Shortly after the first power blackout hit Silicon Valley early this year, I camped out on Interstate 80 and waited for the exodus to begin.
I figured it was just a matter of time before a caravan of moving vans began roaring past, taking the desks and ping-pong tables of the Valley's elite technology companies to states better able to provide adequate electricity for their businesses.
Already the radio airwaves were filled with commercials from distant locales attempting to lure the Valley's employers to their borders. Michigan was the first to run an ad touting it's ample supply of power, and before long billboards began springing up along Valley highways, paid for by states that smelled blood. Even one of the prairie states -- I think it was East Dakota -- got into the act.
Days after pitching my tent along the Interstate, however, I could detect no parade of frustrated companies heading eastward. And now, months later, it is apparent that once again Silicon Valley had confounded its rivals and weathered yet another crisis.
I guess by now we all should have learned from history. Through economic slumps, technology shifts, energy crises, traffic jams and outrageous housing costs, Silicon Valley has remained the undisputed center of high tech.
Places like Austin, Portland, and Research Triangle Park will certainly get their fair share of the action, but the Valley isn't going to play second fiddle to any of those upstarts in the foreseeable future. It would be like Indianapolis trying to replace Broadway as the theater capital.
Other cities may have cheaper land and lots of electricity, but Silicon Valley has the greatest collection of intellectual capital in the world. Companies will stay here because this is where the brainpower is. And the brainpower will stay here because this is where the action is. In the final analysis, brainpower is the most valuable kind of power there is.
Besides, we have the best weather outside of Hawaii, and what can you do for fun on a Saturday night in Salt Lake City?
Robert Ristelhueber is managing editor of EBN Online. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org