Where is our Silicon Valley?
Australia has developed some amazing technologies in the past, from the Hills Hoist clothesline to WiFi, and the Australian spirit is one of innovation and resourcefulness.
Those are the qualities that when funnelled into the IT Sector, produce amazing breakthroughs in every field.
But those qualities need more than a funnel, they need a petri dish… somewhere for it to be cultured and grown.
It happened in the US in what is now Silicon Valley. While it started in the 1930’s with Hewlett-Packard and then Bell Labs, it has exploded in the last decade, with almost every major player in IT being represented there, along with amazing universities such as Stanford and Carnegie Mellon.
People and companies move to Silicon Valley to be close to the universities, giant talent pool, venture capitalists, like-minded fellows and in a continuous cycle, to be closer to all the other people and companies that move there for the same reasons.
You can build a successful startup without being present in SV as well. It’s just easier to do it if you are there. – Rohan Khara (Quora.com)
There are no crazy tax incentives for garage dwelling programmers, it was just a long natural growth, some good governmental decisions and a bit of luck.
So why doesn’t Australia have its own Silicon Valley?
We can’t just wait and hope it will happen like it did in the US… that special mixture can’t exist naturally again… but I believe we can make it artificially.
Unlike the natural growth that happened in the US, it could be cultivated here with the right leadership in both Government and Private industries.
Hopefully, with the recent announcement of Atlassian working with the NSW Government to create a new “digital hub” in Sydney, we might finally be on our way.
For more information on the Atlassian announcement, read Business Insider