However, that post also sparked a lively debut amongst friends on the subject: Is Silicon Valley just a regional phenomenon or is it indeed a state-of-mind? With the creation of Silicon Alley, Silicon Hills, Silicon Beach and even Silicon Prairie one could certainly assert that the energy and creativity of entrepreneurship is alive and well in regions all over the US. And I would absolutely agree with that statement. More to the point, start-ups from Seattle to New York to Austin have been wildly successful through growth, acquisition, and even IPO creating massive change to their industry while creating tremendous wealth for their founders and employees. So, yes, state-of-mind certainly has a lot to do with the creation of a regional start-up hot bed and it’s success.
My thesis is that this state-of-mind is merely a reflection of culture; which in fact is the foundation of the Silicon Valley. As demonstrated in the image titled “7 Pillars of Silicon Valley,” culture is the bedrock that lays the groundwork for key infrastructure to build on and ultimately make the region so unique; a region whose DNA is rooted in the start-up culture. Without this strong foundation, the businesses and organizations that have come to support that culture would never have developed. It is the developed of these now stable pillars that gives Silicon Valley it’s edge and makes the difference between simple state-of-mind and actual performance based success.
These seven pillars consist of: Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitals, Universities, Corporations, Service Providers, Non-Profits, and Media; all of which are based here in the region and contribute to the regional phenomenon. Only in the SF Bay Area do all these players exist and cooperate with each other to achieve goals and outcomes greater than themselves. Only in this region do such players voluntarily collaborate to inspire and nurture entrepreneurship in such a unique way that it’s be able to produce the likes of Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook, Apple, Saleforce.com, and the list goes on and on.
While Silicon Valley certainly is a state-of-mind that has been expanded outside the mountainous region that surrounds the SF Bay Area, it is truly a unique part of the world that is second to none and is extremely difficult to replicate elsewhere.