“It’s All about Creative Destruction”

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“LARRY ELLISON: ‘It’s all about creative destruction.'” Source of book image: online version of the WSJ review quoted and cited below.

(p. R6) In Silicon Valley, a spot known for constant change, Larry Ellison has kept his job atop Oracle Corp. . . . for decades. And that gives him a unique perspective on the industry and where it’s headed.

The Wall Street Journal’s Kara Swisher spoke with Mr. Ellison about the state of tech innovation, the future of the Internet–and what keeps him inspired.
What follows are edited excerpts of their discussion.
. . .
MS. SWISHER: A lot of people talk about the end of Silicon Valley, the end of innovation. Do you imagine that?
MR. ELLISON: It’s all about creative destruction. Remember Woody Allen’s great line about relationships: “Relationships are like a shark. It either has to move forward, or it dies.”
That’s true of a company. If you don’t keep your technology current, if you’re not monitoring what is possible today that wasn’t possible yesterday, then someone’s going to beat you to the punch. Someone’s going to get ahead of you, and you’re going to lose your customers to some competitor.
We see a lot of companies in Silicon Valley that are under stress now. But there are a lot of other companies that have come along and are doing interesting things.
. . .
MS. SWISHER: What keeps you going?
MR. ELLISON: Red Bull.
I mean, this is going to sound really corny, but life’s a journey of discovery. I’m really fascinated by people, and by what can be done with technology. I also enjoy the competition, the process of learning as we compete, learning as we exploit these technologies to solve customer problems.
The whole thing is just fascinating. I don’t know what I would do if I retired.

For the full interview, see:
Kara Swisher, interviewer. “Silicon Valley, the Long View; Larry Ellison on how much simpler the consumer has it now.” The Wall Street Journal (Mon., June 4, 2012): R6.
(Note: ellipses added; bold and italics in original.)

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