NANOGIRL & DAVID DOWNS on the No 8 wire mentality

Dr Michelle Dickinson and David Downs discuss their new book No 8 Recharged

Dr Michelle Dickinson and David Downs on why the No.8 wire mentality is no longer relevant.

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This week's featured guests on NBR Sunday Business with Andrew Patterson are "Nanogirl" science educator Dr Michelle Dickinson and author and comedian David Downs.

They discuss their new book No 8 Recharged, which examines some of New Zealand’s more recent innovation success stories and argues that our long-held love of the No 8 wire mentality is no longer relevant and in fact is damaging to New Zealand.

The book features a range of more than 200 business success stories, including the rise of high-profile startups such as Rocket Lab and Soul Machines.


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The assertion the world was made for specialists is denial of general responsibility.

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Yep, to hell with the "#8 wire/ independent" attitude, and in with the throw away the #8 wire and go for a free taxpayer start up grant.
Why wouldn't you.

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Did you even listen to the interview? The case was made that New Zealand's track record with innovation on the global stage is woeful. We should look at greater incentivisation, not less.

Perhaps by funnelling investment away from housing? Perhaps by means-testing the country's biggest welfare recipient, superannuation? "Oh no! Not when it affects me!!"

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The authors acknowledge that our innovation performance has been poor - despite a lot of government funding and grants.

I did not hear them saying we need to do more but suspect that is their solution. What we need to do is better. Then maybe more. We need a system that works rather than one that funds a whole lot of people running around claiming they helping......Callaghan, NZTE, incubators etc.....none have really delivered in the innovation sector.

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Yes I listened closely to the interview. Did you?
It was, our "innovation" is poor. That is their opinion. They are entitled to it.
They implied we need to do more!
Do more "poor innovation"?
I would disagree, we need to realise it is the consumer that employs us all. We need to stop throwing taxpayer money at start ups that the consumer is not willing to purchase at production cost.
That is not the role of Gov.
You go on to suggest you agree and the Gov. should "funnel" funds away from housing and super and instead channel it towards "poor innovation"!
I suggest you run your suggestion past Mr Peters and Ms Adern. I would be interested in their response.

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Great interview! I am currently in India, and just spent a day at T-Hub, which is a public/private co-working space. The big advantage they have is
1. Labour cost - eg software developers cost US$10,000 per annum.
2. Access to major companies in India and USA - these networks are gold.
3. Start-ups have access to experienced business people on their boards.
4. Access to capital - the least of their problems, they tell me!
I am suggesting we start from behind - what are your thoughts?
Tony

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Tony you are absolutely right NZ is probably behind on a lot of fronts. But we live off a few successes and believe we punch above our weight.

I think the past 20 years where the NZ government has invested heavily has achieved little relative to the rest of the world.

This can be seen through a number of measures. I suggest the main reason for the failure has been the lack of hard accountability and the reliance on soft measures that are easily manipulated.

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Wonderful stuff David and Michelle. Book purchased and looking forward to a great read,

It was wonderful to hear David Downs' voice in particular. David is, certainly not by planning, following in the large footprints of Sir Paul Callaghan as he lives with cancer and still finds the energy and passion for doing what he can to promote and grow the ICT sector. Many thanks. Wishing you the best David.

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A Lovely Lady Leanne Graham @Business Woman of the year was the CEO of GeoOP but the sexism of New Zealand held true with Investors.

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What are you talking about. Geo op was probably one of the better funded start ups in NZ. It listed too early and failed to deliver results. Plenty of other startups that have achieved a lot more with a lot less.

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