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Why is Silicon valley the cradle of technology, wealth and world top tech companies

Michael S Malone, technology journalist and author
Silicon Valley is not so easy to replicate.
One reason is time: the Valley is also the oldest high-tech community on Earth. Begun in the Packard garage seventy-five years ago, it has had more than seven decades to figure out every nuance and fill every niche of the digital world.
A second reason is location: Silicon Valley, as Santa Clara Valley, was a largely unpopulated agricultural area at the end of WW2, with cheap land and a great city nearby.
It benefited greatly from the migration of Americans, especially veterans, west to California and into the new jobs in aerospace and electronics.
The third reason is infrastructure: there are few places anywhere that offered a full range of educational institutions from trade schools, to mid-level colleges, to the two great universities, Stanford and Berkeley.
All of these factors combined to create a fourth reason for the success, and singularity, of Silicon Valley: culture.
The Valley didn't come freighted with old attitudes and cultures, but was free to create one of its own: risk-taking, multi-cultural, meritocratic and most of all, entrepreneurial.
Underlying everything is an acceptance - even an admiration - of good failure.
Paul Saffo, Discern Analytics
The secret to Silicon Valley's success? We know how to fail and we have been doing it for decades. Failure is what fuels and renews this place. Failure is the foundation for innovation.
Failure is essential because even the cleverest of innovations - and businesses - fail a few times before they ultimately succeed.
Consider Google: at least half a dozen other companies tried to turn search into a business, but Google was the first to crack the code and turn search into a huge business.
And even when companies succeed, the only way to survive in the long term is to flee into the future by relentlessly innovating.
Apple all but killed off the iPod at its peak by turning the iPod's music function into a feature incorporated into the iPhone when it was introduced in 2007.
Apple happily killed its own product because if Apple hadn't done so, another competitor would have done it for them.
Failure is what makes Silicon Valley's success to hard to replicate. Would-be competitors only see, and try to copy, the Valley's success.
But to succeed you need an ecology of fearless players from venture capitalists to banks, suppliers and myriad other supporting businesses unafraid to risk all by helping with often flakey and unpredictable start-ups.
So if you want to be the next Silicon Valley, don't copy our success. Learn to support and encourage novel and ultimately successful failure.
Vivek Wadhwa, entrepreneur, academic and author
Regions all over the world have tried to copy Silicon Valley, but none has succeeded.
That's because they have focused on trying to recreate its venture capital system, universities, or start-up incubators
What they don't realise is that what really makes the Valley tick is its culture of risk-taking and information sharing; people-to-people networks; openness to new ideas; and diversity - more than half of its innovators are foreign-born.
It also helps that Silicon Valley has excellent weather, is close to mountains and the ocean, and has a myriad of state-park hiking trails - these help foster a culture of optimism, openness, tolerance, and sharing.
These are the ingredients that can't easily be recreated.
Venture capital only follows innovation, it goes where the opportunities for building wealth are, it doesn't create new opportunities


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