Silicon Valley is not only the birthplace of the information technology revolution but is still the world’s leading information economy development model. The region’s IT-based entrepreneurship and innovation record has been lauded and imitated for decades. By the turn of the century, the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem had spread throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, creating new wealth that was continually recycled into innovative new ventures. The region continues to attract world-class talent and incubate successful startups, such as Apple and Google, becoming corporate giants (Chen, 2019). At the same time, new tech startup hubs have emerged in the U.S. and elsewhere, At the same time, new centres of technology entrepreneurship are emerging in the United States and neighbouring countries around the world, from Finland and Israel to China and India. These economies pose a significant challenge to Silicon Valley’s leadership position (Castells & Himanen, 2014). However, the threat to Silicon Valley is less about foreign competition than about decades of neglect of the collective social and human development that has underpinned its economic success. As the region has failed to invest in local infrastructure, cut funding for public education and other government services, and raise the cost of living, society has become increasingly unequal. This essay will analyze the three pieces of political, social and economic thought.
In the early stages of the Internet era, Internet companies flourished in Silicon Valley, evading the law, growing fast, and breaking the rules. This technological liberalism was based on the belief that it represented borderless cyberspace separate from the physical realm and, therefore, not bound by the same rules (Solo & Siddiqui, 2017). Silicon Valley is a Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest model, where less than 1% of these venture-backed companies emerge from the pack. Successful companies often experience many bumps along the way. Government policy culture is much less speculative, driven mainly by the need for reliability. Opportunities currently depend on many government services, the military depends on their function, and the economy depends on their reliability. Redundancy is important. Taxpayers are not investors but demand more certainty (Sebastian, 2018). Silicon Valley believes that government services themselves can operate like competitive innovation organizations. The state also has a role to play in encouraging individual decisions that help maximize contributions to society. Belief in free markets and competition has nothing to do with libertarian individualism. Silicon Valley has found a way to be both radically free markets and radical collectivist. This need for certainty does drive the massive wasteful bureaucracy that often occurs in government. While this waste and expenditure must be reduced, it is essential to distinguish between good and bad governments (Sebastian, 2018). One of Silicon Valley’s most egregious cases of bureaucratic captivity came from the Obama administration’s consideration of open source and cloud technology that the White House executed without regard for security or feasibility. As a result, waste and abuse are incorporated into the initiative. One institution misused over $20 million on a bankrupt cloud vendor (Sebastian, 2018). The government’s insistence on going the open-source route also caused many problems with the notorious $2.7 billion Healthcare.gov website, which crashed. Those shortcomings are far from ideal, given that the government’s cloud software stores Americans’ personal information and is critical to federal counterterrorism efforts. The government has also begun contracting Silicon Valley companies to carry out NASA missions in recent years, but this drastic operational change has never been thoroughly considered. While lowering NASA’s costs and streamlining its services are goals Washington should strive to achieve, the opposite often happens as the government’s blueprint relies on immature upstarts who still need time to learn and grow (Sebastian, 2018).
Numerous social concepts have shaped Silicon Valley culture, and technological innovation is the most important. From the 1930s to the 2010s, these eight decades in Silicon Valley have seen a cycle of companies and corporate cultures with various management styles corresponding to many industries, from semiconductors to software. Some companies succeeded through the freedom of their employees to experiment, innovate and solve problems. However, for every successful company, there are many examples of failure (Computer History Museum, 2022). The state of mind of Silicon Valley describes the innovative, idealistic spirit that connects the region’s past, present, and future. The phrase became a spirit that became a source of pride for the region while bringing new energy to emerging technology hotspots worldwide, seeking to emulate the success of Silicon Valley. However, with Silicon Valley and the entire Bay Area finding itself a symbol of good and bad technology while facing social problems due to the region’s tech boom, some have questioned whether its mentality should be followed (Computer History Museum, 2008). 2022). The region’s potential for great advantage stems fundamentally from its culture’s openness to new ideas, its willingness to take risks and learn from mistakes, its willingness to share information and expertise, its highly skilled workforce connected by networks, and the large amounts of money available to fund promising innovations. Silicon Valley is also becoming a leading centre for a variety of technologies, not just high tech, and it is expanding its expertise and networks to expand further opportunities for collaboration and teamwork with the best people in the world, from biotechnology to financial technology (Computer History Museum, 2022).
Silicon Valley also encourages entrepreneurs to invest in venture capital. The venture capital industry and Silicon Valley are closely linked and interdependent, and the former greatly facilitates the gradual gathering of their innovative conglomerates by technology centers. The advent of venture capital firms was the catalyst that turned Silicon Valley into what it is today. At the same time, VC firms have no value by themselves. Instead, their value comes from specific interactions within a network of forward-thinking entrepreneurs, universities and high-growth companies (Ferenstein, 2015). There is much money flowing into Silicon Valley companies, and a lot of it gets lost, and a lot of it gets allocated inefficiently. The venture capital market appears to have relatively few winners and losers. However, Silicon Valley’s venture capital market is undoubtedly one of the reasons there is so much innovation. For example, on August 20, 2020, Uber and Lyft drivers held a statewide day of action in Los Angeles, California, USA, and taxis lined up next to the Uber pickup area. They often have regulators in their pockets. They have existing brands. They have existing client relationships. In a sense, if the challenger is subsidized by VC funding, that levels the playing field. It does not distort it. Of course, some entrepreneurs do not want to do that kind of growth at scale. This is entirely within their rights. They can reject venture capital (Ferenstein, 2015).
In conclusion, No matter how powerful Silicon Valley becomes, the big piece of innovation is becoming a distinct ideological category in American politics. It is not just a question of technological progress but how to reshape all of America’s institutions in the image of Silicon Valley to deliver a range of benefits from policy, society and the economy.
Castells, M., & Himanen, P. (2014). The Silicon Valley Model: Economic Dynamism, Social Exclusion. In Reconceptualizing development in the global information age (pp. 28–51). essay, Oxford University Press.
Chen, A. (2019, December 30). How Silicon Valley broke the economy. The Nation. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/silicon-valley-history-book-review/
Computer History Museum. (2022). Silicon Valley: Building on a culture of looking forward. CHM. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from https://computerhistory.org/stories/silicon-valley/
Ferenstein, G. (2015, November 10). Silicon Valley’s new politics of optimism, radical idealism and bizarre loyalties. The Guardian. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/10/silicon-valley-politics-tech-industry
Sebastian, S. (2018, February 22). The culture clash of government and Silicon Valley. Morning Consult. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from https://morningconsult.com/opinions/the-culture-clash-of-government-and-silicon-valley/
Solon, O., & Siddiqui , S. (2017, September 3). Forget wall street – Silicon Valley is the new political power in Washington. The Guardian. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/03/silicon-valley-politics-lobbying- washington