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4 main ingredients for innovation in Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is home to the world’s biggest innovation and tech giants. A true melting pot of innovation and creativity, the nerve centre of new technologies. Silicon Valley too, is a source of inspiration for many business people around the world who dream of discovering the secrets of this success.
Silicon Valley can be defined as the global epicentre of innovation
5 years ago, I interviewed Guillaume Villon de Benveniste, a Franco American tech expert and friend, about what Silicon Valley really was about and why it is so fascinating to so many people and businesses. As I was doing some housekeeping on our site I came across that piece which I had never had a chance to translate.
I wonder if things have changed since then. And they probably have. I even wonder to an extent whether Silicon Valley isn’t more about money than it is about innovation. Yet, Guillaume’s depiction of the valley’s 4 ingredients for innovation still stands true in my opinion.
As I described in a previous post about the subject, there is not one single reason why Silicon Valley is different from what is seen elsewhere. It is often copied and rarely matched, even in the United States. This region is really a maelstrom of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Silicon Valley isn’t always what it says it is
At the same time, Silicon Valley isn’t always what it says it is. A lot of what is done there and sounds like the true spirit of start-ups is in fact standard big white-collar business for you. Similar to what we’ve known in the 1980s in the IT industry. To an extent I even think that the 1980s IT industry was way cooler than all these high-strung start-ups which aren’t start-ups but humongous corporations after all.
Google today has as many employees as Unisys had in the 1980s. Unisys was number 2 in the IT world back in those days and look at what it is now. So things may change and they inevitably will and time will tell in what direction.
Yet, looking at how Silicon Valley is dealing with remote work sounds very much like traditional office building investment to me.
So, after all, is Silicon Valley so… innovative? It’s up for you to decide. Here’s Guillaume’s interview from 2016 with just a few minor changes, so that you can make an opinion for yourself.
In the nineteenth century, Paris was like Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley can be defined as the global epicentre of innovation. What’s interesting is that 120 years ago, Paris was the world’s Silicon Valley, the very place where this interview was recorded. At the time, people imagined that from the Avenue de l’Opéra, which was very broad, airplanes would be able to take off!
Let’s talk about entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley? What are the businesses that have inspired you?
There are many of them, but I was very much inspired by Apple, as this company has achieved an unparalleled performance in innovation over the last decade. I was also inspired by the way they innovate in Silicon Valley. Europe could learn many lessons from that. My aim is to explain what people do in Silicon Valley, and how they achieve innovation and where we, in Europe, are struggling a bit.
What is Silicon Valley’s secret sauce?
There are four main secrets for success in innovation in Silicon Valley.
Silicon Valley’s number one secret, which we Europeans should be focussing on, is that everyone in Silicon Valley is convinced that innovation is the ma...