Last week, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visited Silicon Valley in pursuit of a partnership between the Pentagon and America’s premier innovation hub to leverage emerging technologies. Once tech executives see what it means to work with today’s Pentagon though, the initiative is likely to fizzle. First, tech companies are accustomed to generating much stronger returns than defense contractors are permitted. Second, the Pentagon will want more control over intellectual property than entrepreneurs are comfortable providing. Third, the regulatory burden is stifling. Fourth, Pentagon bureaucrats don’t trust market forces. Fifth, the real customer is a (dysfuctional) political system. Once Silicon Valley execs figure all this out, they aren’t likely to spend much time trying to take market share from defense companies. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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