I also made it along to an excellent line up of Chinese food hosted by Dustin Luther . Rawleigh, of Decarta, who was there too, recounted the fascinating story of how Lars Rasmussen, then a small scrappy Australian startup and one of his clients, was building a Google earth like app, which he demo’d to Larry Page. Larry said it was kind of cool but would be really cool if it worked inside a browser. Lars and co flew back to Australia, coded for two weeks straight and had what is now Google Maps. He flew back to Mountain View, Larry bought the company and he now heads up an engineering office in Australia. And the rest they say is history.
Software development and innovation are not something that you can throw money at. There are so few people who produce so much. Craig Mundie should be ashamed of putting up slides that show how much you spend on research and development. Especially since the return Microsoft has gotten is so low.
It’s the Lars’ of the world that move the needle forward.
p.s. sorry for the fawning, but c’mon, he is Australian.