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GE and the Next Internet

GE and the Next Internet

Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess

Are you, or someone you know, an expert in social computing or software development?

Do you want to put those skills to work in ways that change lives?

Do you crave the excitement of innovating, but not the environment of a startup or even a Google?

Think about the Internet as applied to the industrial world.

The concept of Internet-connected machines that collect data and communicate, often called the “Internet of Things,” has been around for years. Information technology companies, too, are pursuing this emerging field. I.B.M. has its “Smarter Planet” projects, while Cisco champions the “Internet of Everything.”

But it is General Electric that is really pushing the envelope in a new East Bay (extended Silicon Valley) software center where they have already hired 250 engineers in the last year and a half.

The company plans to increase that work force of computer scientists and software developers to 400, and to invest $1 billion in the center by 2015. The buildup is part of G.E’s big bet on what it calls the “industrial Internet,” bringing digital intelligence to the physical world of industry as never before.

GE believes it can leverage the breakthroughs across its product line, from jet engines to medical equipment.

GE is a much different, not to mention much smarter, company under Jeff Immelt than it was under Jack Welch.

Welch used financial engineering as GE’s engine for profit during his tenure all but abandoning and gutting the industrial R&D expertise that had sustained its profits for decades—short-term thinking vs. long-term.

Nor does GE doesn’t believe or expect to do it alone.

Now G.E. is trying to rally support for its vision from industry partners, academics, venture capitalists and start-ups. About 250 of them have been invited to a conference in San Francisco, sponsored by the company, on Thursday.

GE and its ilk are opening up new opportunities for those who love to innovate, but don’t love startups. (And that’s OK.)

And if you do have that entrepreneurial bent why not focus it on industrial or enterprise efforts, instead of yet another consumer boondoggle.

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In case you’re curious, I had a fabulous Thanksgiving and four wonderful days off (I could get used to that:) Better yet, I got everything on my to-do list done. Yea!

How was your holiday?

Flickr image credit: General Electric

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