Is the aura of Silicon Valley slowly fading?
Moving here, I immediately fell in love with the place. The land of limitless possibilities and endless optimism. No matter what coffee shops you went to, someone was brainstorming and dreaming about the next startup they were going to build. The innovation inspirit was contagious.
After all, this is where Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel, Oracle, Twitter, Netflix, Zoom, and BEA Systems all started. Combined with the best universities like Stanford and Berkeley, this was the place to be if you want to build a company.
Since the shutdown in March, over 79323 employees were laid off
by 579 startups. According to Techcrunch’s most recent survey
, 84% of the startup said they had chosen to close their office during the pandemic and now, have shut for good.
In the past 7 months, my partners and I have met over 220 companies (over Zoom of course!), every single one of them is distributed in one form or another. Many used to have offices in San Francisco but have decided to shut them down. After all, it really doesn’t make sense to keep paying expensive rent if no one is here.
I can’t help but wonder…
- Will the young and optimistic move back to California after this pandemic is over?
- Where should we go to hire the best and the brightest if they are not even going back to campuses?
- Can Silicon Valley venture investors continue to only fund startups within an hour’s drive? Is that even possible?
- Is the wall of Silicon Valley slowly crumbling away?
I don’t have a good answer to any of these questions. But I do believe it is the people that make Silicon Valley. You may not find anyone physically in Silicon Valley, but the spirit is still here.
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