The Obsession With Silicon Everywhere
There are many commentators who argue that there is a bubble in Silicon Valley today. They may or may not be right, but there is certainly a bubble in places named after the preeminent global tech ecosystem.
Silicon Border. Silicon Hills. Silicon Steppe. Silicon Prairie. Silicon Roundabout. Silicon Gulf. Silicon Avenue. Silicon Canal. Silicon Alley. Silicon Beach. Silicon Forest. Philadelphia has a groaner of a region with Philicon Valley (whoever invented this should be banished from marketing for five years or forced to market Path). That leaves Korea as one of the only places in the world to emphasize geography over metals with its Honghap Valley district.
Silicon may be one of the most abundant materials on the earth, but the absolute obsession with naming any tech office park after Silicon Valley is a trend that needs to stop.
Innovation ecosystems don’t just pop out of the ground once a sign blasting “SILICON!” is staked. Instead, they are inculcated over many years through effective government policy around education and business regulation, plus are usually offshoots from other globally-competitive industries. It is no surprise that some of the most successful new high-tech regions of the past decade are in Los Angeles, New York, and London.
Pursuing disruptive technology companies as a policy is deeply distracting, and governments will find that their time and money would be better spent investing in the quality of life of their residents.