Strategy Forum / Panelist

Maryann Feldman

Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

Arizona State University

United States

Professor Feldman’s research and teaching interests focus on the areas of innovation, the commercialization of academic research, and the factors that promote technological change and economic growth. Dr. Feldman is an editor of the journal Research Policy and chairs an interagency working group on Science Policy.

Voting History

Statement Response
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s proposed ban on noncompete agreements will impact innovation and entrepreneurship outside of existing technology hubs. Strongly agree “The number of states adopting noncompetes has been increasing just as initiatives to promote entrepreneurship have been on the rise, resulting in contradictory policies. California is the iconic example of a state that bans noncompete agreements. Nine other states — Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington — prohibit noncompete agreements unless the worker earns more than a certain threshold, in an attempt to protect lower-income employees, but to the detriment of high-skilled labor. Increasing the mobility of all labor will raise wages and increase employees’ bargaining power. Labor mobility will increase the flow of innovative ideas to both new and existing businesses, creating more competition for the firms that lobbied for noncompetes.”
Digital platform companies like Uber and Netflix have lost their first-mover advantage. Agree “When these companies first entered the market, they were able to establish themselves as leaders due to their innovative business models and disruptive technology. As more competitors have entered, these platforms have tried to adapt.

In Uber’s case, traditional taxi companies have adopted similar technology while offering professional drivers and greater price certainty. Uber now offers Uber Eats and has invested in autonomous vehicles, but the magic is gone.

Netflix has faced increased competition from other streaming services that have adopted its subscription model. It has invested in producing original content and has expanded its international presence in order to maintain its position. Netflix has found its niche.

More change is certainly coming.”
Online education and specialized degrees will supplant the traditional two-year full-time MBA.  Neither agree nor disagree “We are going to see a bifurcation in MBA education. People who are mostly interested in acquiring skills will go online. Those interested in cultivating social networks and connections will go to the more prestigious programs in person.”
Starbucks’s plans to increase wages for nonunionized workers is a shortsighted strategy. Agree “Wages are not the only issue for the Starbucks workers. While a raise is always appreciated, the workers protesting outside my local Seattle Starbucks informed me that they want more input into scheduling and other working conditions. They are really asking for input into operations. It's somewhat ironic that they are called associates but then not given a voice in conditions that directly affect their jobs and the operations of their local stores.”
Antitrust policy should intervene more decisively to limit the scope of large technology platforms. Strongly agree “The most prosperous places benefit from benign localized external increasing returns combined with monopoly power that holds other places back by effectively taxing other activities; restricting use of knowledge and degrading capabilities; diverting capital from other firms and regions and exerting income inequality. See M. Feldman, F. Guy and S. Iammarino.”
The increase in stock market volatility that began in 2018 will last for another three to five years. Agree “Markets like stability. Uncertainty over trade wars, border disputes, and U.S. fiscal policy increase risk and make it difficult to forecast future earnings.”
Restrictions on skilled immigration will cause US firms to to shift more operations overseas. Strongly agree
Uber has to develop self-driving cars in the next 10 years in order to remain viable. Disagree “Self-driving cars are coming — the technology is being introduced incrementally and every model release has more automatic features. The limiting factor is insurance and assignment of liability.”
A trade war will be more disruptive to business than to consumers. Did not answer
Concern over consumer privacy will fundamentally limit businesses’ ability to use big data. Agree “There is a disconnect between the use of public data, which is heavily restricted and private data, which is currently under-regulated.”