In the “great debate” as to whether the South Bay or San Francisco has become the epicenter of innovation, I would like to declare a clear winner … both!
When you step off a plane at San Francisco International Airport, signs from Mayor Ed Lee proclaim “Welcome to San Francisco, the Innovation Capitol of the World.” At Mineta San Jose International Airport, advertisements abound from high-tech companies that make it clear you have arrived in Silicon Valley.
While competition is good, and is certainly what makes our Innovation Economy the envy of the earth, it’s kind of silly to see some in the media constantly compare San Jose and San Francisco. As my friend Emmett Carson of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation recently stated at our Game Changers 2014, we should think of Silicon Valley as “Market Street to Market Street,” from Market Street in San Jose to Market Street in San Francisco. These bookends include all the incredible companies innovating in every community in between.
Is this definition of Silicon Valley too expansive for some? It was Bill Hewlett himself, co-founder of Hewlett Packard, who told the media 25 years ago that his vision of Silicon Valley was even bolder – running from Napa to Monterey.
Clearly, when a company in Santa Clara County prospers – or a start-up in San Francisco succeeds – our whole region benefits. Let’s compete, but let’s compete together against the rest of the world.