full transcript
"From the Ted Talk by Jason Pontin: Can technology solve our big problems?"

Unscramble the Blue Letters

What happened? So there is a parochial explanation in Silicon Valley, which aimdts that it has been funding less aomibitus cepoiamns than it did in the years when it fnncaeid ientl, Microsoft, Apple and Genentech. Silicon Valley says the markets are to bmlae, in particular the incentives that vunerte capitalists offer to entrepreneurs. Silicon Valley says that venture investing shifted away from funding transformational ideas and towards funding incremental problems or even fake problems. But I don't think that explanation is good enough. It mostly explains what's wrong with Silicon valely. Even when venture capitalists were at their most risk-happy, they prfrreeed small investments, tiny ietnmesvnts that offered an exit within 10 years. V.C.s have always struggled to invest profitably in technologies such as energy whose capital requirements are huge and whose development is long and lengthy, and V.C.s have never, never funded the development of tchnioelegos meant to solve big problems that possess no immediate commercial value. No, the reasons we can't solve big problems are more complicated and more profound.

Open Cloze

What happened? So there is a parochial explanation in Silicon Valley, which ______ that it has been funding less _________ _________ than it did in the years when it ________ _____, Microsoft, Apple and Genentech. Silicon Valley says the markets are to _____, in particular the incentives that _______ capitalists offer to entrepreneurs. Silicon Valley says that venture investing shifted away from funding transformational ideas and towards funding incremental problems or even fake problems. But I don't think that explanation is good enough. It mostly explains what's wrong with Silicon ______. Even when venture capitalists were at their most risk-happy, they _________ small investments, tiny ___________ that offered an exit within 10 years. V.C.s have always struggled to invest profitably in technologies such as energy whose capital requirements are huge and whose development is long and lengthy, and V.C.s have never, never funded the development of ____________ meant to solve big problems that possess no immediate commercial value. No, the reasons we can't solve big problems are more complicated and more profound.

Solution

  1. blame
  2. ambitious
  3. financed
  4. companies
  5. preferred
  6. admits
  7. venture
  8. technologies
  9. valley
  10. investments
  11. intel

Original Text

What happened? So there is a parochial explanation in Silicon Valley, which admits that it has been funding less ambitious companies than it did in the years when it financed Intel, Microsoft, Apple and Genentech. Silicon Valley says the markets are to blame, in particular the incentives that venture capitalists offer to entrepreneurs. Silicon Valley says that venture investing shifted away from funding transformational ideas and towards funding incremental problems or even fake problems. But I don't think that explanation is good enough. It mostly explains what's wrong with Silicon Valley. Even when venture capitalists were at their most risk-happy, they preferred small investments, tiny investments that offered an exit within 10 years. V.C.s have always struggled to invest profitably in technologies such as energy whose capital requirements are huge and whose development is long and lengthy, and V.C.s have never, never funded the development of technologies meant to solve big problems that possess no immediate commercial value. No, the reasons we can't solve big problems are more complicated and more profound.

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
big problems 12
solve big 8
silicon valley 4

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
solve big problems 8

Important Words

  1. admits
  2. ambitious
  3. apple
  4. big
  5. blame
  6. capital
  7. capitalists
  8. commercial
  9. companies
  10. complicated
  11. development
  12. energy
  13. entrepreneurs
  14. exit
  15. explains
  16. explanation
  17. fake
  18. financed
  19. funded
  20. funding
  21. genentech
  22. good
  23. happened
  24. huge
  25. ideas
  26. incentives
  27. incremental
  28. intel
  29. invest
  30. investing
  31. investments
  32. lengthy
  33. long
  34. markets
  35. meant
  36. microsoft
  37. offer
  38. offered
  39. parochial
  40. possess
  41. preferred
  42. problems
  43. profitably
  44. profound
  45. reasons
  46. requirements
  47. shifted
  48. silicon
  49. small
  50. solve
  51. struggled
  52. technologies
  53. tiny
  54. transformational
  55. valley
  56. venture
  57. wrong
  58. years