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THE NATION’S NEWSPAPER

Collegiate
Case
Study www.usatodaycollege.com

Web puts undiscovered


musicians, listeners in tune Technology & Entrepreneurship
By Kevin Maney Innovation drives America’s economy and fuels its competitiveness. Henry
...................................................................................3
Ford exemplified this by channeling his affinity for mechanical equipment into
the development of the self-propelled Quadricycle and the Model T, the first
affordable automobile. Today, transforming an idea into an entity relies on inno-
Man-made diamonds spark vative technology and has led to such mind-boggling creations as digital music,
with potential RFID (radio frequency identification) and man-made diamonds. This case
study explores the various ways technology impacts entrepreneurship. How do
By Kevin Maney
the challenges and advantages of being an entrepreneur in the 21st century dif-
..................................................................................4-6 fer from being one in Henry Ford’s time? Read these articles before you answer.

Books might have to start new


chapter to avoid extinction Band's Net-inspired hit shows
By Kevin Maney
..................................................................................7-8 how EMI goes with the flow
By Kevin Maney EMI in 2004, Klein had been president of
Scared of new nano-pants? Hey, USA TODAY search engine company Ask Jeeves. He
you may be onto something owns a video iPod. Amazingly, given the
By Kevin Maney NEW YORK — You know you're at a portrayals of his profession, there is a
record company when there is a piano in computer on his desk. And it's turned on.
........................................................................................9-10 the reception area.
Over the next hour, Klein does a couple
Case Study Expert I'm here at EMI Music to see a record of things I don't expect.
Karen Thornton company executive. The industry has
University of Maryland taken a beating the past five years. Last First, he lays out how technology has
week, numbers released by Nielsen created challenges for the music industry
......................................................................................11-12 SoundScan showed the industry heading that go deeper than most people realize
for yet another full-year slump for 2005. — certainly deeper than just the piracy of
Everybody in tech talks about how the copyrighted songs.
USA TODAY Snapshots® record companies don't “get it.”
And then, instead of dwelling like a
Top tech items But nobody ever seems to talk to the psychopath on how to stop piracy, Klein
Nearly half of respondents say they are likely to buy
technology products within the next six months for record companies to see what they don't focuses on how the industr y is
when they are on the go. Top technology items to be get. So here I am, expecting to meet some reengineering itself to get ahead of
purchased:
techno-phobic dolt who calls everyone technology and start growing again.
Cellphone
"baby" and aches for the days when
Camera 17%
American Bandstand mattered. He no "It's unfortunate that the industr y
14%
Laptop compu
ter
doubt wears a scarf. allowed itself to be seen as Neanderthal,"
10%
Personal mus
ic Klein says. "We're not asleep at the
device 8%
Video camer
Instead, I get Adam Klein, an urbane Brit switch. It's just that of all the industries
a 7% dressed in gray corduroy pants and a gray I've studied, none has had to deal with
sweater over a button-down shirt. He is such a confluence of events."
EMI's executive vice president in charge
Source: Harris Interactive online survey of 1,174 adults
of strategy. At one point before joining Actually, once Klein gets into it, you
age 18 and over. Margin of error ±3 percentage points.

By Jae Yang and Marcy E. Mullins, USA TODAY

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wonder why the music industry hasn't collapsed like an ant


colony that lost its queen.

Certainly technology brought an unprecedented level of


piracy, and it's hurt the industry. But that's only the beginning.
Digital online music has forced the industry to re-examine its
soul. "The record industry has never been consumer-centric,"
Klein says.

Instead, it has always pushed content on people. If a label had


a hot new act, it pushed songs out to radio and, later, MTV. It
tried to dictate tastes and tell us what to buy and how to listen
to it, instead of paying attention to what we wanted. This is
how consumers wound up with eight-track tapes. And Toto.
By Dusan Reljin
But the Net puts consumers in control. Teens tell each other Brondell founder: Dave Samuel with the Swash electronic toilet.
what to buy through podcasts and playlists posted on MySpace.
They listen to songs on any device they want and use software Underneath all that activity, record companies have had to
to convert songs to the format they want. really think about why they exist — and should continue to
exist. What do they do best?
This is a massive philosophical switch for the industry, and,
"We are just starting to look at the business through that lens," Klein thinks he has an answer: "Developing and growing
Klein says. artists — that's what a music company will be doing," he says.

What else? Well, the "retailers" — the entities through which Finding talented musicians, coaching them, putting them in
music is sold — are changing, and they all have different front of the public — and then finding ways to profit from their
business models that are foreign to anyone who's worked in work. Sell it online, sell it into video games or whatever new
music for the past 50 years. Mobile-phone companies might forms technology brings along. This is how the industry needs
give music away to keep customers. Apple wants to sell music to think.
for less to drive the sale of more iPods. None of it works
anything like an old-fashioned record store. Will it work? It's too early to tell. Industry figures show digital
sales shooting skyward and the overall sales misery leveling
At the same time, the industry is facing this challenge: 95% of out. Klein says it's a trough, and growth is on its way. Industry
its revenue comes from the sale of physical CDs, which from analysts tend to agree, to a point. Jupiter Research sees
now on will be a shrinking part of the business. The industry's zooming digital sales replacing lost CD sales by 2010.
growth will come from digital sales, which are now just 5% of
the business. So where do you put your resources? On the 95%, While here, I get a glimpse of how a record company can
or the 5%? learn to cope. EMI has a band called OK Go. It wasn't getting a
lot of attention. Then the band shot a home video in a band
On top of that, a large swath of teenagers — among the member's backyard. It's just the four of them doing a goofy
industry's biggest customers — don't have credit cards. You dance they made up to one of their songs. They put it on DVD
need a credit card to buy music online. So the industry is selling and handed some out at their concerts.
to its best customers at stores at which they can't pay.
Next thing, the video started flying around the Internet. EMI
The past couple of years, Klein says, the industry woke up and ran with it, putting the video on the band's website,
started a painful process of change. EMI has made huge www.okgo.net. It turned into one of those Internet
investments in technology — computer systems, databases and phenomena, exceeding 2 million downloads. OK Go did the
digital storage it never before had to maintain. dance on Good Morning America.

It has brought in a new set of people who, like Klein, are as The night I met Klein, I saw OK Go play in a New York club. As
grounded in technology as they are in music. It has decided its their encore, the band did the dance to a packed room of
brightest future lies in music-subscription services such as screaming fans.
Rhapsody and the new Napster. Those services are hard to
pirate, and they eliminate the problem of kids not having credit If the music industry can build on experiences like that, it
cards. might yet improve its Neanderthal image.

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Web puts undiscovered


musicians, listeners in tune
Artists used to need a record label to be
heard. Now, all they need is a powerful PC
and a broadband connection.
By Kevin Maney GarageBand.com. The songs rose to the labels. Magnatune, for instance, looks for
USA TODAY top of the website's listings, and Drey talented but unsigned artists and is
wound up with a record deal and a song building a stable of acts, much like a
For any musician with at least a pinch that reached No. 11 on Billboard's dance record label. But Magnatune sells
of talent and a desire to perform, the chart. downloads and doesn't sign its artists to
Internet has become a godsend. exclusive contracts.
Even for a band that's more of a
A new generation of websites — many weekend hobby, the Web creates ways to u Distribution and sales. Not long ago,
of them started by people who came out get occasional bookings and sell CDs. there were few ways for unsigned artists
of the music industry — are opening the to make any money on their work. But
business to thousands of artists and Some types of independent music now, so what if you can't muscle onto
hobbyists who in the past had few ways websites: record store shelves? Anyone can sell
to broadcast and sell their music. CDs through CD Baby, which has grown
u Discovery and development. There into the Amazon.com of independent
"Technology has changed things all the have long been a couple of problems music.
way through the chain," says Kelli with independent musicians posting
Richards, a digital music pioneer who co- their output on the Web. Another company, Pump Audio, has
wrote The Art of Digital Music. "You can, figured out how to sell independent
in a garage, create (recorded) music that First, how would anyone sort through music to the creators of T V shows,
10 years ago would've cost $100,000, and all that music to find quality songs they commercials and movies for use as
you can instantly reach a global might like? And, second, how would an background music. Pump splits the
audience." ordinary musician fight through the revenue with the musicians.
noise to get noticed?
Driving the changes are the increased u Live events. Websites are starting to
power of PCs and broadband Internet. One solution: GarageBand.com. Any automate what a professional manager
Independent musicians can now use a PC unsigned musician can post music on the might do. Sonicbids, for instance, posts
as a multitrack recording studio. Songs site. Listeners are asked to rate songs. listings of venues seeking live acts and
can be inexpensively created, stored, Ratings and traffic on the site drive songs gives bands a way to reply by clicking
burned to CDs and uploaded onto the toward the top of GarageBand's charts, and sending an electronic press kit.
Web. which are much like Billboard charts.
Listeners looking for popular music can "There used to be only one way to get
Those websites can be much more go to GarageBand and check out songs at the job done: Go through a major label,"
than just a place to post songs in hopes the top of the charts in categories they author Richards says. "Now, the artist has
someone might find them. Jenna Drey enjoy. a choice."
was an undiscovered dance-music artist
who uploaded some of her songs onto Other sites act as online-only record

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Man-made diamonds
sparkle with potential
Beyond the bling, they could usher in new tech age
By Kevin Maney they've been held back because mined
USA TODAY diamonds are too expensive and too rare.
And they're hard to form into wafers and
BOSTON — In the back room of an shapes that would be most useful in
unmarked brown building in a run-down products.
strip mall, eight machines, each the size of a
bass drum, are making diamonds. Manufacturing changes that. It's like the
difference between having to wait for
That's right — making diamonds. Real ones, lightning to start a fire vs. knowing how to
all but indistinguishable from the stones start it by hand.
formed by a billion or so years' worth of
intense pressure, later to be sold at Tiffany's. "I'm just so completely awed by this
technology," says Sonia Arrison
The company doing this is Apollo Diamond, USA TODAY
a tiny outfit started by a former Bell Labs of tech analysis group Pacific Research
scientist. Peer inside Apollo's stainless steel-and-glass Institute. "Basically, anything that relies on computing power
machines, and you can see single-crystal diamonds literally will accelerate."
growing amid hot pink gases.
Arno Penzias, a venture capitalist and Nobel Prize winner for
This year, Apollo expects to grow diamonds as big as 2 carats. physics, says, "This diamond-fabrication story marks a high-
By the end of 2005, it might expand to 10 carats. The diamonds profile milestone on an amazing scientific journey."
will probably start moving into the jewelry market as early as
next year — at perhaps one-third the price of a mined diamond. "We can't begin to see all the things that can happen because
single diamond crystals can be made," says Apollo co-founder
The whole concept turns the fundamental idea of a diamond Robert Linares, elegant and slim in a golf shirt, slacks and
on its head. The ability to manufacture diamonds could change loafers as he sits at the two plastic folding tables that make up
business, products and daily life as much as the arrival of the Apollo's low-budget conference room. "We are only at the
steel age in the 1850s or the invention of the transistor in the beginning."
1940s.
Linares has worked on the technology for 15 years, much of
In technology, the diamond is a dream material. It can make that time in his garage. From the start, he did this because of
computers run at speeds that would melt the innards of today's the promise of diamonds in technology. Linares wasn't trying to
computers. Manufactured diamonds could help make lasers of make gems. In fact, he didn't think he could.
extreme power. The material could allow a cellphone to fit into
a watch and iPods to store 10,000 movies, not just 10,000 Then he had a happy accident. Well, actually, time will tell
songs. Diamonds could mean frictionless medical replacement whether the accident was a happy one.
joints. Or coatings — perhaps for cars — that never scratch or
wear out. Two different paths to diamonds

Scientists have known about the possibilities for years. But In 1955, General Electric figured out how to use room-size

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How diamonds are made


Apollo Diamond is making real diamonds using a process called chemical vapor deposition (CVD).

2 Hydrogen and hydrocarbon gases 3 Carbon atoms land on the diamond slice and replicate the 4 The top can be sliced off and
are injected and heated to thou- crystal’s structure, the way a drop of water merges seam- cut into gems. Or the
sands of degrees under pressure. lessly into a pool of water. The diamond grows thicker and diamond can be cut into thin
taller. Growing a five-carat diamond can take a week. wafers for computer chips or
other uses. Part of the slice is
returned to the chamber to
make the next diamond.
Gasses

Carbon
atoms

1 Aflatslice of diamond is placed


inside a chamber.

Source: Apollo Diamond

By Robert W. Ahrens, USA TODAY

machines to put carbon under extremely The other process is called chemical University, Linares joined Bell Labs and
high pressure and make diamond dust vapor deposition, or CVD. It's more worked on crystals that would be crucial
and chips. The diamond material wasn't subtle. It uses a combination of carbon in telecommunications. In the 1980s, he
pure or big enough for gems or digital gases, temperature and pressure that, started Spectrum Technology to make
technology. But it had industrial uses, Linares says, re-creates conditions single-crystal Gallium Arsenide chips,
such as diamond-tipped saws. Such saws present at the beginning of the universe. one of the key components in
made it possible, for instance, to cut Atoms from the vapor land on a tiny cellphones. Spectrum became the
granite into countertops. diamond chip placed in the chamber. material's biggest U.S. supplier, and
Then the vapor particles take on the Linares eventually sold the company to
In the ensuing decades, companies and structure of that diamond — growing the NERCO Advanced Materials.
inventors tried to make bigger, better diamond, atom by atom, into a much
diamonds. But they didn't get far. By the bigger diamond. He then dropped out of business,
1990s, researchers were focused on two putting his time and money into his pet
different paths to diamonds. CVD can make diamonds that are clear project: making CVD diamonds for
and utterly pure. It's also a way to make cutting tools and electronics.
One was brute force. Some Russians diamond wafers, much like silicon wafers "Gemstones were the furthest thing
became pretty good at it, and their for computer chips. The CVD process can from my mind," Linares says.
machines were eventually brought to be tweaked by putting in enough boron
Florida by Gemesis. That company now to allow the diamond to conduct a Breakthrough in a garage workshop
crushes carbon under 58,000 current. That turns the diamond into a
atmospheres of pressure at 2,300 semiconductor. Linares built machines in his garage,
degrees Fahrenheit, until the stuff superheating carbon in suburban Boston
crystallizes into yellowish diamonds. The A handful of companies and scientists, while his neighbors went about their
stones are attractive for jewelry but not including Sumitomo in Japan and the lives. He got the CVD process to work, at
pure enough for digital technology. global diamond powerhouse De Beers, first making tiny diamond chips. He
Gemesis sells its gems through retailers have chased CVD. But by most accounts, formed Apollo and started down the
at around $5,000 per carat. A mined Linares is out front. path to industrial diamonds. Then
yellow diamond can cost four times Linares inadvertently left a diamond
more. After receiving his doctorate in piece in a beaker of acid over a weekend.
materials science from Rutgers The acid cleaned up excess carbon —

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essentially coal — that had stayed on the Both Apollo and Gemesis want to conductivity of any material, which
diamond. market their gems as "cultured allows it to quickly move heat away from
diamonds," taking a cue from cultured the laser's insides. Textron needs large,
"When I came in Monday, I couldn't see pearls. De Beers is fighting that label. "It's pure diamond pieces for its lasers and
the (stone) in the beaker," Linares says. misleading and unacceptable," says De finally found them at Apollo.
The diamond was colorless and pure. Beers executive Simon Lawson. "It makes
"That's when I realized we could do people think (manufacturing diamonds) CVD diamonds can help solve one of
gemstones." is an organic process, and it's not." the computer industr y's biggest
challenges. Companies such as Intel
For Apollo, there are lots of good things Even highly trained diamond experts advance computer chip technology by
about making gems. Diamond jewelry find it almost impossible to tell a CVD squeezing microscopic wires closer
will be a $60 billion global market this diamond from a mined one. De Beers is together while making the chips run ever
year, and it's growing fast. If Apollo can determined to help by making machines faster. But that's making the chips
snag just 1%, the company would that can detect the slightest difference in increasingly hotter. At some point this
become a $600 million rocket. the way the two materials refract light. decade, the chips could run so hot they'd
melt. But not if the chips were based on
Also, gems could become a source of As part of that effort, De Beers stepped diamond wafers instead of silicon.
revenue quickly. While the military and up its own CVD research "focused on
companies are working on tech producing state-of-the-art synthetic "Using diamonds as semiconductors
inventions that use diamonds, a real diamonds for testing on our equipment," will continue Moore's Law," says Pacific
market for diamond technology might be Lawson says. Referring to CVD diamonds, Research's Arrison, referring to an
a decade away. By selling gems, Apollo he adds, "We don't see gemological observation about the continual increase
can make money now to fund the applications fitting into it." in speed and power since chips were
research for forthcoming diamond tech invented.
products. So by getting into gems, little Apollo
made a powerful, determined enemy. The list of possibilities for man-made
That solution, though, brings two huge diamonds goes on. "By most measures,
problems. One is that Apollo doesn't A long list of possibilities diamond is the biggest and best," says a
know the gem business. Its employees research paper written about CVD by
are technologists. Aside from Linares, The tech side is an entirely different Paul May at the U.K.'s University of
Apollo is run by his son, Bryant, an MBA stor y. Just about ever y entity in Bristol. It's the hardest material, it won't
who started and sold an information technology can get excited about expand in heat, won't wear, is chemically
services company. Vice President Patrick diamonds. inert and optically transparent, May says.
Doering had been lead scientist at
Spectrum. The military's DARPA research arm has "Once (manufactured) diamond is
been pumping money into CVD projects. available, developers will find all kinds of
"We are not gemstone guys," Bryant Companies such as Lucent are on the trail other things to do with it," Rober t
Linares admits. They don't know of holographic optical storage, which will Linares says.
consumer marketing or retailing. Bryant use lasers to store data in 3D patterns,
Linares notes that Apollo plans to split cramming huge amounts of information Manufactured diamonds will be like
into a tech business run by the Linareses in tiny spaces. CVD diamonds would other inventions that were so profound
and a gem business run by a gem veteran vault holographic storage ahead, helping because they made new things possible.
they have yet to hire. For now, though, bring about the 10,000-movie iPod. Steel allowed engineers to dream of
the gem business is a distraction with a skyscrapers and suspension bridges.
steep learning curve. Tech company Textron is a big fan of Transistors led to computers and
Apollo. Textron has been working on pacemakers and so much else. So this
Apollo's other problem is De Beers, super lasers that might become weapons may be the beginning of the diamond
which doesn't like what Apollo is doing or be used like a camera flash for spy age of technology.
one bit. De Beers launched a public satellites, so they could take photos from
relations campaign and an education space at night. Says Linares: "The genie is out of the
program for jewelers, all aimed at bottle, and it can never be put back in."
portraying mined diamonds as real and "Thermal management is a major
eternal -- and CVD or Gemesis diamonds challenge to increasing a laser's power,"
as fake and tacky. explains Textron scientist Yulin Wang.
The diamond has the highest thermal

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Books might have to start new


chapter to avoid extinction
By Kevin Maney website, Doctorow encourages fans: "When you
USA TODAY download my book, please: Do weird and cool stuff
with it. Imagine new things that books are for. Then
Here's a really hard question: What is a book? tell me about it ... so I can be the first writer to figure
out what the next writerly business model is."
It's hard, because for 500-odd years, nobody's
had to think about it. A book has been a self- He's not thinking that the future of books is simply
contained unit of a lot of words on a good reading book-length text on a screen instead of on
number of bound pages. But that might not be paper pages. He's thinking it's something that
the answer anymore — or at least not the only happens when you decouple the content from the
answer. medium.

Over the past few days, Harry Potter and the In music, that kind of decoupling hasn't resulted in
By Kevin Maney
Half-Blood Prince has flown off bookstore shelves, people listening to the old concept of "albums" on
igniting the kind of frenzy seen in the past for Star iPods or laptops.
Wars movies, Beatles concerts and the arrival of Beanie Baby
shipments. This Potter mania seems to disprove everything that Instead, people have been doing new things -- buying
pundits postulate about the downfall of traditional books. individual songs, making mixes, sharing playlists online,
creating podcasts, dumping music into cellphones to use as ring
Half-Blood Prince is 652 pages long. That's not a book — it's a tones. We are generally doing absolutely nothing that the music
commitment. And its fans aren't just the usual book buyers — industry might've predicted a decade ago.
pre-Nintendo people like me, who read because we're either
stuck on long flights or can't hear the TV from the couch. The technology isn't here yet to make that possible with
books. No screen has yet been able to beat traditional paper
Potter is actually stealing kids away from video games. books as a display for lengthy text. But that won't be the case
forever. A breakthrough for books with an iPod-level impact is
But don't let that success fool you. Books overall are losing going to happen at some point. And then?
the battle for attention, especially with anyone born after about
1975. From 2003 to 2004, the number of books sold worldwide "I think book is a verb," Doctorow says. It's what you're doing
dropped by 44 million. True, there are still 2.3 billion books sold when reading something like a narrative story or biography or
each year, but the bottom line is that people are flocking to the academic argument in big chunks in multiple sessions, he says.
Web, TiVo, cellphone screens, PlayStation Portables and DVDs "We need to find ways to insert the verb of book into
while buying fewer books. technologies that arrive," Doctorow adds.

Books risk becoming the equivalent of pot roast in a world Doctorow admits he hasn't yet learned a lot from his fans
full of ethnic foods. There will always be a place for pot roast, about what books can become. But there are some interesting
but it sure isn't the place it occupied 30 years ago. hints. For instance, he's certain that the free electronic copies
are helping increase sales of hard copy books, which is the
To avoid that fate, the concept of a book might have to opposite of what publishers and authors fear.
change. But how?
"For almost every writer, the number of sales they lose
Author and activist Cory Doctorow hopes to find out. In June, because people never hear of their book is far larger than the
he released his latest novel, Someone Comes to Town, sales they'd lose because people can get it for free online,"
Someone Leaves Town, online for free downloads on the same Doctorow says. "The biggest threat we face isn't piracy, it's
day his publisher released printed copies to bookstores. On his obscurity."

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Now, keep in mind that Doctorow is Potter might even offer a clue to how
still a lonely voice out on the frontier. books might change — and, ironically, it
Tom Standage, technology editor at The could be in the length of both the
Economist and author of the recent A individual books and the series.
History of the World in 6 Glasses, says
that traditional books will continue to do These books offer something movies
just fine. or T V can't: a deeply involving
experience that you live with for days or
"Communications media are ver y weeks or more.
rarely displaced by newer technologies,"
he points out. "T V did not kill radio, "It's very typical to hear a (video)
movies did not kill theater, video did not gamer say, 'I play to experience a world
kill movies. The book is the oldest of all that I couldn't experience otherwise,'"
of these technologies, so I think it has says Mitchell Wade, who sur veyed
staying power." gamers for his book Got Game: How the
Gamer Generation is Reshaping Business
Which, even if true, doesn't mean Forever.
books won't change.
"When you see kids reading the
Other media adapted to changing (Potter) books over and over, they are no
technologies. Radio couldn't survive longer in it to find out who done it,"
airing shows like The Shadow once TV Wade says. "They are reveling in the
flooded homes with pictures. Live USA TODAY
world that J.K. Rowling has created. That
theater survived movies by emphasizing is VERY like a video game."
blockbuster musicals. Now movies might
have to change in an era when millions of Of course, that's also because Rowling
families can play DVDs on big-screen, is so good at what she does. Still, if Harry
high-definition TVs in their living rooms. Potter can show ways to keep an ancient
medium relevant, that certainly would
be magic.

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Scared of new nano-pants?


Hey, you may be onto something
By Kevin Maney move until we have less privacy
USA TODAY than the Osbournes. Or that
genetically modified foods could
In the late 1950s, my Uncle Jim make us morph like the Fantastic
and his teenage buddies would Four. Or that cellphones could be
sometimes roam downtown giving us brain cancer and are dis-
Binghamton, N.Y., and stop at a tracting drivers.
little shoe store that had its very
own X-ray machine. And yet an earlier generation
thought dangerous X-rays were
It was the latest technology for fun. What gives?
getting your shoe size. Customers
would come in, flick a switch, As it turns out, these things go in
stick their feet in, and see how cycles, and extreme reactions to
their foot bones lined up on a siz- technology are nothing new.
ing chart. My uncle and his
friends did this for kicks. The "It's been going on as long as
thing probably spit out hundreds innovation has been going on,"
or thousands of times the dosage says Clinton Andrews, past presi-
you'd get from a dental X-ray dent of the Institute of Electrical
today. and Electronics Engineers
By Alejandro Gonzalez, USA TODAY
Society on Social Implications of
It's a wonder Uncle Jim never Technology. "The guy selling the
grew a few extra toes. innovation is often optimistic. But there's often this fear, and
the fear is not entirely groundless."
Contrast that with the naked folks in Chicago a few weeks ago.
In fact, IEEE preaches that technologists should welcome the
A handful of young men and women filed into an Eddie Bauer protesters and skeptics because they force issues to the surface
store and took off their clothes to protest the selling of khaki early, before something gets out of hand and causes wide-
pants treated with nanotechnology. spread damage. The fears push technologies to improve, and
get society to look at consequences and decide what trade-offs
So far, there seems to be no reason to think anyone could be are acceptable.
hurt by nano-pants, but a lot of people are terribly worried
about nanotechnology. They've heard stories that it could self- "You always need both camps" -- the optimists and the pes-
replicate until it covers the Earth like a virulent kudzu, or that simists, says Brian O'Connell, current president of the Society
nanotech particles might damage brain cells or cause cancer. on Social Implications of Technology.
They're assuming the worst now, ahead of any proof of danger.
Feelings about technology can also wax and wane with eras. In
In fact, people today are raising all kinds of alarms about tech- the 1920s, anything scientific and modern was seen as
nology. They worry that RFID chips might track our every progress, and progress was good. In the 1960s, the space race

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lit up a generation of tech believers. In the 1990s, we all vaccination leagues, IEEE's Andrews says. Typists at first resis-
thought the Internet was going to "change everything" and ted carbon paper, thinking it would threaten their jobs. The
swore it was the most significant human development since first electronic computers stirred fears that companies were
the Sumerians invented writing. building "electric brains." IBM CEO Thomas Watson Sr. made
speeches saying the machines would never be able to think.
The crummy economies of the 1930s, 1970s and early 2000s
wiped out a lot of that smiley-faced buoyancy. Once in a while, Then there's the flip side. In the 1940s, people labeled DDT the
progress would take a devastating blow, such as in 1979, when wonder pesticide. By the 1960s, Rachel Carlson published
Three Mile Island threatened to melt through the Earth's crust Silent Spring, alleging that DDT caused cancer and other envi-
and make half of Pennsylvania even less habitable than normal. ronmental problems. The stuff was banned in the USA in 1973.
Nuclear power never regained its footing in the USA.
The story of X-rays and other radiation is among the most
The odd part, though, is that while in the middle of the debate bizarre. In the early 20th century, beauty shops used doses of
about some technology, it's impossible to know which side is X-rays to make unwanted facial and body hair fall out.
right. History is packed with examples of skepticism that Physicians prescribed radioactive radium for heart trouble,
turned out to be unfounded, and sanguinity that was mis- arthritis and other ailments. For a while in Europe, a candy
placed. company marketed chocolate bars laced with radium as a
"rejuvenator."
In the early 1900s, natural gas companies struggled to per-
suade homeowners to switch from wood or coal stoves to gas Obviously, none of that was a very good idea.
stoves.
We really can't tell whether the naked protesters in Chicago
"Gas is invisible and potentially explosive," says Marian are flakes or prophets. Nanotechnology might turn out to be
Calabro, president of CorporateHistory.net. Wood or coal like natural gas -- an efficient, safe technology that benefits
stoves "were messy and labor-intensive, but at least home- millions of people. Or it could be this generation's X-ray, and
owners knew what they were dealing with." our grandchildren will guffaw at our naivete for putting it in our
pants. The same goes for RFID or any other technology that's
Gas companies mounted a PR campaign behind the slogan, making people wary.
"Now you're cooking with gas." By 1930, people saw that the
homes of early adopters didn't get blown up, and the ease of Either way, it seems like it's better to ask the questions rather
the use of gas won out over any remaining safety concerns, than swallow the optimism whole.
Calabro says. The fears had been unfounded.

Similarly, when Edward Jenner invented the smallpox vaccine


in the late 1700s, the public protested, even setting up anti-

Reprinted with permission. All rights reser ved. Page 10


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

1. Why do globalization and the U.S.’s growing economic needs make University of Maryland
innovation crucial?
http://www.MTECHVentures.umd.edu/
2 Should students today embrace technology wholeheartedly without resources/university.html
fully understanding the sacrifice of some worthwhile qualities of past
inventions? Are all the “old ways” destined to the heaps of extinction
Consortium for
or relegated to the category of Neanderthal?
Entrepreneurship Education
3. One aspect of entrepreneurship is dealing with change. What are
some drastic changes entrepreneurs have faced during the past 10 http://entre-ed.org
years? Which changes have improved life for entrepreneurs? Which
have been detrimental for business? MIT Entrepreneurship Center

4. What are some of the ethical issues entrepreneurs face? As a www.Entrepreneurship.mit.edu


budding entrepreneur, to what extent are you willing to give up some
of the “purity” of your art to meet customers’ demands?

5. List three ways to test the durability of an idea today that would not
have been available in the past.

FUTURE IMPLICATIONS

What definitions have changed as a result of technological advances and alterations in entrepreneurship? What other
definitions do you see evolving or changing in the near future? For example:

a. The term “workplace” today means one thing for students and yet something entirely different for people who physically
commute or telecommute.
b. Has the definition of “customer” changed, or have we merely changed the way we visualize customers?

c. Have the definitions of intellectual property, trademarks and copyrights changed, or is the issue today more about valuing
someone else’s property?

d. Discuss the definition of “ownership” as it relates to the articles in the package.

Notes:

© Copyright 2006 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. All rights reser ved. Page 11
M E E T T HE E X P E R T …

Karen Thornton is the director of the Other features of the program include the
nation’s f irst living-lear ning annual Universit y of Mar yland $50K
entrepreneurship program, which began Business Plan Competition and a wide
in 2000 at the University of Maryland, variety of internships. The Hinman CEO
College Park. She manages the day-to-day program also works with high school and
op erations and provides on-site community college students.
mentoring and coaching to students who
par ticipate in the award-winning The Hinman CEOs program is one of three
residential cur r iculum, the Hinman aspects of MTech Ventures at Maryland.
Campus Entrepreneurship Opportunities T hor nton manages the business
(CEOs) Program. development activities of MTECH Ventures
Karen Thornton
and overse es a c adre of e duc ational
Program participants join as sophomores and juniors programs and activities offered through the Clark
from all academic disciplines, with as many as 90 School of Engineering.
students living together each year. The students are
encouraged to team up in dorm rooms, specially- A native of Hampton, Va., Thornton managed a stellar
equipped meeting rooms and a business center to career playing the French horn in orchestras and
discuss ideas, dreams and possibilities. The two-year groups around the world for about 25 years, taught
program requires students to take a three-credit music at both Florida’s Jacksonville University and
entrepreneurial course that includes lectures and a Maryland’s Towson University. She earned Bachelor
weekly speaker series. Students also earn three-credit and Master of Music Performance degrees from Florida
hours in a ‘sp e cial topics’ c ourse that includes State University, ARCM from the Royal College of
analyzing case studies. Music, London, and an MBA from the University of
Maryland. Thornton, who also was a Fulbright Scholar,
Each fall, the Hinman CEOS are involve d in an came to work at Maryland as the Director of External
orientation event that includes various team-building Affairs and Human Resources for the Department of
activities. There are also cookouts, socials and the Electrical and Computer Engineering.
annual Technology Start-Up Boot Camp for faculty.

© Copyright 2006 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. All rights reser ved. Page 12