Just a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to return to the MIT Media Lab for work. Being the second time, you look at it with different eyes: you compare, you analyze its strengths, … it is still the mecca for an industrial engineer who likes high-impact projects.
It is true that they take good care of the public relations and brand marketing aspects, but in order to exploit that part, there must be a whole. It’s a virtuous circle: powerful research, resources, talent, social impact, marketing… and back to square one.
One of MIT Media Lab’s strengths is the environment. What has come to be called the ecosystem. Across the street is CSAIL, the Artificial Intelligence research group. Hardvard is just a couple of subway stops away. In the midst of it all are crowded well-funded startups.
It seems that the focus is more on the medium and long term compared to what is happening in Silicon Valley: health, biotechs, … areas where strong and long-term investments are needed to obtain results.