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comment by am_Unition
am_Unition  ·  3045 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How Google lost Europe in 15 months

I get what you mean.

On the whole, the U.S. is still the "wild west" of regulation, meaning that there really isn't any. As such, we've incentivized development of tech in the private sector; for medicine, space travel, software, etc. There are various repercussions resulting from all of this, but whatever.

Google is one of the few private entities that does funnel profits back into basic R&D, where there isn't necessarily a guaranteed product. But they know how many spiders you've swallowed during each phase of your sleep cycle. When I weigh the pros and cons, it's not an easy decision.

Kafke  ·  3045 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I always thought that the "funnel profits back into R&D where there's not necessarily a guaranteed product" is a good thing. Since not everything that's needed is profitable. And a lot of things have significant startup costs.

Look at space travel. No guaranteed returns, no guaranteed timeline, massive startup costs, etc. But it's going to be needed in the future, and no one's working on it except a few groups with burnable cash.

am_Unition  ·  3044 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I agree, but you've got shareholders looking for the 10% annual growth. You can run an analysis and say "If we just curtail profits only slightly for the time being, we can invest in new sectors that will guarantee explosive future growth", and it's not a guaranteed sell.

There are subsidies to develop tech that Musk has taken full advantage of, and why shouldn't he? I think everyone can agree that both federal and state subsidy systems could use major reform, but they do help drive some developments that keep our businesses globally competitive. But burnable cash always helps, that's a fact.