The Spirit of Silicon Valley is the Future
I read an interesting column in the Wall Street Journal this weekend, “Reviving the Flagging Spirit of Silicon Valley,” by Michael S. Malone, who writes for the publication.
He made some compelling points about the distribution and granting of stock options and how regulatory requirements may be taking an onerous toll on how people approach their jobs. While an interesting and important topic, I’d like to share some thoughts on what I’m seeing in terms of ideas and energy in The Valley.
I started my career in PR working for Pam Alexander at Alexander Communications back in the mid 90s, and wow was it an exhilarating time and place. Working with established yet still innovative companies and some amazing start-ups alike, sometimes my head would spin with excitement and I thought I’d never be able to keep up with the changes. For the last few years I’ve been working with technology companies based in India; this past year at a great place,Persistent Systems, where this year we’ll be celebrating our 25 anniversary. This company itself is in its own way a success story of Silicon Valley, the founder,Anand Desphande cut his teeth at HP in Palo Alto back in the 70s. We work with established leaders as well as many start-ups in The Valley.
Because of what I do, I get to meet with many of our customers regularly,and help them tell their stories, and it’s as energetic and hopeful as it’s ever been. At both an executive level and at a development level – I try and understand this stuff even though I’m not a technologist – there is an excitement about potential and about the future that is as spirited as I can remember back to my days at ACI. What’s driving a lot of this is Digital Transformation and an embrace of agile development, which by its very definition is fast and exciting.
I talk with some of our large enterprise customers who are greatly accelerating the time to market for their products and solutions, and I see what some of our start-up customers, like VisitOps, are doing in building new applications on established platforms such as Salesforce, extending its capabilities to fundamentally change how established industries or professions operate today.
I think sometimes people can be too immersed in an environment and can’t see how dynamic it is. We certainly have regulatory and structural issues to address… and we’re seeing some of the same over-hype that we always see through the cycles in Silicon Valley, but I see in this amazing place I’ve called home most my life that same, amazing, nothing-is-impossible attitude I’ve always seen. It’s a today and a future of boundless opportunity, excitement for the future and the always present and driving belief that anything is possible!