To clarify: I was not born here. My first time in California in my adult life was a few years ago and I’ve only been living here for a year. So obviously, I’m not biased towards Silicon Valley.
However, since I moved here, it became widely apparent to me that Silicon Valley (and that includes San Francisco and the peninsula) really is the center of the world in our day and age.
Look at what you do on a daily basis – every single action you take has been impacted by Silicon Valley. Even the design of the milk carton you’ve used for your cereal this morning – was probably created in one of Adobe’s on Apple’s tools.
It annoys the hell out of people when Silicon Valley-ians say this. Some people go blatantly against it – like Herb Kim. He was interviewed by Gigaom stating that Silicon Valley isn’t the center of the tech world – however the organization he ran no longer exists.
Brad Feld, who is far more known in the tech community, makes a similar argument. In his case he refers to system dynamics as a reason for why it doesn’t make sense to have all of the tech innovation happening in one place. I argue that system dynamics is the exact reason why tech companies should concentrate in a small space.
Something people forget often is that tech companies have two types of customers that are NOT buying their products:
- Employees – if you think you are not selling your company to prospective employees you are mistaken. Highly talented individuals need to buy into the company’s vision, culture, future. Salary isn’t the only thing that brings them on board. Interestingly, the some tactics one uses to market their product they will find themselves using to market their company to the talent pool.
- Investors – I don’t think I need to elaborate here.
So – if you have three sets of customers – users, employees and investors – how do you decide where to place yourself? I found it to be very easy:
In the tech world, your users are all over the globe. There is no single location you can place your company that would be close to your users.
However, the talent and investors are concentrated in Silicon Valley. So it makes the most sense to place yourself close to these two types of customers.
Now, this results in an saturation, but that saturation actually makes a ton of sense. It’s the same reason ice cream stands find themselves standing next to one another. We want to get to the most customers we can, and so do others, so we compete for them neck-to-neck. There’s no other alternative.
So, with all due respect to Silicon Alley, Silicon Wady, Silicon Beach, Silicon Flatirons and Silicon Roundabout – it is Silicon Valley where all the tech companies should be located. It is the center of the tech world.
And since tech is the most powerful force changing the way we live then the logical conclusion is that the center of the world is Silicon Valley.
Just accept it, relocate here, and drive up the real estate prices. We haven’t reached the $100/sqft mark yet.