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March 2018

News Value Creation

In defence of venture capital

Michael Hui

In a column for The Australian Financial Review last week, Morphic Asset Management’s Chad Slater said there was a lack of “true innovation” in the world today.

Slater attributed the supposed absence of “ideas that have completely changed the world” to a withdrawal of government funding from research and suggested venture capital, or more precisely its investors, was to blame.

But Slater is wrong on both counts: there are plenty of ideas that are completely changing the world and they’re being funded by venture capital.

Slater may be riffing on Peter Thiel’s famous quote, “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters,” but that’s an insular view. Twitter may not have changed the world for many in the West (except journalists and news junkies), but for those in the developing world, social media and instant messaging has done everything from foment revolutions to provide a means to trade with the outside world.

Read Michael Hui’s full rebuttal below.


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