SV Nation Blog Silicon Valley is dead
I'm sure you feel the same way as David Sacks, CEO of Yammer
: Silicon Valley is dead
. It's the end of history. All new ideas are actually old
and un-monetizable. This is the point in the movie where the
grizzled old trainer totters up to the edge of the ring and throws
in the towel as his boxer lies bloodied on the canvas. The crowd
shuffles off into the darkness.
If you missed it, Sacks made the commentary in a Facebook posting picked up by TechCrunch's Alexia
. But her take on it and those of many
commenters tells you that Sacks is, to say the least, off base.
No less than Marc Andreesen chimed in that creativity is boundless.
Amen, Brother Mark.
Sacks raises an interesting point, for sure. But my gripe is that
Silicon Valley is a Silicon Valley of pizza-munching software
coders fueling an industry whose startups are now deeply challenged
(see Groupon, Facebook, Zynga). The other Silicon Valley--the
electronics Silicon Valley and its spiritual cousins around the
globe--is humming along
, thank you very much. One has grown up; the
other is growing up.
What the Internet/software Silicon Valley is going through today is
what the electronics Silicon Valley went through 10-15 years ago: A
restructuring. You remember those days... days in which an
engineering group inside an established company couldn't get
corporate backing for a new idea so they went out on their own, got
startup funding, built the widget and then, often, got acquired by
their former company and made bank.
Investors cooled on that though because the time-to-bank was long,
the capital need was great (based on the structure and expectations
of the time). What's more, all that electronics innovation and
Moore's Law had created an infrastructure for independent software
ideas to thrive, and that struck the fancy of investors interested in greater and faster return on investment.
Today, more than a decade later, hardware startups
are bubbling up across the country. They're low-overhead companies,
often self-funded, and almost always low-key. They've figured out, through clever use of
software tools and supply-chain relationships to nudge their
innovations to market in a way that makes economic sense for a mature
market. These are companies like Shockwave Impact
, Treehouse Labs
The software industry--at least the industry defined by Yammer,
Groupon, Facebook and Zynga--is growing up. Sometime in the ensuing
years it'll find a balance between the high-overhead Silicon Valley
that Sacks sees dying and the low-overhead, innovation belching of
the apps writers.
Make sense? Completely nuts? Or do you believe Silicon Valley in the
broadest sense is dead?Related stories:--Top Silicon Valley startups but no silicon--Top 5 doomed IC companies--You want how much??