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Where's the next Silicon Valley (for the U.S.)?
Old 11-05-2014, 08:20 AM   #1
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Where's the next Silicon Valley (for the U.S.)?

It seems like Silicon Valley has been the technology center of innovation my entire adult life. But listening to Steve Case yesterday he pointed out that Detroit was "Silicon Valley" 50-60 years ago, and Pittsburgh was 100 years ago. Perspective I hadn't stopped to consider. So where will the US center of innovation be in 50 years.

Also reminds me of the outsized influence of New York (financial), Wash DC (government), Los Angeles (media) and San Francisco (tech) on the U.S. I can't remember what book/author I read this in. And are they more durable as centers of financial, government or media. Or maybe decentralization has made 'centers of ____' less relevant.
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:45 AM   #2
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Austin Texas has been rivaling Silicon Valley for a couple of decades, but I think it's not the only one.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:03 AM   #3
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Lot's of high tech areas in the US other than San Jose. Some of the bigger ones, Austin TX (Round Rock), Raleigh NC, Seattle Wa area, Boston MA... The list goes on.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:04 AM   #4
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Some of the main hotbeds of the next wave of tech (IMO) will be in and around Austin, Boston and the Research Triangle area of NC. At least that's how it looks as of now to me.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:06 AM   #5
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Some of the main hotbeds of the next wave of tech (IMO) will be in and around Austin, Boston and the Research Triangle area of NC. At least that's how it looks as of now to me.
Fine Texas minds think alike.
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:25 AM   #6
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The shifting technology focus from Pittsburgh (oil) to Detroit (autos) to Silicon Valley (computers) wasn't a geographic shift, it was a technology shift. You might get some idea of a future shift if you could get an idea of the technology shift. For example, if there were to be a big breakthrough in fusion energy, or in bio-pharmaceuticals then the technology focus would boost which ever locale had a larger concentration of that industry. Breakthroughs in anti-aging, anti-cancer, asteroid mining, quantum computing, autonomous vehicles or several other topics are all possible, and any one of them could be big enough to stimulate a new technology hub city becoming prominent.
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Old 11-05-2014, 10:43 AM   #7
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Agree with Growing Older, if you can tell me the next big thing fifty years from now, and where it comes from, I will tell you where the center will be. However, who says it will be in the US?
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:05 AM   #8
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Agree with Growing Older, if you can tell me the next big thing fifty years from now, and where it comes from, I will tell you where the center will be. However, who says it will be in the US?
The question was US center of tech innovation, no one said it would necessarily be the world's center of innovation, or that geography was a primary determinant.
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:32 AM   #9
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The question was US center of tech innovation, no one said it would necessarily be the world's center of innovation.
- looks like Texas is out of this one.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:01 PM   #10
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If supply logistic are are not imperative it comes down to where folks want to live?
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:22 PM   #11
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IMHO universities have a huge impact but why Stanford and not MIT? The other dynamic is the presence of creative personalities, young adults who can envision other possibilities. Then there are 'chance takers'.

I don't know Austin, I do know my DD & SIL considered the research triangle before settling in the Silicon Valley. Based on my small sample NC research triangle would be on my short list.

Several times when I visited employers in middle-America they spoke of the "Left Coast", essentially dismissing creative types. Their loss, our gain because their innovators came our way.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:35 PM   #12
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The next big thing might be biotech: breeding new organs from your own cells for example.

Which university in the US is a hotbed for that?
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:38 PM   #13
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Famous last words of an Engineering VP:
"We're moving Software Engineering from Santa Clara to Dallas, Texas."

Guess how many engineers were relocated, versus changed employers? (Hint: Within an hour of the announcement, headhunters had put leaflets on every vehicle in the parking area. There were recruiters in every nearby lunch place all week.)
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:50 PM   #14
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San Francisco has a huge biotech industry because of the strength of UC Berkley's school of bioscience. When I had occasion to visit those employers I noticed that bioscience PhDs were very reluctant to venture far from top schools in their field, that there is synergy in density.

I think Boston has strong potential for biotech ventures and as I recall a couple have surfaced in the last 6 months.

Because of the nexus to top ranked university programs it is very difficult to transplant bioscience hot-spots. About 15 years ago Seattle tried, I haven't seen much about that in several years.

One of the problems with bioscience is the regulatory environment. That really impacts the return on investment. I know of at least one VC who has concluded that there are just too many hurdles to invest in that area.
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Old 11-05-2014, 01:56 PM   #15
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With regard to tech employment, start-ups, depth of business services and general depth of intellectual stimulation, I doubt the Silicon Valley area south of SF on the San Mateo peninsula will be bested, unless California really steps in a big one. How much sense would it have made 100 years ago to ask "what will the next US financial center be? New York of course. Even when you no longer have open outcry floor trading, the depth of services and brains in NYC is overwhelming.

Don't forget that it is easier to lie to someone in an email than across the dinner table, and even though there are definitely outliers, most humans want to see and feel the people they are going to be depending on.

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Old 11-05-2014, 02:00 PM   #16
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The next big thing might be biotech: breeding new organs from your own cells for example.

Which university in the US is a hotbed for that?
Google came up with this The top 10 biomedical research institutions - FierceBiotech Research


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Old 11-05-2014, 02:08 PM   #17
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San Francisco has a huge biotech industry because of the strength of UC Berkley's school of bioscience. When I had occasion to visit those employers I noticed that bioscience PhDs were very reluctant to venture far from top schools in their field, that there is synergy in density.
I would agree. DW, who works in biotech in San Francisco, collaborates closely with UCSF. Such universities offer valuable resources for the biotech community. Recently, she needed access to some advanced imaging technique that would not be cost effective for her company to acquire. So she looked to collaborate with the imaging lab across the street. Their expertise was top notch.
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Old 11-05-2014, 02:08 PM   #18
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One of the reasons for some distribution of venture capital firms is the fact that they want their ventures easy to oversee and thus relatively close by.

So, if you want to support ventures in your area support your local venture capital firm. I know, I know, you have to have a huge chunk of change to become a limited partner in a fund but you can encourage institutions such as pension funds to set some money aside for your local vc market.
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Old 11-05-2014, 02:10 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
Famous last words of an Engineering VP:
"We're moving Software Engineering from Santa Clara to Dallas, Texas."

Guess how many engineers were relocated, versus changed employers? (Hint: Within an hour of the announcement, headhunters had put leaflets on every vehicle in the parking area. There were recruiters in every nearby lunch place all week.)
That is funny!!

I heard that Intel put plant expansion locations to a vote by their engineers to avoid just that problem.
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Old 11-05-2014, 02:11 PM   #20
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With regard to tech employment, start-ups, depth of business services and general depth of intellectual stimulation, I doubt the Silicon Valley area south of SF on the San Mateo peninsula will be bested, unless California really steps in a big one. How much sense would it have made 100 years ago to ask "what will the next US financial center be? New York of course. Even when you no longer have open outcry floor trading, the depth of services and brains in NYC is overwhelming.
Undoubtedly Detroit (and Pittsburgh) thought for many years they'd never "be bested" either...
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