Silicon Valley is known for both unicorns and blackswans. What political, social and economic ideas shape the culture of Silicon Valley today?
A huge number of technological businesses have their headquarters in the area known as Silicon Valley, which is located the southwestern section of the San Francisco Bay Area. Additionally, it is well-known for its inventiveness, its spirit of entrepreneurship, and its lifestyle that is built on the accumulation of riches through technological advancement. Silicon Valley has been responsible for the creation several unicorns and black swans thanks to the exceptional talent and adventurous attitude of its residents.
What are unicorns and black swans?
Aileen Lee’s (2013) TechCrunch article “Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups” coined the term unicorn to refer to privately held, venture capital-backed history less than 10 years old and reaching value $1 billion startups, typically these are the valuations reached by investors and venture capitalists through various financings as perceived growth potential (Lww, 2013).
Note. By Durbin, B. 2013, Unicorn, Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups. TechCrunch.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a finance professor and Wall Street trader, wrote about Black Swan in his 2007 book The concept of events. Black swans are extremely rare events that cannot be predicted in advance and have severe consequences that can harm markets and investments, causing catastrophic economic damage (Taleb, 2007). Using Taleb (2007) as an example The Internet’s Ascension 9/11 terrorist attacks and World War I were both black swan events. Google’s meteoric rise as a result of the Internet Google has more than 50,000 employees and $40 billion in revenue in less than 15 years. This is surprising. Silicon Valley’s success has finally had a significant impact on the economy (Taleb, 2007). It is undeniable that Silicon Valley, as a centre of technology startups, has successfully spawned unicorns and black swans. This success can be attributed to Silicon Valley’s never-ending disruption and innovation.
What made Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley has been a pioneer in the United States as a cultural and social movement applied to politics. Building Silicon Valley and encouraging market-oriented individualism in 1945-1965, followed by the emergence of anti-war activity and anti-statism from 1965-1980 to 1970-1990 Women’s liberation and the right to innovate for flexible productivity to compete equally in the market are examples (ESTRUTH 2019).
On the other side is the increasing degree of impact of the political activities of the US business elite on the political system of business companies and their super-rich executives and investments. This can be seen in both the Republican and Democratic parties. The never-ending pursuit of political influence by activists has evolved into a competition between Democrats and Republicans, such as in Silicon Valley, where corporations and elites s
pend the most money on lobbying and election spending in order to keep one step ahead of their competition (Halpin & Nownes, 2021).
Note. By Broockman, D., Ferenstein, G., & Malhotra, N. (2017). Wealthy Elites Policy Preferences
and Economic Inequality: The Case of Teachnology Entrepreneurs. Silicon Valley bosses are globalists, not libertarians.
In comparison to the general population or Republican contributors, the IT industry’s thought leaders have the most extreme opinions regarding free trade and immigration, as shown by the graph below, which is based on our study and The Economist (2017). There is no coincidence that the two are becoming more antagonistic toward one another (Ferenstein, 2022). Furthermore, Gregory Ferenstein (2022) The executives of Silicon Valley are little more than liberals with an eye for opportunity; they oppose only those policies that have the greatest impact on their profit lines.
People from all over the world may now communicate with one another regardless of physical distance because to the proliferation of the internet and globalisation. The greater the number of people who exchange ideas, the greater the variety of ideas. Silicon Valley is a prime example of how cultural fusion and creativity may flourish when natural ideas come into conflict with one another. Internet and social platform companies are of vital importance in promoting cultural and social movements, which in turn promotes the limitless disruption and innovation of Silicon Valley. On the other hand, technology can be used as a tool by political manipulators who are looking to take advantage of opportunistic situations.
It is essential for any industry to receive assistance from the surrounding economic environment; the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley is no exception to this rule. In addition to the requirement to amass a pool of talented individuals, the fundamental backing of the government is also essential to the development of the sector. To begin, the attitude of experimentation that is associated with finances is never to give up and to keep trying. This indicates that the cost is considerable, and as a result, the state government has been cutting taxes rather than increasing spending as a method of stimulating economic growth for the previous 10 years. In addition, the United States’ interest in exploring cutting-edge technology and technology during the height of the Cold War was a primary factor in Silicon Valley’s ability to thrive in the decades after World War II. A considerable amount of money is invested in higher education, and a big number of talented people move to San Francisco from adjacent universities such as Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, and other institutes of higher learning to eventually build a technological settlement (O’Mara, 2022).
Silicon Valley’s success can be attributed to the virtuous cycle of talent agglomeration that is formed by the region’s numerous technological settlements. In a different study that was carried out by the Harvard Business Review, it was observed that the valuations of startups that were established between the years of 2012 and 2015 increased at a rate that was between 2000 and 2000. 2013 saw the founding of twice as many new businesses as the previous year (Harvard Business Review, 2020). Since 2007, the practise of referring to new businesses as “unicorns” has been increasingly widespread, but a valuation of one billion dollars still Receiving the attention of the industry is recognised as an outstanding accomplishment. PitchBook, a company that provides financial data and analytics, claims that the combination of private and market investment is allowing more unicorns to emerge at a faster rate (Kapoor, 2022).
The one and only thing is that the culture of Silicon Valley is extremely varied; it is a culture that does not frown upon failure and understands the complexities of the industry through experimentation. If an employee at one of the many companies in Silicon Valley has an idea or suggestion that is mature and thought-out, he or she is allowed to push the door open and voice their opinion regardless of how high the leader in the company is. This is a practise that is popular in the area. When it comes to communicating with their superiors, employees at some organisations aren’t even required to open the door. At Gap, CIO Tom Keizer has eliminated fixed offices and high-walled cubicles for his IT department, turning instead to open space for brainstorming. Meanwhile, the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and other employees share a workstation (Gillette, 2015). (Techspo, n.d). As can be seen from the two instances given above, the culture of Silicon Valley honours and appreciates competition, but at the same time values cooperation. Additionally, “tolerating job-hopping” appears to be one of the distinguishing features of the workplace culture of Silicon Valley.
To conclude, a positive feedback cycle has been established in Silicon Valley because of the influence that technological advances have on the recruitment and retention of skilled workers. Famous schools in Silicon Valley are responsible for the development of a huge number of talented individuals, who then go on to pursue careers in business, academia, and research while also forming a network to support one another. An open culture that is tolerant of failure has been formed because of putting more of a focus on working together. Influenced and formed Silicon Valley Culture of Computers and the Internet Through the Promotion of Technological Freedom In this article, the prosperity of Silicon Valley is analyzed, along with the aspects that may appear to be coincidental but are not accidental and which, in the end, comprise a technological network that is impossible to duplicate. All the Silicon Valley characteristics, in the end, are beneficial to independents and startup unicorns.
Broockman, D., Ferenstein, G., & Malhotra, N. (2017). Wealthy Elites Policy Preferences and Economic Inequality: The Case of Teachnology Entrepreneurs. Silicon Valley bosses are globalists, not libertarians. The Economis. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2017/09/13/silicon-valley-bosses-are-globalists-not-libertarians.
Durbin, B. (2013). Unicorn. Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups. TechCrunch. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://techcrunch.com/2013/11/02/welcome-to-the-unicorn-club/.
ESTRUTH, J. A. (2019). A new utopia: A political history of the silicon valley, 1945 to 1995. Enterprise & Society, 20(4), 777-785. https://doi.org/10.1017/eso.2019.59
Ferenstein, G. (2022, March 9). A deeper look at Silicon Valley’s long-term politics. Brookings. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2017/10/04/a-deeper-look-at-silicon-valleys-long-term-politics/
Halpin, D., & Nownes, A. J. (2021). The new entrepreneurial advocacy: Silicon Valley Elites in American politics. Oxford University Press.
Harvard Business Review. (2020, December 17). How unicorns grow. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://hbr.org/2016/01/how-unicorns-grow
Kapoor, S. (2022, June 1). Explained: What is a unicorn, and what does it take to become one? The Indian Express. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/everyday-explainers/explained-what-is-a-unicorn-and-what-does-it-take-to-become-one-7944468/
Lee, A. (2013). Welcome to the unicorn club: Learning from billion-dollar startups. Cowboy Ventures (blog). https://techcrunch.com/2013/11/02/welcome-to-the-unicorn-club
O’Mara, M. (2022, January 13). The secret to building the next Silicon Valley. Wired. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://www.wired.com/story/silicon-valley-business-tech-geography-innovation/
Techspo. (n.d.). Silicon Valley culture. TECHSPO Silicon Valley Technology Expo |. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://techsposv.com/silicon-valley-culture/
Taleb, N. N. (2007). Black swans and the domains of statistics. The American Statistician, 61(3), 198-200. https://doi.org/10.1198/000313007X219996
The Economist. (2017, September 13). Silicon Valley bosses are globalists, not libertarians. The Economist. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2017/09/13/silicon-valley-bosses-are-globalists-not-libertarians