learned: Pixim <ul><li>Lesson 8. Commercializing university research is tricky </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the “killer-App”? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How long and how costly will it be to commercialize? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lesson 9. The road to success in a startup can be treacherous. Perseverance and believing in the opportunity are key to success </li></ul><ul><li>Lesson 10. Having VCs who take long view can mean the difference between success and failure </li></ul>
    12. 12. Summary <ul><li>Success in ICT is mostly about having the right human capital </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To notch engineers and researchers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Entrepreneurs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experienced management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experienced marketing people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experienced VCs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Successful role models </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This does not apply only to Silicon Valley </li></ul>
    13. 13. ICT in Developing Countries <ul><li>Taiwan, India, China, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, … have all succeeded in ICT by developing the right human capital </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Training large numbers of low cost skilled labor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing first rate educational systems (e.g., IIT, IIM) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fostering entrepreneurial culture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leveraging expats expertise and connections to Silicon Valley and as role models </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Government played major role </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Planning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Economic and legal environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Incentives </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Low cost capital </li></ul></ul></ul>
    14. 14. ICT in Al Madina <ul><li>Saudi Arabia does not currently have the human capital needed to play global role in ICT </li></ul><ul><li>But it has several competitive advantages*: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low cost capital </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low cost energy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Largest economy in the region </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong petrochemical industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership position in the Muslim world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large regional markets with large young population having growing disposable income </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How can these be leveraged in ICT? </li></ul>* Courtesy Dr. Ahmad Al Yamani
    15. 15. Some Thoughts <ul><li>Set BIG goal(s) “Be the World Leader in … in 30 Years” </li></ul><ul><li>Short term: Choose areas that leverage low cost energy and capital, for example, data centers </li></ul><ul><li>Longer term: Expand into ICT areas that leverage other strengths (petrochemical industry, large regional market, leadership in Muslim world), for example, ICT services </li></ul><ul><li>But to succeed in the longer term, MUST invest in developing the right human capital: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis should be on high school, undergraduate education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage and reward creativity and analytical thinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage and reward entrepreneurship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Government should also provide the right economic and legal environment for ICT </li></ul><ul><li>This will take substantial vision, time, and investment, but it is the only proven road to success in ICT </li></ul>