The Differences Between Bangalore And Silicon Valley

from the not-quite-the-same dept

For years it's been common for various places to claim that they're the next Silicon Valley -- often with their own variation on the name (Silicon Prairie, Silicon Mountain, Silicon Alley, etc.). However, recently, with the focus on Thomas Friedman's book The World is Flat, the idea that anywhere can be its own Silicon Valley has gotten an awful lot of attention -- and plenty of that attention is focused on places like Bangalore, India. Apparently, though, not everyone in Bangalore agrees. A fascinating opinion piece from an Indian news site notes some of the growing clashes between the tech industry and others in Bangalore and gives plenty of reasons why Bangalore is no Silicon Valley -- noting that Silicon Valley companies were actively involved in helping to build up the local community beyond just building businesses. It's that entire local infrastructure that helped make Silicon Valley what it is (though, some may argue recent developments are hurting that infrastructure). Yet, we still see companies recognizing that they need to move to Silicon Valley in order to compete. So, yes, it's true that the barriers to innovation and development are dropping, but it still takes more than a few tech businesses to become an innovation hub. This isn't to say that Silicon Valley is perfect or won't eventually be topped by some other place (or no place at all), but there's this notion that recreating Silicon Valley is easy -- and that hasn't actually been shown to be true yet.


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  1.  
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    dorpus, Oct 31st, 2005 @ 4:37pm

    Plenty of underutilized places

    There are plenty of cities with multiple, world-class universities in the USA alone, whose local work force is greatly under-utilized. Places like Ann Arbor, MI or Madison, WI have vast supplies of first-rate high tech workers, good infrastructure, relatively low cost of living, yet the local tech economy barely exists. RTP and Austin have first dibs to being mini-valleys.

     

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  2.  
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    JDS, Oct 31st, 2005 @ 5:12pm

    The only silicon valley

    Although many places like Salt Lake City, Utah claim to be the next silicon valley, there will never be another one. There may be other places that act like it or resemble it, but just like there is only one niagra falls, there is only one silicon valley. The silicon valley is unique one of a kind place. The next place will reflect the next generation of technology.

     

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  3.  
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    dorpus, Oct 31st, 2005 @ 5:26pm

    Re: The only silicon valley

    If the next boom is going to be in biotech, then Silicon Valley has significant impediments from becoming the hub of that industry. In addition to the high living cost, IT professionals tend to be utterly ignorant of medical science, swearing up and down by the effects of alternative medicine, and exhibiting a hostility to the "vast pharmaceutical conspiracy". On a separate issue, California is a very unattractive environment to MD's, and MD's have been moving out of the state in droves for several years now.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2005 @ 5:30pm

    Re: The only silicon valley

    "The next place will reflect the next generation of technology." I agree totally and think that places like Salt Lake City which are trying to be the next silicon valley should instead try to create an infrastructure that will support the next generation of technology so that they can appeal to the next gen companies

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    akatsuki, Nov 1st, 2005 @ 12:18am

    Re: The only silicon valley

    I think that San Diego is doing fine in biotech. And practicing MDs and biotech researchers are not nearly the same people. Being an MD, from the Midwest and having lived in California, I would say that I would take California over the creationist friendly Midwest any day if I was a biotech company. Plus California is at least funding stem cell research from state coffers.

    Boston also has a high cost of living but could be an alternate point. Austin or Seattle might work as well. However, I think given the general hostility by Americans towards things such as human cloning and stem cell research, the biological center of research will probably be outside the US.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Nov 1st, 2005 @ 7:30am

    Re: The only silicon valley

    I could argue the Midwest has a longer tradition of genetic research via agriculture. But I'm not going to be a cheerleader for the Midwest, it's not where I'm from.

    The notion that other countries will supersede the USA in biotech has been talked about for a long time. However, most of the world's best researchers remain in the USA; they may work for short stints abroad, but typically, they are frustrated by the lack of academic freedom, and end up going back to the USA. Other countries are not without their religious oppositions to biotech either -- Buddhist countries are opposed to organ transplants or "unnatural" conception technologies, for example.

     

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