Can Emerging Nations Create Their Own Silicon Valleys?
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Silicon Valley has dominated the fields of technology and tech investment for the past two decades, operating virtually unchallenged during the zenith of its power. But the investment landscape is changing, bringing shifts in a number of factors that are edging out the major player in the technology investing game — and disrupting its domination of the playing field during the next one or two decades.
According to Alec Ross, other nations around the world should give up trying to create their own versions of Silicon Valley. In his view, “It’s too late. Silicon Valley has a decades-long head start creating the perfect environment for creating Internet businesses.” Instead, he believes, emerging nations should stick to their own areas of “domain expertise” — which he defines as “deep knowledge about a single industry.” They should embrace these domains, rather than the Internet kind, leveraging “big data” to innovate in these areas.
Even as he refers to “rising hotbeds of innovation around the world,” he relegates those hotbeds to working within their own limited domains, effectively stifling their freedom of choice in selecting the areas where they themselves would opt to innovate. At the same time, Ross sings the praises of “Silicon Valley‘s influence,” which, he says, “lingers and continues to draw start-ups in almost every industry.” Sounds a lot like elitism dressed in the garb of “equal opportunity.”