As a person who grew in the Valley, I get this “What is Silicon Valley?” question a lot from people. The typical answer I hear is Silicon Valley is the tech capital of world that companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Cisco call home. Some will say that Steve Jobs grew up in the Valley and build the arguably most successful company in the world. Others will say that you will meet the smartest people in the world in the Valley. Some will say “I just don’t know”.
All are valid answers, but what really is Silicon Valley? Is it San Francisco? Is it San Jose? Is it where people go to create new wealth? What is Silicon Valley?
Before I go to the answer of the question, remember when Steve Jobs introduced the 1st Iphone; he looked at it as a combination of an Apple Ipod and a phone, but the most important feature of it was the Internet, which later expanded to Apple Apps.
Silicon Valley is three things: hardware, software and internet. Every technology company in the Valley will either create one or a combination of those three. Iphone’s beautiful hardware and software are useless without the connectivity to internet.
Let’s stop for a second and think about the most famous companies in each of the area: Facebook-internet, Google-internet, Apple-hardware, software & internet, Oracle-software for business, Cisco-hardware, and Uber-Internet. These three things defines Silicon Valley; the real question is what will happen to those three things? Let’s try answering them below.
- The old boring hardware is out and the new is in!
Most people who are in the industry will consider hardware companies like Intel and Cisco the pillars of hardware technology. But there is a new kind of change in the Valley and it’s called hardware renaissance. The renaissance is happening right in front of you. Companies like Fitbit for fitness, Tesla for cars, SpaceX for space travel, Google autonomous car and Apple watch for Internet of things. These are the future and it’s only the start of more.
- The software of yesterday is getting a facelift!
Remember those days where you had either a floppy disk, a CD or even a USB flashstick to download your software and upload to your computer. Software companies like Salesforce for business marketing and Fire Eye for security is changing how we interact with them as most of them use new features like cloud software, cleaner design, and easy to use interface and internet download capability . Software will always be there and will need a drastic improvement as business users and regular consumers will demand for software that have smart algorithm, big data capabilities and all in one integrated system.
- The internet of tomorrow
This is the most important aspect of the Valley. The race for internet of tomorrow is changing every day. What is the next Uber? What is the next Facebook? As new hardware like virtual reality devices, Internet of things like Apple watch and google glass, or even as simple as no hardware at all will define how we interact with technology. Technologies will change and its purpose will do also. There will be new hardware, software, but the internet aspect of it will rule it because of its connectivity with the users.
Tomorrow, Silicon Valley is will change again. -Vikez
Photocredit: Computerhistory.org & Digital Trends