Feeds

Psion founder: Britain needs R&D

Financial services won't pay the rent

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Britain can't depend on the City of London alone for its future prosperity, veteran entrepreneur Sir David Potter warned this week.

"To our credit we have a successful financial sector," he told The Register. "But then you have to ask how long that is durable. And you look at the very large current accounts deficit, and ask whether that really can be filled by the financial sector alone. I would question that - but history will have to decide."

The Psion chairman was speaking to us for a major retrospective on the company's achievements that we'll publish next week. Potter has remained chairman of the company he founded in 1980 with £70,000 of his own capital. He is also a non-executive director of the Bank of England, and active in education.

Today, Psion is a B2B industrial technology company, and turned over £190m in revenue last year - more than in the days when it pioneered so many mobile computing technologies, and had a high profile consumer electronics brand. Psion withdrew from the consumer business seven years ago, and sold its stake in Symbian - a Psion spin-out - in 2004.

Potter also questions the conventional wisdom that a service sector can provide Britain's long-term prosperity.

"Governments, both Conservative and Labour have followed the idea that a service industry is fine. They haven't said that in their speeches and their policy statements, but by the policy actions they've taken, that's been the effect," he said.

"It's an Anglo thing, and I think it's mistaken. Because in the long run we need all these things. You need the ability to design and innovate and create the way you address markets. If you don't control the design and innovation of those business processes - hardware, services, and software - then you don't really keep a hold on the ownership - and the realisation of where the profits and values comes back to. That's been the failure of Britain."

Potter said strategic policy was required to encourage sectors such as science and manufacturing, because the City of London was attracting the best graduates.

Potter said he now regretted leaving the consumer electronics business.

On Monday, we'll look back on Psion's roller-coaster years as a consumer electronics pioneer, interviewing several of the key figures at what insiders believe could have become the "British Sony".

Stay tuned. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.