Science and Marketing

    February 19, 2007

Without marketing great ideas go nowhere. Google’s Larry Page recently stated:

"Virtually all economic growth (in the world) was due to technological progress. I think as a society we’re not really paying attention to that," Page said. "Science has a real marketing problem. If all the growth in world is due to science and technology and no one pays attention to you, then you have a serious marketing problem."

Tim Berners-Lee, who created the WWW, wrote this in Weaving the Web:

People have sometimes asked me whether I am upset that I have not made a lot of money from the Web. In fact, I made some quite conscious decisions about which way to take my life. These I would not change – though I am making no comment on what I might do in the future. What does distress me, though, is how important a question it seems to be to some. This happens mostly in America, not Europe. What is maddening is the terrible notion that a person’s value depends on how important and financially successful they are, and that that is measured in terms of money. That suggests disrespect for the researchers across the globe developing ideas for the next leaps in science and technology. Core in my upbringing was a value system that put monetary gain well in its place, behind things like doing what I really want to do. To use net worth as a criterion by which to judge people is to set our children’s’ sights on cash rather than on things that will actually make them happy.

I have always been fascinated at the idea of bridging science with marketing because (from limited conversations I have had with various scientists) it seems that most scientists are nearly purely academic, or are populists who know little about their topic. It seems like there is not enough time for someone to do marketing and cutting edge research, or is there? And if/when you start marketing aggressively does it undermine the credibility of the scientific research?




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