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Part 3: the new economy > beyond Silicon Valley

Chapter 24. beyond Silicon Valley

Gen e have a natural affinity with technology and are drawn to the high-tech clusters that now dot the world. They use it to seek out kindred spirits Gen e have a natural affinity with technology and are drawn to the high-tech clusters that now dot the world. They use it to seek out kindred spirits. The best known hotspot is California's Silicon Valley — although it has now been joined by other high concentrations of gen e activity. Silicon Valley companies are now valued at four times those of Detroit; and their value almost equals that of the entire French stock market. Palo Alto, California, is now home to 7,000 electronics and software firms. While major cities around the world routinely fight to stage the next Olympic games, Palo Alto seemed to host the entire technological revolution. Every movement needs its spiritual home. Palo Alto is gen e's.

This fact and the burgeoning confidence of Silicon Valley are routinely celebrated. When asked if he thought IBM had a chance of leading the next stage of the information revolution, Gary Hamel (co-author of the influential best seller Competing for the Future) replied: "I'd need to know how many of IBM's top 100 executives had grown up on the west coast of America where the future of the computer industry is being created and how many were under forty years of age. If a quarter or a third of the senior group were both under forty and possessed a west coast perspective, IBM has a chance."[]


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