Vivek Wadhwa

  Tech Entrepreneur, Academic, Researcher, and Writer

Get Ready: Virtual Reality Is Arriving Well Ahead of Star Trek’s Far Future Forecast

In the television series Star Trek, virtual reality-chambers called “holodecks” take humans into computer-generated worlds where they interact with avatars — and with each other. Imagine being able to visit a distant planet or Tahiti during your lunch break. In Star Trek, holodecks come into existence in the 24th century and reproduce all sensory perceptions, including touch and smell. Chambers...

The strongest weapon to shift geopolitical balances isn’t nukes or missiles, it’s technology

Governments, businesses, and economists have all been caught off guard by the geopolitical shifts that happened with the crash of oil prices and the slowdown of China’s economy.  Most believe that the price of oil will recover and that China will continue its rise.  They are mistaken.  Instead of worrying about the rise of China, we need to fear its fall; and while oil prices may oscillate over the next...

Chasing Rainbows Won’t Save Indian I.T. It Desperately Needs to Reinvent Itself

Wipro announced in May that it will open a technology center in Mountain View, California, to partner with startups in artificial intelligence and automation. And Infosys has just announced an investment in Palo Alto-based venture-capital firm Vertex Ventures, “to boost its access to startups focused on disruptive technologies”. Both companies seem to believe that setting up a Silicon Valley office...

How Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley can spark India’s tech economy

Prime Minister Modi with Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Silicon Valley often hosts world leaders, but rarely gives them the rock-star reception that it is planning for India prime minister Narendra Modi.  Seats for an 18,500-person event where he will be speaking, at the SAP Center in San Jose, disappeared within days, and tens of thousands more could have sold. The Indian community...

Financial Times: From chiefs to critics and cartoonists, ten men worth emulating

By Carola Hoyos and Rhymer Rigby Trying to compile a list of great male feminists is a bit like to trying to come up with a list of the 10 best songs ever. You draw up a longlist, send it to well-informed people, take their suggestions on board, draw up another longlist and fillet it down. Inevitably, it is subjective and will not please everyone. Some will be shocked by omissions, others by inclusions. Rather...

What we’ll encounter on the path to the jobless future

By Michael Fertik and Vivek Wadhwa In just two short decades or so, we’ll enter a jobless future. Thanks to highly disruptive advanced technologies, jobs — even industries — will soon vanish, becoming remnants of a distantly remembered past. Other positions will be more efficiently done by machines, eliminating the need for human employees. This has happened before – indeed, since the dawn of the Industrial...

Economic Times: What PM Narendra Modi must bring back from Silicon Valley

When PM Modi visits Silicon Valley, he will meet an expatriate community different from anywhere else in the world. He will meet many Indians who have left their regional, religious, and socio-economic differences behind, and who work together to achieve success and uplift their communities. Most Indians in Silicon Valley consider themselves to be loyal American citizens, yet they take extraordinary pride in...

Why there’s an urgent need for a moratorium on gene editing

In April 2015, a paper by Chinese scientists about their attempts to edit the DNA of a human embryo rocked the scientific world and set off a furious debate. Leading scientists warned that altering the human germ line without studying the consequences could have horrific consequences. Geneticists with good intentions could mistakenly engineer changes in DNA that generate dangerous mutations and cause painful...

Indian immigrants make it obvious that the American dream is alive and well

They have funny accents, wear strange outfits, and eat really spicy food, and some wear turbans.  Indian-Americans constitute less than 1% of the U.S. population.  Yet you will find them at the helm of great companies such as Pepsico and Mastercard; as presidents and deans of America’s most prestigious colleges; at the pinnacles of journalism; dominating fields such as technology, scientific research, and...

I used to doubt Microsoft. Then I installed Windows 10.

I don’t know if I broke a law of computing or committed heresy.  But I installed Windows 10 on my Macbook Pro. I had feared that this would condemn me to purgatory in the gates of computing hell.  But it has been an incredibly positive experience: my favorite Microsoft Office applications — Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint — work faster than ever before, and I can still use Apple peripherals — a Thunderbolt...

Why Google’s Alphabet Reorganization is a Brilliant Move

It used to be that businesses could see their competition coming and anticipate the threats.  Clayton Christensen, with his theory of “disruptive innovation”, taught that a new entrant attacked a market leader by launching low-end, low-priced products and then relentlessly improving them.  Now Christensen’s frameworks have themselves been disrupted—because you can no longer see the competition coming. ...

You can leave the office, but there’s no getting away from work

Netflix recently announced an unlimited paid-leave policy that allows employees to take off as much time as they want during the first year after a child’s birth or adoption. It is trying to one-up tech companies that offer unlimited vacation as a benefit. These are all public-relations ploys and recruiting gimmicks. No employee will spend a year as a full-time parent; hardly any will go on month-long treks...