Silicon Valley is known for both unicorns and blackswans. What political, social and economic ideas shape the culture of Silicon Valley today?

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For decades, Silicon Valley has been a global center of innovation, home to many world-class technology giants, it has the largest number of unicorns in the world and attracts a large number of highly skilled techies. While the creation of Hewlett-Packard in 1939 signaled the birth of Silicon Valley, the garage myth was the origin of its culture of innovation, and its rise to prominence is also dependent on its singular culture. Mullins (1998) has argued in the New Scientist that “Silicon Valley is the birthplace of not just one or two of the world’s most successful companies but dozens of them. Hewlett-Packard, Netscape, Yahoo! the list goes on. It churns out thousands of smaller companies that are successful in their own right. From Hewlett-Packard, to Intel, to Apple, innovative people have not only helped to grow the culture of Silicon Valley but have also contributed to the creation of a culture of innovation in Silicon Valley. The fundamental concept behind the creation of a successful Silicon Valley is change. This article analyses the building of Silicon Valley culture in terms of knowledge, innovation, and entrepreneurship.


Innovation is the primary strategy of Silicon Valley in the US, and its success is neither software nor technology it is innovation, a constant spirit of innovation. Silicon Valley’s culture of innovation builds a bridge between the imagination and reality, with important lessons for accelerating economic and social development. Silicon Valley is an example of a combination of universities and innovative companies. Silicon Valley began by relying on universities and its development was inextricably linked to Stanford University. The education system therefore also promotes the connection with business, combining universities and laboratories, both of which have the advantages of technology, information, and talent. And also, the constant innovation of knowledge that is the wellspring of Silicon Valley’s economy. While there are many factors that contribute to the success of Silicon Valley’s high-tech industries, the key factor is the dense technology and knowledge that interacts with each other to create new high-tech products. “Close ties to decision makers in industry help university laboratories and research centers find licensing or technology development partners, fostering technology transfer and partners, fostering technology transfer and commercialization.”(Fuerlinger & Garzik, 2021) The universities in Silicon Valley have become a place of inspiration for innovation, and many of the universities encourage scientific and technological innovation. Similarly, Silicon Valley culture is also a regional culture, and the most fundamental approach to working in Silicon Valley is to be open and incorporate ideas from all over the world with openness. Silicon Valley management is flexible, creative, and unconstrained by traditional ideas. It is made dynamic by a multinational mix of cultures, making Silicon Valley more dynamic. It is this culture that has fuelled the rapid economic and social development of the Silicon Valley region, which is a master example of the integration of universities, innovative enterprises, and society. Saxenian (1996) compares the business culture of Silicon Valley with other regions and suggests that the pattern of communication in Silicon Valley is very different from elsewhere. It is more open, and you don’t have to worry about whether someone is walking around you. People not only tend to be active thinkers but also deliberately stimulate a variety of different ideas. Sparks of innovative ideas emerge in unintended places. In Silicon Valley, people have little concept of organizational rules, and it is through communication and constant innovation that success is achieved.

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Adventure and Entrepreneurship

In Silicon Valley, there is not only a spirit of innovation but also a spirit of risk-taking and entrepreneurship (Squazzoni, 2008). Entrepreneurship is a critical factor for all companies. Silicon Valley’s growth has been powered by innovation, which has not only broken old paradigms and rewarded far more than other business practices, but it has also been fueled by entrepreneurship. Fairlie (2013) presents and uses data analysis to produce an alternative measure of entrepreneurship to increase our confidence in these models. Silicon Valley has a distinctive culture and connotation, where leaders and employees are casual, and you can meet successful entrepreneurs in anywhere. And this relaxed atmosphere helps to better inspire people and motivate those who have innovative ideas but are afraid of failure; they encourage entrepreneurship, embrace failure, and are willing to take risks. Because of the huge costs and time involved in innovating new products, venture capitalists in Silicon Valley are dealing with risk every minute of every day. Despite having one of the world’s leading economies, Silicon Valley’s economy also has a failing side. “Silicon Valley had a lower rate of hi-tech entrepreneurship in the late 1990s than the rest of the United States. in the early 2000s, entrepreneurship rates increase in Silicon Valley as the economy contracted.” (Fairlie& Chatterji, 2013) In other places working in technology, it can be frustrating to lose or fail halfway through a job. But the truth is, Silicon Valley is unique in that failure here can be an aspect of the growth process. In Silicon Valley culture, failure is not a disgrace, but the beginning of future success. Silicon Valley not only proves that the desire for individual freedom to create is a central driver of economic development but that experimentation and failure are necessary costs of creativity. And Silicon Valley’s successful entrepreneurial entrepreneurship is a good inspiration for everyone else.

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Culture and  Atmosphere

Although there are numerous science campuses around the world, culture is the driving force behind the Silicon Valley economy and so far none of them have really been comparable to Silicon Valley. There are some basic elements that must be in place for a science park to be successful, such as the support of universities and research institutions and a high concentration of highly qualified scientific and technological personnel, but these are not enough to create another Silicon Valley altogether. Silicon Valley has a superior technological and human environment, in Regional advantage: culture and competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 (Saxenian, 1996), the author convincingly demonstrates that the fundamental reason for this difference is that the institutional environment and cultural context in which they exist are completely different. She also demonstrates that the fundamental reason why there is no way to replicate Silicon Valley is because of the completely new institutional and cultural context in which it was created. In her article Regional advantage: culture and competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 (Saxenian, 1996), she writes that people, including those in Silicon Valley, are often unaware of the unusual combination of cooperation and competition that, together with other factors, has brought them success. The institutional environment in which they operate has brought them success. In fact, it is Silicon Valley’s regional advantage that has been an important factor in the rapid growth of Silicon Valley businesses. Here, entrepreneurship is a way of life. The success of the high-tech entrepreneurial activity is not only related to the capabilities of the entrepreneurs but also, to some extent, directly related to the cultural climate, which becomes very important in terms of whether it is suitable for innovation or whether it promotes it.

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Silicon Valley’s success as a technology campus is due to the constant innovation, the spirit of risk-taking, and the cultural background that has been built up. The culture of Silicon Valley has developed over a long period of time, in tandem with a high-tech industry that requires constant innovation, a culture that is equally inseparable from the accumulation of the most basic knowledge and culture. Behind the successful Silicon Valley, we find a culture that is unique to Silicon Valley. One could say that it is innovative, open, collaborative, and changing.


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Meisenzahl, M. (2020, Apr 2). Starting in a garage is crucial to the origin story of

    many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Here are the modest beginnings of 5 tech companies worth billions today. Insider.

Mullins, J. (1998, Nov 7). That Something Special. New Scientist.

Saxenian, A. (1996). Regional advantage: culture and competition in Silicon Valley

      and Route 128. Harvard University Press.

Squazzoni, F.(2008). Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Silicon Valley: A Case Study on The Joint Venture:

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