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Cassio Conceicao: Creating Markets by Driving Down Costs

Cassio Conceicao: Creating Markets by Driving Down Costs

Moscow, Russia | April 10, 2013
Cassio Conceicao, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Silicon Graphics International, speaking at Spaso House (U.S. Embassy Moscow Photo)

Cassio Conceicao, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Silicon Graphics International, speaking at Spaso House

On April 9, Ambassador McFaul welcomed the fourth speaker in our Spaso Innovation Series Cassio Conceicao, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Silicon Graphics International.  Cassio focused on four main themes: the business of innovation, the role of government in innovation, the Silicon Valley ecosystem and the current hottest trends in the Valley.  On the first topic, Cassio said new markets are created when problems are solved.  He hypothesized the idea comes first, followed by the invention of new technology which over time is refined and made more affordable.  Driving down the cost of technology is an important part of creating new markets.  He gave the example of the iPhone, inside which he said the technology would have cost about USD $1 billion 30 years ago, and now, it sells for about USD $150.

He argued that governments play a positive role in innovation development and in the U.S. the government is often the first mover to discover new technologies which are later pushed out to the general public.  Some examples include the internet, and the Global Positioning System (GPS).  The U.S. government subsidies fund research and product development and can also offer incentives for supply and demand.  If the government balances its role in all areas, it can drive the development of the market.  On the last two topics, Cassio described the Silicon Valley as an area where people float freely between the disciplines of research and academia; entrepreneurship and venture capital investing.  He cited four hot trends in Silicon Valley: social media for the workplace, mobile computing, cloud computing and big data.   Of these, he thought big data was most likely to make transformative changes in our lives, including home appliances that talk to each other and medical implants that gather information on our vital signs and health.