Why Do People Still Come to Silicon Valley?

The traffic is terrible, the real-estate ridiculously expensive, the public schools aren’t that great and the gulf between rich and poor is increasingly pronounced. So why do people still come to Silicon Valley? That’s the question we asked participants at a recent Ericsson and AT&T Foundry hosted FutureCast event that focused on innovation in Silicon Valley. The answers from our international audience were varied, instructive and entertaining.

The traffic is terrible, the real-estate ridiculously expensive, the public schools aren’t that great and the gulf between rich and poor is increasingly pronounced.

So why do people still come to Silicon Valley?

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That’s the question we asked participants at a recent Ericsson and AT&T Foundry hosted FutureCast event that focused on innovation in Silicon Valley. The answers from our international audience were varied, instructive and entertaining.

For Sylvia, who runs her own PR company, it’s the wine and the sunshine. For Mustafa, who came from Istanbul, it’s the entrepreneurs, the investment opportunities and the existence of exit strategies for star-ups. For David, who came to the Valley via Copenhagen and Nairobi, it’s because of love. And for Walid, who came from Iraq, it’s what he calls “the network effect.”

But Walid also raises a note of caution. The network effect, he warns, is “becoming weaker with easy communication and the internet and the ease of outsourcing.”

And as David Kirkpatrick warned in his FutureCast conversation with me, the best and brightest from around the world are no longer coming to Silicon Valley as they were 10 or 15 years ago. So can Silicon Valley survive in the future?

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