What's special about Silicon Valley?
Written by Raed Masri on June. 11th 2018
No region in the world drives more technology enabled societal change right now (or in the last 40 years) than the tiny peninsula in Northern California that is made up of cities like Mountain View (a town synonymous with Google and LinkedIn), Palo Alto (Facebook), San Jose (eBay, PayPal, Cisco), Cupertino (Apple), and San Francisco (Twitter, Uber, Airbnb)…

Why Silicon Valley happened in Santa Clara County is a topic of debate, Here are a few reasons

Stanford University and University of California
These two great universities—their business schools, their medical centers, and their schools of engineering and computer science—created the nucleus of the high-tech industry, which now attracts top technical talent from around the world. 

Abundance of Venture Capital
The availability of financing for high risk projects—an art form pioneered in Northern California—enabled many small companies to obtain financing unavailable in other regions and countries

Concentration of high-tech companies
The concentration of 7,000 high-tech companies has created a self-sustaining culture of innovation. Parents and grandparents expect their children to work for unknown companies and change jobs frequently. Engineers and executives jump to small, high-risk enterprises, confident that other opportunities will be available should their current company fail.

The weather
Surprisingly, many executives mention the weather as a major reason they keep their businesses in Silicon Valley. With 300 days of sunshine, the area has an idyllic climate for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking, cycling, sailing, tennis, and golf are available year-round. Employees addicted to the Valley's outdoor lifestyle are often unwilling to relocate. These factors have played a major role in shaping the Valley's success, but they are not the whole story. If the availability of capital and a well-educated, mobile workforce were sufficient to create a “Silicon Valley Clone,” other states would have replicated this Northern California success. No municipality has succeeded in duplicating the Valley's prosperity, in part because the formula includes other subtle ingredients: 

Workforce diversity
Two income families
Labor laws
Government and industry cooperation
And let's not forget California's culture:

Californians value the intuition and interpersonal openness required to innovate. Often ridiculed, California's mantra of “get in touch with your feelings and share your emotions,” has subtly shaped how California's engineers and financiers communicate with each other. The Valley's culture of truth-telling and personal accountability creates an environment where companies build prototypes because an engineer “feels the technology will work.” Employee Ownership and Stock Options. The granting of stock options to non-executives—engineers and marketing professionals—has enabled new companies to compete for talent with larger, more established enterprises. 

Raed Masri

Raed Masri helps people tech founders start and grow successful businesses. He is an expert raising capital, scaling customer acquisition, and successfully exiting a business using best in class methods, learned the hard way.
If you're interested in starting your own tech business or raising capital or scaling up customer aquisition or exiting your business then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.
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