The overwhelming majority of big breakthroughs in the world of technology – especially on the consumer side of things – have all originated in one small community in California that has become world famous as the center of everything “geek”…
… We are talking of course about Silicon Valley.
For decades now, Silicon Valley has been the ultimate hub of technology, the place where everyone worth their salt in the tech world wants to work, and the place where investors flock when they are looking to get in on the ground floor of the next big thing. If you have a love of technology, are looking to break into the tech world in a big way, or want to become part of the companies and teams that are responsible for shaping our future, you’re going to want to get yourself to Silicon Valley ASAP.
A quick history of Silicon Valley
While you aren’t going to find the designation “Silicon Valley” on any maps of California, seemingly everyone in the technology world knows EXACTLY where it is – and it isn’t exactly all that hard to find. A moniker given to the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay area (part of Northern California), it encompasses the entirety of the Santa Clara Valley, half of the San Francisco Peninsula (the southern half), and parts of the East Bay region. Given its nickname because of the almost insane amount of silicon used in early microchips that were produced throughout this region, it has established itself as the home to almost all of the world’s best technology companies – thousands and thousands of them – including big-time giants like Google, Apple, and more.
The first few companies to “set up shop” were research companies dedicated to helping local universities like Stanford shape the future of technology, though plenty of venture capitalists and companies that worked as contractors to the US Department of Defense also helped to establish the early Silicon Valley. This all started to happen in the early 1950s through the 1970s, and then things started to shift towards the consumer focus electronics world. Companies like Apple quite literally grew up here, Google was born just down the road, and other major businesses like Oracle, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems all have deep roots in Silicon Valley in these early days.
Problems facing “The Valley” today
This is not to suggest that all is sunshine and roses in Silicon Valley today – nothing could be further from the truth.
Some of the biggest cornerstones of the Valley have been moving outwards – Microsoft jumped ship and went up to Seattle recently, Apple is building in Cupertino, and Google is trying to flex its muscle by always threatening to move somewhere a little bit more tax friendly – and it’s upsetting the apple cart, so to speak.
At the same time, the cost of living in nearby San Francisco has shot through the roof which has had a multi-pronged effect on the local community. People who own property and real estate (especially those that rent out their residences) have been cashing in big-time in the San Francisco “New Gold Rush”, while those that rented before are finding themselves pushed out in a major wave of gentrification that isn’t just sweeping a handful of neighborhoods – it’s taking over the entire city. Housing for the employees of these technological companies is also sparse, driving many to purchase property outside of the area, which in turn raises the property value of housing in cities such as Sacramento, Tracy, etc. This also leads to more commuters and more accidents, according to personal injury lawyers in Sacramento. Of course, with such a high concentration of many of the world’s most influential companies some are concerned that there is going to inevitably be collusion between these major players and a stifling in innovation may occur. This has almost always proven out to be completely unfounded – after all, many of these companies are built entirely on the back of innovation and are as competitive as any other – but it is still a reasonable concern.
The future of Silicon Valley
At the end of the day, the future of Silicon Valley is (quite literally) the future of the world. This is where almost all major technology breakthroughs are “born”, and likely will continue to be as long as it is considered that Nexus of the technology universe. If you’re looking to start up a technology company, work for an influential technology company, or want to invest in a technology company, Silicon Valley is everything that you’ve been searching for.