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Silicon Valley: When were we dead?

May 19, 2008
at 12:00 pm PST

Sarah Lacy’s new book “Once You’re Lucky, Twice You’re Good,” which I wrote about last week, has a sub-head stating, “The rebirth of Silicon Valley.” Chris O’Brien is the new business columnist for the San Jose Mercury News and in his first column yesterday (you need to add this to your RSS feed) he writes, in part, that Silicon Valley is “(a) region that appeared sunk after the dot-com bust has once again reinvented itself…” My response to both of these concepts is: talk to Intel. Talk to HP. Talk to Cisco. Talk to Apple. Talk to Adobe. Talk to eBay. Talk to Oracle. Talk to Yahoo! Talk to Symantec. Etc. I would think that we would all argue that while the dot com downturn impacted us all, we never needed reinvention or rebirth. We’re all doing pretty much the same thing…more innovation, for sure, but same as pre-dot.com. I would also argue that while web 2.0 is very exciting (I use facebook, twitter, digg and a number of other Web 2.0 “tools” and companies) I would ask what impact have these technologies had on job creation and revenue to equal a “rebirth” or “reinvention” of Silicon Valley? While Cisco is adopting some Web 2.0 technologies to help run our business (see, WebEx et al) and while Silicon Valley is always innovating products to support and drive web 2.0 technologies, I don’t think that routers and switches and servers and computer chips and databases, etc. ever were dead…so, no need of rebirthing or reinvention. Always innovating, however.Maybe a nit on my part, but an important one I think.

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