Silicon Valley is the most amazing place on earth for entrepreneurs, investors, risk takers and people with big dreams as it opens doors to the opportunities like no other place on this planet.
Silicon Valley as the name suggests is a region in the Northern California centered in the famous Santa Clara Valley. It is called Silicon Valley because most of the companies in this area manufactured silicon chips in the past.
Today, Silicon Valley is not just home to the chip manufacturing companies but also to some of the world’s top software and internet companies.
Major cities of the Silicon Valley are San Jose, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Mountain View and Sunnyvale. San Jose is the largest city Valley and 3rd largest in California.
It is important to note that San Jose Metropolitan area has the third highest GDP per capita in the world according to the Brookings Institution ranking in 2015, only behind Zurich in Switzerland and Oslo in Norway.
Silicon Valley is also home to the 39 companies that are on Fortune 1000 list and it also accounts for one-third of all of the venture capital investment in the United States.
Silicon Valley offers a great environment for startups to become giant corporations of tomorrow. Some of the examples are Google, facebook and netflix that have become global giants.
Roots of Silicon Valley
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The first published use of Silicon Valley is credited to Don Hoefler who used the phrase as the title of a series of articles in the weekly trade newspaper Electronic News.
The series, titled “Silicon Valley in the USA”, began in the paper’s January 11, 1971, issue
HP (Hewlett Packard) has most of the credit in its kitty being the pioneers of Silicon Valley as they started HP way back in 1938 with the aid from their professor Frederick Terman.
Fredrick Terman played a major role in the development of Valley in its early days by setting up Stanford Industrial Park which leased land and helped with research for the first organizations in the park which was driven by the internet.
Silicon Valley is also famous for Venture Capital
The entire world has learnt about the term ‘venture capital’ through Silicon Valley. We can say that the culture of Venture Capital Investment began in the Silicon Valley way back in the year 1970 with Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital, the two most active venture capital firms in the world.
By 1980 there was plenty of venture capital investment available in the valley after the successful IPO of the Apple Computer.
The Rise of Internet and Software Companies
By 1995 commercial use of internet began to grow substantially and startups like Amazon and ebay began operations and made it possible for the users to purchase products online.
Although, Silicon valley has traditionally been known for its high concentration of chip manufacturing companies but it also gave birth to some of the world’s most popular software companies such as Adobe Systems, Apple Computer, PayPal and Oracle.
Silicon accounts for 225,300 high-tech jobs in the United States and has the highest concentration of high-tech workers of any metropolitan area.
The total profit from the region is estimated at a whopping $250 billion.
Silicon Valley also has the highest average high-tech salary in the United States at $144,800. In 2011, 41% of all venture capital in the US went to the region while it was 46% in 2012.
Because of the high technology sector and the kind of the wealth that has been created over the years, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area has the most millionaires and the most billionaires in the United States per capita.
The population of the region at between 3.5 and 4 million. As of 1999, studies show that a third of engineers were immigrants.
Around one quarter of high technology firms have been run by individuals from China and India.
Interesting Facts about Silicon Valley
- Stanford University is the most popular university in the United States and is also known as the backbone University of the Valley due to its contribution to the development of the Valley in terms of providing highly skilled engineers, entrepreneurs and aid for research & development.
- Silicon Valley was also known as the death valley few years back because of the technology replacing humans at work.
- Silicon Valley is also home to the 10 most inventive towns in America according to the Wall Street Journal Story of 2006.
- San Jose the largest city in the Valley has over 3,867 utility patents filed in 2005 being number one in the category while Sunnyvale at number with 1,881 utility patents.
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