Or again, what about the contrast between Microsoft and IBM? Again, since my book was published, I've acquired friends at Microsoft, and I've learned about Microsoft's organization, which is quite distinctive. Microsoft has lots of units, with free communication between units, and each of those units may have five to ten people working in them, but the units are not micro-managed, they are allowed a great deal of freedom in pursuing their own ideas. That unusual organization at Microsoft, broken up in to a lot of semi-independent units competing within the same company, contrasts with the organization at IBM, which until four years ago had much more insulated groups. A month ago, when I was talking in the industrial belt of North Carolina, the Raleigh-Durham area industrial belt, I met someone who is on the board of directors of IBM, and that person told me, Jared, what you say about IBM was quite true until four years ago: IBM did have this secretive organization which resulted in IBM's loss of competitive ability, but then IBM acquired a new CEO who changed things drastically, and IBM now has a more Microsoft-like organization, and you can see it, I'm told, in the improvement in IBM's innovativeness.
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Now let's finally apply these lessons to comparing different industries or industrial belts within the United States. I mentioned that when I was growing up, Route 128 outside of Boston led the world in productivity for an industrial belt, but Route 128 has now fallen behind Silicon Valley. Since my book "Guns, Germs, and Steel" was published, I've spent a lot of time talking with people from Silicon Valley and some from Route 128, and they tell me that the corporate ethos in these two industrial belts is quite different. Silicon Valley consists of lots of companies that are fiercely competitive with each other, but nevertheless there's a lot of collaboration, and despite the competition there is a free flow of ideas and a free flow of people and a free flow of information between these companies that compete with each other. In contrast, I'm told that the business of Route 128 are much more secretive, and insulated from each other like Japanese milk-producing companies.