The New York Times recently reported that Silicon Valley investors and business elites have declared Silicon Valley to be, well, dead.
The Northern California area, known for being the home to many tech companies including Google, Facebook and Yahoo, has slowly seen itself decline as the place to grow startups as new business looks to other areas of the country.
The report said Silicon Valley’s popularity has dwindled in recent months because of high prices for just about everything. The Palo Alto Weekly wrote in February that people in that area who considered themselves "middle-class" reported incomes of between $10,000 and $399,999. Some, in search of homes, have moved into professional dorms to keep costs low.
San Francisco lost more residents than any other city in the final quarter of 2017, according to the web-based real estate company Redfin. In fact, the City by the Bay lost about 15,000 people — almost 24 percent more than New York City, according to Business Insider.
Meanwhile, coastal elites approve of the U.S. heartland, where everything is so cheap, according to The New York Times.
Robin Li, an investor with the San Francisco venture capital firm GGV Capital, told the Times that Detroit, for example, seemed like a good location for her after touring other parts of the Midwest, such as Akron, Ohio, and South Bend, Indiana.
“If it weren’t for my kids, I’d totally move,” said Cyan Banister, a partner at Founders Fund. “This could be a really powerful ecosystem.”
But don’t expect Silicon Valley to die overnight, according to MIT Technology Review.
“Silicon Valley will happily live on until the competition is strong enough, and even then it might continue to succeed,” according to MIT.
In fact, Mark Muro, director of metropolitan policy at Brookings Institution, tweeted that Midwest cities will need to do more work to become as popular as Silicon Valley.11 comments on this story
Ian Hathaway, research director at the Center for American Entrepreneurship, wrote on his own blog that suggesting Silicon Valley is over "implies a Silicon Valley downfall will be a big win for everyone else. That’s zero-sum thinking and I don’t agree with it.”
Instead, Hathaway suggested people focus on building new startup communities in addition to reinvesting in older ones.
“Let’s be realistic about what can be achieved and over what timelines, knowing that it will take many decades for a vibrant startup community to take hold,” he wrote. “For if we don’t, and we come up short of our expectations, frustration sets in and momentum is lost. That’s not good for anyone. It's time to get over the idea of Silicon Valley being over.”