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

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.