Vivek Wadhwa

  Tech Entrepreneur, Academic, Researcher, and Writer

Here’s what it actually takes to make it as an entrepreneur

A young male who was born to be an entrepreneur drops out from a computer-science program at a prestigious university.  He meets a powerful venture capitalist who is so enamored with his idea that he gives him millions of dollars to build his technology.  Then comes the multi-billion-dollar IPO. That’s the Hollywood version of Silicon Valley.  But it is as far from reality as is Disneyland.  Entrepreneurship...

Life and Success Require Constant Reinvention

I still remember the first time I heard about computers. They were straight out of science fiction. I began to dream about working with them. Then I got my big chance. I enrolled in one of the first courses in computer technology at what is now the University of Canberra. I couldn’t imagine doing anything but writing computer code for a living. And that is what I did for the first ten years of my career. Then...

Washington Post: The rise of big data brings tremendous possibilities and frightening perils

Debates are raging about whether big data still holds the promise that was expected or whether it was just a big bust. The failure of the much-hyped Google Flu Trends to accurately predict peak flu levels since August 2011 has heightened the concerns. In my mind, there is no doubt that data analytics will one day help to improve health care and crime detection, design better products, and improve traffic patterns...

MIT Technology Review: Laws and Ethics Can’t Keep Pace with Technology

Codes we live by, laws we follow, and computers that move too fast to care. Employers can get into legal trouble if they ask interviewees about their religion, sexual preference, or political affiliation. Yet they can use social media to filter out job applicants based on their beliefs, looks, and habits. Laws forbid lenders from discriminating on the basis of race, gender, and sexuality. Yet they can refuse...

FOX Business Interview: How robots will change our lives

  Watch the latest video at video.foxbusiness.com How robots will change our daily lives Apr. 09, 2014 – 3:15 – Vivek Wadhwa of Singularity University breaks down how technology will change the way we live and work. ...

Washington Post: Why I’m excited about the promising future of medicine

Health care is a misnomer for our medical system.  It should be called sick care. Doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies only make money when we are in bad health.  If we could instead prevent illness and disease, it would turn the entire medical system on its head and increase the quality of our lives. The good news is that technology is on its way to letting us do this.  It is now moving so rapidly...

The Economist debate: Goldman versus Google: A career on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley?

The  Buttonwood Gathering 2013, New York City. My really fun debate with Nobel laureate Robert J. Shller.   For decades, the best and brightest minds from American business schools were attracted to Wall Street by the promise of high pay and prestige. But at least since the financial crisis, high-tech companies have become an increasingly appealing destination, and today, when Silicon Valley competes...

Wall Street Journal: Location No Longer Determines Success

Oculus, the latest technology startup to be acquired for billions of dollars, was based not in Silicon Valley but in Irvine, Calif. Snapchat, which is rumored to be worth billions, is based in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles area is a good place to live and has great weather, but it has no real advantage as a technology center. These companies could have been based anywhere with equal success. You can’t predict...

Washington Post: Facebook’s moonshot is a wise move in a time of radical change

A few months ago, I wrote that Facebook was doomed: that it could go the way of AOL and MySpace because it wasn’t keeping up with technology changes.  Social media is becoming less social as people start using their mobile devices more than their laptops, and as their address books once again become their friends list.  People are communicating more in small circles of close friends on messaging apps....

A $32,000 Startup That Was Sold for Millions

I meet entrepreneurs all over the world who think that venture capital is a prerequisite for starting a company.  They write business plans and ask for introductions to venture capitalists.  I tell them that they should instead bootstrap their startups; that what would have cost millions of dollars a few years ago now costs thousands. Think about it.  Today’s laptops have the same processing power as the...

Washington Post: The triumph of genomic medicine is just beginning

“A Decade Later, Genetic Map Yields Few New Cures,” said a New York Times headline in June 2010.  It declared the failure of the $3 billion Human Genome Project and claimed that medicine had seen none of the benefits that Bill Clinton had promised in announcing the first draft of the human-genome sequence in 2000.  According to the article, geneticists were “almost back to square one in knowing...

Economic Times: What Young India Wants

What young Indians want is no different from what their parents want: a free and democratic society in which anyone can achieve their potential and fulfil their dreams. They want a government that builds infrastructure, educates its people and provides safety and security. All Indians want what they are entitled to: good governance and opportunities. The young, however, also want India to rise above caste,...