Monday, December 19, 2011

America is Still Exceptional: As Long as Others are Copying Us

You hear some critics of Steve Jobs claim he didn't invent his creations, he only made someone else's creations better.  This may be so, up to a point, but it doesn't diminish Job's creativity, vision, and innovation.  Job's, and others at Apple, made the mouse better than what Xerox was able to do.  This collective innovation process, from Xerox to Apple, provided users with an interactive computer experience that changed the computing industry forever.  The rest is history, which has led to the Apple we know and love today.

Copying American innovations is a daily occurrence in some parts of the world.  Fletcher (2010) highlighted that "piracy has made China one of the world's most frustrating markets for software companies…. IDC estimated that 79% of the PC software installed in China last year was pirated" (p. 1).  Samsung has been accused of copying the Apple iPhone and iPad with their Galaxy line of products in which Apple filed a patent law suit against the company.  Apple claims that "Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging" (Fried, 2011). 

Online attacks that targeted a number of U.S. Corporations originated at two Chinese Universities: Jiaotong University and the Lanziang Vocational School (Packowski, 2010).  Sources are not clear on whether these attacks are government driven or rampant students just playing around on their computers.  Either way, the security of U.S. Corporations and their privacy has been violated.

The examples provided above are only a few of the copyright, piracy, hacking, security breaches, patent infringement, examples that can easily be found in newspapers on a daily basis.  These examples are clear evidence that America is still exceptional, still provides innovative products, and still provides a product desired from around the globe.  One question would have to be made: What if no one wanted to copy American products anymore?  What if everyone wanted to copy Chinese products, or Japanese products, or India's products instead?  The point is simple: American products are still clearly innovative and America is still Exceptional!

Moving into the future we need to consider what needs to be done to continue our technical and innovative advantage.  Are we producing an educated work force to operate in and to move beyond the Web 3.0 environment?  Are we leading the technology summits around the globe, or are we participants.  Where are most of the technology students coming from in the next 20 years (U.S., China, India, etc…)?  Where are the most innovated students coming from in the next 20 years?  Is America positioned to be the clear leader in innovation and new technological products for the next generation?


Fletcher, O. (October 26, 2010). Fighting China's pirates: Software makers try lower prices to lure users away from illegal copies.  Retrieved from

Fried, I. (April 18, 2011). Apple files patent suit against Samsung over galaxy line of phones and tablets.  Retrieved from

Paczkowski, J. (February 19, 2010). World war WAN: Google hack traced to schools in China.  Retrieved from
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