Covid-19 has blown apart the myth of Silicon Valley innovation

Sure, they have given us Zoom to keep the fortunate among us working and Netflix to keep us sane; Amazon is a savior these days for those avoiding stores; iPads are in hot demand and Instacart is helping to keep many self-isolating people fed. But we’re far less accomplished at reinventing health care, rethinking education, making food production and distribution more efficient, and, in general, turning our technical know-how loose on the largest sectors of the economy.Economists like to measure technological innovation as productivity growth—the impact of new stuff and new ideas on expanding the economy and making us richer. But as we do, let’s keep in mind one of the most important failures revealed by covid-19: our diminished ability to innovate in areas that truly count, like health care and climate change.

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