For the Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerbergs, and Jack Dorseys of the world, Silicon Valley is downright utopic. It's a closed system that essentially has its own transportation network, the highest-end restaurants and shops, and a libertarian world view shared among its inhabitants. But outside of Silicon Valley, the outsiders struggle with the economic inequities created by this booming tech industry. Rents are out of control, jobs are scarce, and the cost of living costs too much.
Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn points out that this is nothing new. In the late 19th century and early 20th century we saw the railroad, steel, and automobile industries sweep over the landscape, creating lots of inequality in their wake. But what we have yet to see is if Silicon Valley will take responsibility for the financial, cultural, economic, and technical power and authority that it's amassed.
Have a listen to everything Nancy Koehn had to say about Silicon Valley when she joined us for Open Mic.
- If it Looks Like a Bubble and Floats like a Bubble, Nick Bilton, New York Times
- Silicon Valley Transfers its Slogans—and its Money—to the Realm of Politics , George Packer, The New Yorker
- Backlash by the Bay: Tech Richies Alter City, Erica Goode and Claire Cain Miller, NYT