Obama to Silicon Valley: A Side of Innovation Please?

Apple didn't have to go to Washington to gain influence when Steve Jobs was at the helm -- Washington came to Silicon Valley instead.

Steve Jobs and several other tech industry leaders, including Google’s Eric Schmidt and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, met last night with President Obama at the home of venture capitalist John Doerr outside of San Francisco. Subjects of discussion at the meeting included technological innovation and private sector job growth.

The official word on what was discussed at the meeting came from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney immediately following the event:

The President believes that American companies like these have been leading by investing in the creativity and ingenuity of the American people, creating cutting-edge new technologies and promoting new ways to communicate. The President specifically discussed his proposals to invest in research and development and expand incentives for companies to grow and hire, along with his goal of doubling exports over five years to support millions of American jobs. The group also discussed the importance of new investments in education and the new White House initiative Startup America, a partnership with the private sector aimed at supporting new startups and small businesses.

No doubt Obama approached this particular group to seek guidance regarding growth and expansion because of the unique abilities demonstrated by Apple, Google and others to continue to grow and operate profitably even during the peak of the recent recession. Apple’s Mac lineup of computers, for instance, outpaced industry growth for the past 19 quarters according to a report released yesterday.

Obama also seems keen to mimic the entrepreneurial spirit that has led to Silicon Valley’s role as an incubator of innovation and economic success. That the meeting took place at Doerr’s house indicates Obama is keen to learn from the startup economy (something made plain with the Startup America initiative), as well as from large, established tech firms.

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