This is a great short take on why it costs so much to invent stuff, whether you’re talking about new drugs, or the latest gadgets…when you hear how much Microsoft spends on R&D, this will give you an idea why it’s important to spend that much (video after the break).
UPDATE: Bummer, but the video apparently no longer allows embeds. You can still view the video via the link below.
Spot on, what he even did not say (the obvious) coming up with an idea is a whole different story and costs itself. it means thinking about something, getting a "bing" moment, convincing other people, maybe prototyping ...
Also, spending money on R&D does not translate to good R or good transfer from R to D. Just as a side note, Microsoft does not necessarily spend more on R&D than other tech firms. In "The Business of Software" (excellent book) the number of 15%/20% of revenue is said to be most common for tech/IT companies. Also, if you look at the compound R&D you will get a maybe blurry image (this is not money which is spend on basic research). This number is a fraction of the R&D budget.
Good point that more R&D spend isn't necessarily better R&D spend. At the same time, when I look at the things coming out of Microsoft Research, I'm pretty comfortable that the R&D dollars are going to some pretty amazing projects.
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