Technology and innovation are different things. Such difference is one way to differentiate the meaning of The Silicon Valley of the 70’s and the one from today. Today in the Bay Area, we see many startups trying different ways to solve classic problems. We will discuss the pivot of its meaning, which started with a new school mindset.
Education changes a society
Stanford University was created to be a university with a different mindset than the Ivy League, the 8 most classic universities in the USA. The Stanford family founded the University in memory to its only child, who died young. They aimed to create a school different from the ones on the East coast, trying to dissolve barriers between people, keeping the adventurous mindset of people from the area.
Thanks to this new way of thinking, Stanford was the main player in the creation of the Silicon Valley of the chips to the Silicon Valley, as we know it today. Frederick Terman, President of Stanford, who is also known as the “father of the Silicon Valley” (of the tech companies) improved this new mentality. One of his beliefs of doing different was encouraging students to commercialise their ideas, skipping the academy. Some Stanford students’ founded some of the most famous tech companies in the world, such as HP.
The final formula
On the last post I described how technology started to be the main focus on the area. The manufacturing advantages plus US Navy investments were game changers. Adding this tech vocation to the new mentality implemented by Stanford, you start understanding how the valley became what it is: an open minded, diverse and respectful place. This mindset is present in the whole Bay Area, startups are born all over the place, not just in the Valley. This ecosystem was perfect for companies. Consequently, more people were immigrating to the Bay Area, because the USA could not fulfill SV’s needs for talent. All these people kept the same spirit and mindset of the first miners.
The diversity was growing over the years, as the respect between people. I live that myself, I never saw such nice people. Plus, we can also mention some examples of disruptive social changes that were lead by the deference between people. The Gay and the Hippies movements have SF as its birthplace, both supporting respect and the difference between people.
Respect + Diversity = Success
Respecting differences is one key factor that makes the SV special. The other is having a considerable number of immigrants, which also improved diversity. Diversity plus respect is the algorithm that pushes entrepreneurs to develop better products and services. Also, it makes the users more aggressive, willing to try the new, seeking for innovation. This combination makes the ecosystem the most successful in the planet, as we all know.