Silicon Valley’s tech boom is driving companies to move outward from ground zero — “Appleville” in Cupertino, “Googleville” in Mountain View, and “Facebookville” in Menlo Park — north to San Francisco, south to Sunnyvale and San Jose, and east to Oakland, Fremont and Milpitas. Like an amoeba, the valley is engulfing the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Technology is the New Economy. Only high-value innovation can create enough jobs for the U.S.
What does this all mean? Having grown up in San Jose and witnessed Silicon Valley’s growth, here’s my outlook for the next few years:
– Rapid expansion into Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, San Jose, Milpitas, Fremont, Hayward, and Dublin, with dot.boom-like traffic congestion and a shift to more public transit, in-fill development, cycling, walking, telecommuting, and mobile offices. The Bay Area will operate more like Tokyo on a city level.
– The Sharing Economy is emerging fast due to high un/underemployment, high living costs, denser living quarters, and a preference for experiences instead of products. Cars, apartments, homes, equipment, etc. will be shared through online exchanges and collectives. Sharing will lead to more community and mobility as people are tied down with fewer objects.
– The mobile office (see photo) is the new workplace. Bay Area tech workers are using more bicycles, backpacks and purse offices to manage their work 24×7. Geek Chic is the new fashion style.
– Global lifestyles in the past were about jet-setting. Now it’s about working 24×7 with colleagues scattered around the world. No rest for the weary! The only way to survive a round-the-clock work schedule is to take naps, meditate and walks when you have free time. I find walking around town and cycling up the gorgeous Los Gatos Trail Creek respite from sitting in front of a computer.
As I rediscover Silicon Valley, I’ll write more “from the front.” Let me know what intrigues you. What questions and issues would you like me to address? Let me know so I can keep my eyes and ears open for the Next New Thing.