It is always important to understand history so that you can forecast better the future. Plus, it helps you to know why some things are the way they are. To understand why The Silicon Valley is the wonderland for the entrepreneurs is no different, we must learn a bit from its history. There are a few facts responsible for transforming the Bay Area, and that is what we are going to discuss.
The gold rush
We can start mentioning the 1800-century when mainly natives lived in the West Cost. The majority of the American population was on the East Coast, where the British first arrived. During the mid-1800's, that West area saw a boon of immigrants looking for gold. Before that, the west coast wasn't interesting for the country. The San Francisco society was born, with these miners and fortune seekers. Despite the fact that they were mostly men, they were from different nationalities. We can point this as the step for making it a diverse place. This diversity was also attached to a free spirit and an open mind of the immigrants, who left their homes for a risky adventure. This mindset is part of the SV's society until today.
After the gold rush, The San Francisco Area was established as one of the most important cities in California. The name, Silicon Valley, came later in 1970's. Due to its orchards and flowers it was first called the "Valley of Heart's Delight". At that point, the valley had also a geologic meaning for the Santa Clara Valley. The same valley that, in the future, starts providing silicon for the first tech companies in the area.
Around the 1900's, the first big push for new technology happened when the US Navy settled in the area and starts demanding for new technologies. This was the first significant investment in the technology field on the SV. The valley was a strategic place for developing technologies because it was full of silicon, the most important good for the tech manufacturers. Silicon is a semiconductor, which transformed the technology industry, and it is the major component of the chips. The military needs drove tech development in the first moment; then more companies started to develop new technologies for different purposes. More jobs were generated, a great incentive for more immigrants moving to the bay area. That's why the name of the valley changed to the Silicon Valley, of the chip at the beginning. And also keeping the geographic meaning.
Two meanings for Silicon Valley
This is a short story how the technology started to be the main good of the SV. What we also need to discuss is how the valley lost its geographic meaning and started to be the Silicon Valley of the tech companies. Both statuses are completely different, because the first Era was focused in one subject, army’s communications. While the second area is driven by innovation, changing the world in many ways. This change is the topic of the next post. I hope to see you there.