Mouse inventor Dean Hovey dishes on South Florida tech scene

Date: 08th August, 2014


By Paul Brinkmann

November 18, 2013

Few people have more tech credibility thanDean Hovey, co-founder of Silicon Valley’s IDEO consulting firm, who is widely credited with inventing the computer mouse.

Since he was in South Florida today for a conference, the South Florida Business Journal interviewed him about our region’s image as a tech hub and what we need to do better. Hovey was keynote speaker at the 16th Annual Emerging Technology Showcase in Deerfield Beach.

SFBJ: How can South Florida maximize our momentum as a tech region?

Hovey: Silicon Valley didn’t happen overnight. It started with Lockheed Martin and some other big firms. Capital formation started to come around that, and there was interaction with the big universities there –Stanford, Berkeley, etc. Then Menlo Park was founded and the semiconductor industry took off. After that, the infrastructure for startups developed rapidly. The phone book was full of companies that did nothing but support startups.

SFBJ: So we need more big industry to start with?

Hovey: Not necessarily. You need to look at the resources you have here that are unique in the world. Then develop a strong network for the critical players and support services to interact. Focus on what you can be good at; then focus on enhancing the network.

SFBJ: So we need a blockbuster breakout company to create some synergy first?

Hovey: You do need some core companies that are interacting with your universities especially. But with the Internet, things are different than they were 40 years ago. It doesn’t have to be as concentrated.

SFBJ: South Florida is proud of its diversity and reputation as a capital of Latin America. Is that important?

Hovey: To the extent that you have key industries here focused on that international identity, perhaps. But there’s a lot more diversity in the world. The Bay area has huge Asian, Indian and Hispanic populations. The most important thing is people referring people to the right situations and resources

Check back later today for more about the 16th Annual Emerging Technology Showcase.