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The Wall Street Journal reports on how traditional businesses in the US increasingly are looking to Silicon Valley for both inspiration and innovation.

The Journal writes that "for much of the past half-century, U.S. corporations in industries from manufacturing to retail generally eschewed Silicon Valley startups, instead choosing to build their own new products or buy established companies.

"But a combination of factors - fear of seeing business disrupted, struggles to find growth, changes that require new skills - are leading more of these companies to hunt for tech deals. In recent months, a burst of old-line companies have swallowed tech upstarts, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. ’s $3.3 billion purchase of web-discount retailer Jet.com Inc., General Motors Co. ’s more than $1 billion acquisition of self-driving tech company Cruise Automation and Unilever PLC’s $1 billion purchase of online razor seller Dollar Shave Club."

And, the story says, "Venture-capital investors and analysts expect a flurry of deals in 2017, particularly given that funding is harder to come by in the private and public markets."
KC's View:
Of course, gaining inspiration and innovation is not just about writing checks. One of the things that companies have to do is be willing to absorb culture and lessons that will make them better - mergers and acquisitions only really make sense if at the end both entities are more effective and efficient as a result.