The Santa Clara Valley in Northern California used to be known as the “Valley of Heart’s Delight,” a phrase referring to the many fruit orchards and agricultural companies with headquarters in the area. But since Shockley Semiconductor, and a number of other technology companies, moved into the valley in the 1970s and 1980s, the land of the orchards has been developed into large industrial complexes. “Silicon Valley” was coined because of the high volume of companies in the area producing silicon semiconductors for high-tech products.
In the fast-paced world of high technology and venture capital, it’s challenging to keep track of the latest news. Here’s a brief glimpse into some recent developments in Silicon Valley’s technology industry:
Although officially headquartered in San Francisco, Twitter has the tech world in frenzy. With some investors still reeling from the Facebook IPO debacle, there are concerns that Twitter’s IPO may suffer a similar fate. However, Forbes writer Nathan Vardi has explained that Twitter’s IPO will be different for three reasons. First, Twitter is going public sooner, and at an earlier business stage, than Facebook. This means that there’s a higher growth potential, which Wall Street loves. Second, Twitter has Goldman Sachs as its underwriter and not Morgan Stanley, which underwrote the botched Facebook and Groupon IPOs. Third, in a regulatory filing on October 16, 2013 Twitter announced that it would list on the New York Stock Exchange rather than the NASDAQ.
Silicon Valley meets Star Trek
According to NBC, October 18, 2013 marked the beginning of a space convention in Silicon Valley. Before you imagine large groups of people donning their favorite space character costumes (from Star Trek, Star Wars, Space Balls), know that this was a convention of a totally different flavor. It brought together a number of space startups, venture capitalists, and trusted advisors to chart a path into the great beyond. With companies like Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Elon Musk’s SpaceX leading the charge, civilian space travel may be closer than we think.
VCs Betting Big on Data
A new fund, called Big Data Elite, is being launched. The funds will go to startup companies that analyze behavioral data with the intention of recognizing patterns and potentially predicting behavior. Many experts claim that Big Data underlies the entire Internet economy; big companies are trying to figure out what their consumers want based on their online activities. For example, Netflix knows what movies you like, Amazon knows your purchasing patterns, and Google knows your search history – the key is aggregating this data and making use of a comprehensive consumer profile.
Disrupting the Kitchen
Silicon Valley has a history of disrupting the status quo. Netflix, for example, pulled the rug out from under traditional movie rental companies, and eBay created a whole new forum for selling your stuff. According to a New York Times article, a number of Silicon Valley startups are planning to rival large food conglomerates. Using startup techniques to scale ideas rapidly, innovative food companies are attempting to introduce some new foods into the market. These new foods include a plant-based mayonnaise and “Chirp bars,” made from ground crickets. Such unique foods are a response to a changing global palate and the threat of food shortages, caused by growing population.
Daniel Minter is a freelance writer specializing in a wide variety of tech topics, including gadgets, mobile phones, accessories, the tech business and others as well. Those in need of accessories for the iPad should consider viewing the kensington ipad case.
Image credit goes to Nouhailler.