There's no free lunch in Physics

Mike Lazaridis, president and CEO of Research in Motion(RIM) kicked off this year's Sloan Speaker sereies with a scintilating presentation. With his silevr hair and thin rimmed spectacles, he could have passed off for a MIT professor but his leather jacket and T-shirt gave him a unique appearance. Lazardis is the creator of the Blackberry, and is a innovator, scientist and engineer.

He began by asking if there is a connection between education and success. Research has to be relevant for success he stressed. If it was not for research, we would still ride horses, go to puppet theatres and communicate be shouting. It is a 100% certainity that research has to transform the world.

Email only became a business tool in corporate America after 1995. It became mission critical in the 2000s. However, Lazaris added that Email had existed in the university since he went to college.

Everything found in the Blackberry, he said, he had been exposed to, when he attended the University of Waterloo. He assumed then, that Email was the norm. When he put his email address on his business card, many asked him what it was! ('What is a telex?,' he responded.)

Here are my takeaways:

Universities expose us to the future today. Spreadsheets, email, scripts and GUIs have existed since the early 80s. Later, they came to Xerox park and only then invaded corporate America.

Many big breakthroughs and wealth creators today have been experienced by students, almost 20 years ago. To get a glimps of the future, look at the reserach labs in University, not the ones in industry.

If you design chips, don't try to design today's chips with today's technology. Predict the technology 20 years from now and then begin to design chips based on that technology.

Moore's law states that chip geometries are shirnking every 18 months to 2 years. It ends when size hits zero. Intel is well aware of this. This implies that the IT revolution will end in less than 20 years.

In Waterloo, research teams try to predict the sciences of the future. Lazaridis views it as Academic Mecca in Canada.

Wiresss Communication

Basic research at the quantemic level reveals the limitations of wireless communication for spectrum and battery life. Moore's law has ended for both these attributes.

Moore's law does not apply to battery life. We saw the move to lithium to cadmium in battery technologies.Lithium is the lightest metal, more environment friendly and is recyclable. With these limits, coupled with customer demands we can predict the future.

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