Showing posts with label San Francisco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label San Francisco. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Silicon Valley And Dubai

First of all, what is technically Silicon Valley (it is an actual geography ... it's a valley, I have been) is no longer where innovation is happening. The innovation is happening north of that in San Francisco, a big city where young engineers like to live. And, by now, New York is neck and neck. Because, guess what, San Fran has nothing on New York when it comes to big city living. And Dubai makes New York look like a Third World city.

But look at this Founding Father of Silicon Valley. This guy, the first Prime Minister of India, is the primary pusher behind the establishment of IITs across India. No IITs, no Silicon Valley, pure and simple. Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella look visible now, but Indians have always been the majority of the workhorses in the valley tech companies.

You also need capital. Every VC in California gets their money from the pension funds in New York. It is not like the dollar bill in California is a different color from green. Capital is capital. And Dubai has a ton of it.

Culture is big. In San Fran they have a culture where they celebrate failure. They say, fail fast. Fail better next time. But that culture can be cultivated. In other words, be tolerant.

But the truest form of tolerance is cultural diversity, the number one quality I look for in any city. And there Dubai is number one by a wide margin.

The IITs are still producing super smart graduates. But the visa regime in the US has become very unfriendly. Dubai does great there. And if there is room for improvement, it can be fixed by royal decree. I am sure.

Dubai has capital. Dubai can access the same IITs, and only better. Because Dubai is so much closer to home. People like home. Dubai's cultural diversity is the greatest symbol of tolerance there can be.

What is needed is a city inside a city. And I am going to build that. The world is big. The San Francisco Bay Area, or the Hong Kong Bay Area are not big enough for all the innovation the world needs.

And Dubai has excellent location. You have Africa and you have South Asia nearby, the next two Chinas.

To: The Crown Prince Of Dubai
No Techies In Dubai
Elon Musk's Giant Blind Spot: Human Beings
Dubai's Remarkable Economic Transformation

Friday, February 08, 2019

New York City Beats San Francisco

This is remarkable.

Many of us have been connecting the dots for years. But this has come sooner than I expected.

The center of gravity for tech innovation shifted from Silicon Valley to the city of San Francisco a while ago. Silicon Valley feels rural. That is where the old companies are. Old like Google and Apple. And most engineers who work for those companies live in San Francisco, because, well, it is the city life they crave. But if it is about city life, San Francisco has nothing on New York City. Shanghai beats NYC on infrastructure, but NYC is not its infrastructure, it is its collection of people. There NYC beats Shanghai.

Already NYC was a strong number two. Then, in terms of VC money, NYC became neck and neck last year. And Amazon voted with its feet. Google has been expanding in the city for a long time.

Years ago Dennis Crowley of FourSquare made news by not moving to San Francisco. His startup did open up an office there, but he stayed put. I was unsurprised. At the time FourSquare was the NYC tech startup with the most buzz.

The next phase in innovation is about reimagining entire industries. I said so in my last article posted on LinkedIn. And NYC is a good place to be for that. It is home to numerous industries.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Cities Can Be Much Larger

If you have bullet trains and hyperloops connecting to Penn Station, can New York City be much much larger? The affordable housing issue kind of goes away with that.

Urbanization is one of the solutions to climate change. More people living in big cities is a good idea from the environmental viewpoint.

The Ultimate Megacity: 100 Million People

San Francisco's Fog Over Growth
the advantages of agglomeration. Put lots of highly skilled, highly productive, highly innovative people together in the same place and the economic gains are huge. ...... on the whole it’s fair to say that San Francisco hasn’t exactly embraced the role of boomtown. There are voter-imposed limits on office construction, new housing developments usually face protests and litigation, and local politics boasts a strong contingent of “progressives” whose main goal seems to be keeping the city from changing. ..... homeowners favor zoning ordinances and other growth restrictions because they keep house prices up. ...... 65 percent of the city’s housing units are rentals, and 75 percent of those are subject to rent control. Most of the San Franciscans who oppose new development do so apparently not to maximize the value of their property but to minimize the odds that they will be forced out of their apartments or otherwise priced out of the city. ....... growth restrictions restrict growth not just locally but on a national level .......

lowering the regulatory constraints on new housing in just San Francisco, San Jose and New York to the level of the median city would lift U.S. gross domestic product by 9.5 percent

....... land-use regulations were also driving up inequality and reducing economic mobility

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Giant Tech Companies Should Give Money To Individuals And Local Governments

Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Big tech companies like Google should pay money to individuals whose data they cash on, and to governments in whose jurisdictions they make money in. It should be sane amounts and sane percentages, but it can't be zero.

Empire of the geeks
Silicon Valley should be celebrated. But its insularity risks a backlash .... THE English have Silicon Fen and Silicon Roundabout, the Scots have Silicon Glen. Berlin boasts Silicon Allee, New York Silicon Alley. But the brain of the tech world is the ecosystem in and around San Francisco. ...... Airbnb, a seven-year-old firm that helps people turn their homes into hotels, operates in 34,000 towns and cities around the world. ..... American capitalism has a new hub in the west. Wall Street used to be the place to seek fortunes and make deals; now it is increasingly the Valley.

The area’s tech companies are worth over $3 trillion

...... The enormous, disruptive creativity of Silicon Valley is unlike anything since the genius of the great 19th-century inventors. Its triumph is to be celebrated. ....... insularity. The geeks live in a bubble that seals off their empire from the world they are doing so much to change. ..... Many denizens of the Valley believe that tech is the solution to all ills and that government is just an annoyance that still lacks an algorithm.
Silicon rally

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


New York to Los Angeles in 45 minutes is mind blowing. That might be the most popular track.

It takes an Elon Musk to save America the embarrassment of China and Japan outdoing it on bullet trains.

The Hyperloop could actually be producing excess energy. If there are solar panels on the top everywhere, that is more energy than it needs. Good thing.

The Hyperloop would be a great way to connect India's four largest cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata. Why are they still talking bullet trains in India? The Hyperloop is cheaper. Much cheaper. Just like India skipped landlines, and went straight to mobile phones, it should skip bullet trains and go straight to the Hyperloop.

Elon Musk has a Head Of State status. He is totally making impact. This guy will soon qualify for a membership of the G7.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Reverse Brain Drain?

Best viewed large. The main terminal of the br...
Best viewed large. The main terminal of the brand new Bangalore International Airport. I was one of the first few people at the airport. My mother arrived on the third flight into this new airport. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Top Indian talent in Silicon Valley moves back home to join star startups
Top Indian talent is moving from globally iconic American technology companies to India's star startups. And homes are being shifted from Bay Area to Bangalore. ...... from Google to Flipkart, from Disney and Facebook to Zomato, from Symantec to Snapdeal ..... Matching dollar salaries and the sheer range of future career opportunities are the hooks India's tech blue chips are offering to Indian talent in Silicon Valley. ...... "The smart entrepreneurs have already returned, tens of thousands more will return over the next 2-3 years" ...... being wooed by at least half-adozen Indian startups valued anywhere between $1 billion and $15 billion. ...... All salaries look handsome and Silicon Valley-competitive in dollar terms, and most assignments involve complex technology solutions for the mobile platform...... startups such as Zomato, whose restaurant discovery app is now present in 22 countries, are articulating their ambitions on a global scale. For Silicon Valley's top talent, nothing attracts more than a mission to dominate the world. "The idea is always world domination, if you speak anything less than that, you are not ambitious enough. ......... Both are being paid Valley salaries too — $5-6 million annual packages. ...... but it's just a whole new level of intensity here ..... "India is at the forefront of the mobile innovation" ...... "I made the decision to move here in less than 30 seconds," said Mani. "Hundreds of millions of Indians will experience the Internet for the first time on a smartphone in the next few years" ........ "India will see a technology boom over the next 5 years that will make the US dotcom boom look lame. There will be dozens of billion-dollar companies emerging from India's ecosystem which will transform business, industry and society." ......... "History is witness to the savviest, smartest and most entrepreneurial people usually going off to crazy places at regular intervals. This is relatively reasonable"