Innovation Economics: The Race for Global Advantage
Several years ago, I was invited to India to give a series of lectures on the innovation economy. My host transported me from the Kolkatta airport to the five-star Sonar Bangla Sheraton Hotel, located in a poor neighborhood. The next morning I asked the concierge for a place to jog and he informed me that they had a jogging path inside the walled hotel compound. When I said I would rather jog outside, he responded, “Oh no, sir. That would be dangerous.” Deciding to take my chances, I exited the compound and started down a small side street. I soon jogged past a mother and her three small children sitting on the dirt floor of a small tin roof shack. About 100 yards farther, I passed a father and 10-year-old son atop a mound of rocks breaking large rocks into smaller ones with hammers. As I got back to the hotel, I was struck by the contrast. There I was in a hotel where one night’s stay cost a month’s wages for the average Indian and probably half a year’s wages for the families I had just seen.