Silicon Valley is a pet name for the San Francisco Bay Area’s South Bay portion in Northern California, United States. The Valley is stretched about in the same area as Santa Clara valley along with the surrounded areas like San Jose and other towns where most of industries are located. The Valley is actually a home for world’s largest technology conglomerates along with many the small startups. Actually the Bay was nicknamed for its being the highest silicon chip innovators and manufactures. But now the Silicon Valley is used to refer to the high-tech corporate of the areas and in fact now it’s like synonym for highest technology sector of America.
Though the whole United States is full of high-tech economic centers but still Silicon Valley is yet the leading hub for high-tech innovated developments. It brings home about one-third of total venture capital investment of United States. Silicon Valley geographically covers the southern Peninsula, Santa Clara valley along with the southern East Bay.
Valley of Heart’s Delight
Before 20th century the Bay’s area was a rustic region lead by agriculture and was known as the “Valley of Heart’s Delight”. The name of the valley was obliged to the fruits and veggies grown in its orchards. But later with the materialization of the computer and electronic industry for the advancement of digital economy and Internet in the part, the valley was referred to the Silicon Valley keeping in the state of mind region’s economic development and wealth of American people. Many countries have tried so far to create the Silicon Valley but have failed to re-create the elements and essence of original one.
Terman and Stanford Industrial Park
Frederick E Terman the man behind the Silicon Valley’s success and fame. An electrical engineer and administrator when join the faculty at Stanford he realized that the department of electrical engineering at Stanford is lacking. But at MIT from where he did his PhD he saw that how the faculty there was pursuing research as well as was in connect with the industries through consulting and placement of students in different conglomerates and he follow the same vision there and made the Stanford as the center for the Radio and communications research and also encouraged his students William Hewlett and David Packard (owners of Hewlett-Packard Company) and Eugene Litton (owner of Litton Industries. Inc) to establish their small start-up enterprises with the mission to incorporate the university with the business in the region.
And with his continuous efforts finally by 1949 the Stanford became recipient of government contracts among the top three industries and surpassed the other departments of electronics and finally a Stanford Industrial park was established in the year 1951. And this brought up revolution in America as this helped in granting the leases on the university land for high-tech firms for long time. And soon companies like Varian Associates, Inc. (now Varian Medical Systems, Inc.), General Electric Company, Lockheed Corporation (now Lockheed Martin Corporation), Eastman Kodak Company, Admiral Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company, and others changed Stanford Research Park into United States prior largest technology developing region.
Transformation of Transistor of Silicon to its Valley
In 1953, William Shockley left the Bell Labs due to divergence over an issue of transistor’s invention with his colleagues. As unlike his colleagues who were his fellow researchers too used germanium as the best semiconductor material but Shockley had different belief, he believed that silicon was better as a semiconductor as compared to germanium and finally he built a Shockley diode which replaced simple transistor. And later in 1957 when the research upon silicon transistor ended the people from the Shockley’s company had left because of his offensive management style and formed Fairchild Semiconductor which was referred as “traitorous eight” by Shockley as it was started by eight of his team members.
Later, on many law and venture capital firms were established in the valley to manage capital transaction legally between the firms. Although the valley still has semiconductors as its major component for its economy. But nowadays the valley has been extensively influenced with the rise of software for computer operating systems and user interfaces.
The Other side of the Silicon Valley
Being the world’s leading high-tech industry hub Silicon Valley has its totally different side into scene nowadays Bill Moyers did a segment on Silicon Valley called “Homeless in High Tech’s shadow” gave a very different perspective of the valley and people there. Moyer in his segment mentioned a former National Semiconductor employee who has not even a roof over her head at the age of 54 just because company’s stiff hiring policies.
The Associated press conducted last year reported in an article about Silicon Valley’s economic downfall.
“Food stamp participation just hit a 10-year high, homelessness rose 20 percent in two years, and the average income for Hispanics, who make up one in four Silicon Valley residents, fell to a new low of about $19,000 a year— capping a steady 14 percent drop over the past five years”
Moyers in his segment argued that wealth discrepancy in the valley is just because of the off shoring policies of the high-tech industries. These issues are very much intricate to be handled and loss of middle class type mechanized jobs had a bad impact on the economy in the States. But rather it is very interesting to see how hard role is played by the Silicon Valley, even though with sunny face of the general economy here.