Joint Venture Silicon Valley is incredibly thorough in putting together its annual index on Silicon Valley.
Perhaps too thorough.
Reviewing the 100-page document might be best described as a trudge.
To save you the time of plodding through the pages, here are the CliffsNotes.
Where Invention Happens
The combined patents generated in Silicon Valley and San Francisco make up 15 percent of all the patents in the U.S.Keep in mind that the “All” includes patents such as that ingenious idea from Aunt Mildred for a better holder for storing steak knives.
If we were to zero in on only tech-related patents, I’m sure the Silicon Valley figure would be well over 50 percent.
The Foreign Connection
In spite of data like this chart showing that 10K+ foreign talents land in Silicon Valley each year, many people don’t recognize it as a critical success factor behind Silicon Valley.In fact, well over one-third of the Silicon Valley population is foreign born.It would be a revealing exercise to examine the percentage of Silicon Valley patents dependent on foreign talent. If you were to subtract the foreign talent, I’m guessing more than half of the patents out of Silicon Valley disappear.
Beyond innovation, it makes for a diverse and eclectic mix of restaurants. We’re huge fans of the De Afghanan in Fremont.
Money at the Root of All Invention
You can see the venture capital that showers Silicon Valley and San Francisco constitutes 42 percent of the total amount of U.S. venture capital.This is one of the factors that shapes Silicon Valley into a self-virtuous circle.
VCs like – in some cases insist – that they can hop in the car and drop in on their investments with low-fat latte in hand. If you’re going to stumble across a genius idea, it’s considerably easier to get funding if you stumble across the idea in Silicon Valley.
One disturbing trend in venture capital jumps off the following chart:The appetite for investing in the semiconductor sector is similar to franchising a business around cupcakes with and without icing.
Match Maker, Match Maker, Make Me a Match.
Fiddler on the Roof took alliteration to a new level.
Matches in Silicon Valley continue at fever pitch.Taking into account both Silicon Valley and San Francisco, over 1,000 transactions took place last year.
From a communications perspective, this explains the difficulty in gaining mindshare from journalists when it comes to an acquisition. They all start to look alike.
The Not-so-pretty Part of Silicon Valley
I wrote last month that society issues are increasingly intersecting with Silicon Valley business in a way that will directly impact those responsible for communications. Issues, such as the divide between the “haves” and the “have nots” and diversity, aren’t going away.
The data on average wages cut by gender does not paint an equitable picture.
Location, Location and Location
Locating in Silicon Valley during an up economy comes with a cost.
With available commercial real estate in decline for five years, the supply-and-demand economics drives up the price.
Ain’t Got Time to Take No Fast Train
The good people of Silicon Valley don’t care for trains (regardless of speed), buses or any form of public transportation.
Riders per capita eked out a 2.4 percent increase last year, and I would contend that even this number is deceptive. If you could break out the riders per capita from white collar workers, the number would plummet.The following chart isn’t exactly intuitive, but if you take the time to follow the arrows, you find a commuting pattern that can only be described as discombobulated.Roughly 200,000 folks leave Silicon Valley for a desk in San Francisco. Another 100,000 or so depart San Francisco and fight their way to Silicon Valley.
The data seems to cry for transportation.
If you’re interested in taking your own slog through the Silicon Valley Index, you can find it here.