Bruce Guile on replicating Silicon Valley:
I am certain it would be possible to create a two-hour global video montage composed entirely of short clips of political leaders, government executives, university presidents, real estate developers and even some high-tech executives standing at a podium announcing that their project would create the “next Silicon Valley.” There are projects and announcements of this type ranging from China and Russia to Dubai and Cairo to Rio de Janeiro, to say nothing of at least 45 of the 50 US states.
Every country or region wants the next Silicon Valley — a place, literally the Santa Clara Valley, and a community that is a dynamic high-tech industry cluster. But this is a 40-year-old model and the world has changed. Even perfect replication of the attributes of Silicon Valley will not create the next generation of economic development in a region or nation. Geography (both pure real estate and existing regional clusters of economic activity) is becoming less important than the people and institutions that can tap the increasingly global stock and flow of science, technology, and innovation.
Completely consistent with my post “Not the Valley” from two years ago. The “next Silicon Valley” is likely to be… Silicon Valley. Their critical mass of brainpower and money seems able to sustain a chain reaction even in the face of state policies that have led to a deficit that’s bigger than Georgia’s budget.
But there are plenty of opportunities to tap into the passions and energies of smart people all over the world. That means any region or country can have a thriving technology ecosystem without the false choice of being the “next Silicon Valley.” Which is what the button at the top of this page is all about.