Is innovation moving back from consumer to enterprise tech?

David Kirkpatrick, author of “The Facebook Effect” posed the question to a panel at the Tibco Tucon conference.

I repeated the question one on one to Vivek Ranadive. CEO of Tibco and he said he  is seeing it in three dimensions – younger recruits are showing more interest in enterprise tech than 3-5 years ago, investors in the Valley are behaving similarly, and clearly his customer projects validate the trend.

I also posed KR Sridhar of Bloom Energy a similar question – but VCs seem to want to invest in smaller rounds and simpler, consumery and social ideas? He said top line VCs (like his backer, John  Doerr of Kleiner Perkins) continue to invest in big ideas, but acknowledged later financing rounds have become more complex as private equity and acquirers seem more interested in investing in revenue generating companies, not startups.

To me, the whole conference provided plenty of clues on how enterprise tech is stepping up to solve big challenges as I noted here.

But consumer tech is not standing still. It is a trend I called “enterprising of consumer tech” in my recent book. Apple redefining retail, Amazon redefining logistics, Google and Facebook redefining data center standards.

Indeed, when Tim Cook stood up to announce iPhone 5 a couple of weeks ago, Apple had been executing  for months on one of the most elaborate GANTT charts known to any enterprise. Long term commitments had been negotiated with many (new) component suppliers. Foxconn had retrained and rescheduled thousands of assembly employees. Fedex had reworked schedules for countless flights jammed to the gills with the new devices. The TV Networks had hundreds of new commercials to schedule. Hundreds of carriers around the world has tested and scaled up their 4G networks. Apple Geniuses had been retrained. Retail inventories had been turned over.

Innovation is not dying in consumer tech. It is good however to see enterprise tech rev up.

(Cross-posted @ DealArchitect Full)

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CEO of Deal Architect, a top advisory boutique recognized in The Black Book of Outsourcing, author of a widely praised book on technology enabled innovation, The New Polymath, prolific blogger, writing about technology-enabled innovation at New Florence, New Renaissance and about waste in technology at Deal Architect.  Previously Analyst  at Gartner, Partner with PwC Consulting. Keynoted at many business and technology conferences and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, The Financial Times, CIO Magazine, and other executive and technology publications.