Analysis: Silicon Valley struggles to launch software outside tech industry

In a recent The Wall Street Journal analysis, staff reporter Jack Nicas investigates why technology companies often struggle to bring their innovations into the physical world.

Although the technology industry has been working to reinvent everything from medical devices to transportation, the process has been slow moving. In part, this trend is caused by differences in developing software and hardware, according to Mr. Nicas.

"Testing software is straightforward," he writes. "Changes can be simulated at the push of a button, and flaws can be spotted and fixed."

With strong computing power, software can be continuously replicated and tested, leading to rapid digital progress. However, when designing hardware for the physical world, advances "are constrained by physics," as Mr. Nicas writes.

"The physical world is messy and unpredictable. Even the smartest computers can't prepare for every possibility. Add to that the burden of public safety and regulation and it is easy to see why the tech industry hasn't been able to replicate its success in the digital realm," writes Mr. Nicas.

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