Startup Culture

Are the Best and Brightest Still Coming to Silicon Valley?

Are the smartest entrepreneurs and technologists still attracted to Silicon Valley? Does the Valley still pull in the best and brightest from around the world?

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According to David Kirkpatrick, who I interviewed at an Ericsson and AT&T Foundry hosted FutureCast event, the answer may well be no. Kirkpatrick tells the story of a remarkably talented Chinese guy he met in Beijing recently who had read his book, “The Facebook Effect,” five times. “I was just amazed I stumbled across that in Beijing,” he told me. This guy, Kirkpatrick explained, was running a 20-person Beijing startup just focused on making Facebook games.

“They’re in Beijing where Facebook isn’t even legal,” Kirkpatrick reminded me.

And that’s his point about how Silicon Valley may be losing its mojo. Ten or fifteen years ago, that Chinese guy would have come to the Valley. Today, however, he is staying in Beijing and launching his startup from there.

So why do people still come to Silicon Valley? Our next segment answers this question.

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  • Happy Guy

    Entrepreneurs come to Silicon Valley for the perfect storm of opportunity. Where else can all of the following be available:
    1. Funding opportunities: investors open to new ideas, willing to take risks on untested technologies and business models
    2. Two major technology savvy universities produce a never ending supply of technology workers, dreamers and managers
    3. Positive energy from year round sunshine which produces year round work ethic
    4. Adjacent industries in automotive, software/hardware engineering, design, arts, etc. are all within 60 minutes of SV
    5. High density population creates serendipitous in-person opportunities and chance meetings that can not be re-created online. Where else can a barrista serve a VC, CEO, data scientist, musician, magician and artist all before 9AM?