DARPA works on programs that go against the established paradigm

Changing paradigms is hard

  • DARPA has been a pursuer of new breakthrough technologies independent of defined needs and that address needs but not requirements. - These two roles are in tension.
  • DARPA responsible for “Revolution in Military Affairs” implemented in 1990’s
  • Nobody wanted stealth technology, drones
  • DARPA arguably created the niche outside of IBMs game

If DARPA had not been available, university researchers would have had to use ‘free’ equipment from companies like Digital and IBM to do their research. DARPA funding of research was essential in providing an ability to make independent choices.Vinod Khosla 1991

DARPA can actually work on things that go against incumbents because it can’t be bought out in the same way a normal org can

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