Out of Great Crises Comes Great Innovation

In a world that turned upside down virtually overnight, it seems like a good idea to look for some positive news when it can be found.

This article from MSN Money provides that encouragement for those of us working in the world of quantum computing PR and startups: World-changing innovations that came out of global crises.

The article shows that past crises as disruptive and disconcerting as the current global COVID-19 pandemic often spur technology breakthroughs.

Case in point is the world’s first programmable, electronic, digital computer, built to break the coded messages of Nazi communications in World War II.

The Colossus Mark was mostly designed by a post office engineer in London and successfully decrypted messages sent and received by German High Command, speeding an end to the war and the Allied victory.

That’s some kind of innovation.

Other breakthroughs from WWII included jet engines, microwave ovens, aerosol spray cans and mass-produced antibiotics. The latter medical innovation is of obvious interest for today, as the medical research community works diligently to develop a viable vaccine for COVID-19.

The article goes on to say the tense U.S.-USSR standoff of the Cold War led to the development of the first microchip, satellites, human space flight and the internet, all of which helped to create the world we live in today.

The lesson to be learned is that innovation doesn’t stop for crises, and in fact, is sometimes accelerated.

For example, the unfortunate tensions between China and the U.S. over COVID-19, in addition to the ongoing trade war, has led to the U.S. government to redouble its efforts to beat China to the “quantum advantage” – creating the first quantum computer that delivers a real-world benefit that no computer on Earth could ever duplicate.

In addition, today’s early quantum computers are being enlisted in the fight against COVID-19. And the fervent hope is that, someday, quantum computers would be extremely useful in halting a similar pandemic in the future by speeding the process of drug discovery.

It appears venture capital firms have agreed that the pandemic will not slow quantum computing research and innovation as they continue to seek startups with potentially game-changing quantum technologies.

All this is to say that society will hopefully respond to this current crisis in a way that prevents it from ever happening again, saving countless lives in the future. Our educated guess is that the quantum computing startups of today will play a key role in that endeavor.

An Invaluable Resource for Quantum Computing Startups

For quantum computing startup founders and CEOs, or researchers considering making the leap, as well as venture capital firms and established tech brands, there is no better global resource to stay abreast of this fascinating industry than the Quantum Computing Report (QCR), the world’s most popular site dedicated to covering the business of quantum computing.

Founded in 2016 by publisher and editor Doug Finke, QCR delivers insightful commentary and analysis on the latest developments in the industry ecosystem, including startups, enterprises, venture capital firms, academic research and government entities. QCR also features up-to-date listings of industry resources, including companies, conferences, training and education, and employment opportunities as well as links to software development tools.

A member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Quantum Computing, Doug is an in-demand expert and consultant on quantum computing, providing counsel to investors and companies entering the field.

Doug’s background is impressive, with more than four decades of technology industry experience, including stints at Intel and IBM during pivotal moments in their histories. He had the foresight to see another pivotal technology moment on the horizon and established QCR to serve quantum computing companies and researchers around the world.

For an agency focused on quantum computing PR and marketing communications, QCR is invaluable to us as well. And we are proud to say that Doug is an HKA client.

Through a random series of events that rivals that found in quantum physics, HKA Technology PR director Mike Kilroy was researching emerging technology topics to cover for the agency’s EmergingTechPR blog and came across QCR. He discovered that Doug was located in the same city as HKA’s offices here in Southern California.

Mike met Doug for coffee one day in the spring of 2019. During their chat, Doug patiently explained the basics of quantum computing. While Mike didn’t understand everything, he found it all incredibly fascinating.

Doug and Mike kept in touch. In the meantime, quantum computing exploded onto the world’s stage when Google announced it had achieved ‘quantum supremacy,’ meaning its quantum computer had solved a problem that no computer on Earth could accomplish. It didn’t matter that the answer wasn’t particularly useful – many consider it the Kitty Hawk or Sputnik moment of the quantum computing age.

Doug’s website started seeing unprecedented traffic and his consulting practice was gaining traction as well, while HKA secured a quantum computing client with U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles.

HKA and QCR had too many synergies to ignore. Fast forward to today, where HKA is using its expertise in technology PR to help promote QCR as well as Doug himself as a trusted industry authority.

Doug also runs the Southern California Quantum Computing Meetup Group, offering presentations from experts on recent research and technical discussions for developers and enthusiasts. We will keep you updated on future meetups as the Southern California tech industry embraces quantum computing.