GSI Blog

A journey to the technological acceleration of Silicon Valley

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Silicon Valley is known as the world of technology and innovation. We may not remember well but the world existed before the internet. But how about Silicon Valley? Is it an exaggeration to say that from this Valley emerged companies that revolutionized the way we live today?

 

Today in Silicon Valley, there are highly qualified scientists and engineers, large investors and elite universities. Although hard to imagine, until the 1950s, the Santa Clara area was predominantly an agricultural zone, full of fruit trees. San Jose, where the famous Bay Area is located, was the capital of canned fruit and Stanford University (now one of the top universities in the world and the starting point for what SV would become) was just another higher education school.

The term Silicon Valley appeared in 1971 by Don Hoefler, an American journalist, and stands for determination, intelligence, and passion for technology. And this name could not be more in agreement to what was going to happen when by the hand of two colleagues from Stanford University, HP was born and with it, emerged also what we know today as Silicon Valley. Hewlett-Packard became one of the great pillars of technological progress in the area and, for a long time, was the reference company where all engineers would like to work.

Since the beginning, this "Valley of Dreams" was the birthplace of big companies and HP was not the only name born and raised in the Valley. In 1959, it was invented what would change the life of the entire world population and Silicon Valley’s electronics industry: the first integrated circuit capable of being produced commercially, a complete electronic circuit inside a silicon chip. With this invention, the revolution of the personal computer began, and Intel is born.

In the mid-1990s, with Apple, Microsoft, and IBM already in the race, the technology industry grew at a very fast pace and Silicon Valley was the stage for all the news and events.

In the middle of 1994, with the launch of the Internet to the general public, a several of new companies appeared - predominant in the current market - such as Cisco, Yahoo!, Amazon and eBay. And, again, through two colleagues from Stanford University, comes what came to redefine the way we use the Internet today - Google.

As the Internet grew with the help of large investments, Silicon Valley was the place where everyone with new ideas wanted to be. At this point, the Bay Area was where all the action took place.

The beginning of the 21st century confirmed the true power of the Internet, and over the past 19 years, industries have been reinvented and new ones emerged. Industries that would change our lives forever.

With the rise of social networks, Apple's revolutionary inventions and the positioning of Android, we have seen a fierce evolution of smartphones, tablets and personal computers.

So far, the 21st century has confirmed what a place with huge potential, innovative and technological spirit and highly qualified as Silicon Valley can achieve.

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There is no doubt that the Valley led the technological progress of the 20th century and shows ambition to continue to do so. The report of the most recent study by CB Insights, which focuses on the locations of the world where the largest technological activities take place, highlights the dominance of Silicon Valley which, since 2012, has seen more than 12,000 businesses made by 7,000 companies. This hub has done more business in the technology field than all the metropolises outside the United States combined.

It's impossible to predict what the future holds, we can only look at what we have and know so far and try to understand in what direction things will evolve. Still, we know that inevitably new industries will emerge. At this point, it is possible to understand that the future involves Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, autonomous cars and quantum computers; and these are just some of the topics that show the ability to face the future and win. On the other hand, we also have technologies such as Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, that should continue to evolve and that also show great potential.

Despite the corporate level, where Silicon Valley's impact is most easily felt is at the personal and individual level, as said by the testimonies of participants in previous editions of the Global Strategic Innovation Executive Immersion Program, managed by LBC.

For all this, we can consider Silicon Valley as a "state of mind" of permanent challenge where aspiration and dream are the engines for generating ideas, where the acceptance of risk and trial and error are a way to grow and develop companies and, above all, where the construction of networks of trust and sharing of knowledge and experiences are the true reward of this technological journey.

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