America Needs Its Nerds EssayRetired Site | PBS Programs | PBS
If you are a teacher searching for educational material, please visit PBS LearningMedia for a wide range of free digital resources spanning preschool through 12th grade.
America Needs Its Nerds Essay
One of silicon valleys biggest advantages is its venture capitalfirms. So what makes a place goodto them? What nerds like is other nerds. In mostamerican cities the center has been abandoned, and the growth, ifany, is in the suburbs.
For one, theyre more likely to notice startups nearby. The top us computer science departments are saidto be mit, stanford, berkeley, and carnegie-mellon. Shockley was a difficultman, and in 1957 his top people-- the traitorous eight-- left tostart a new company, fairchild semiconductor.
Theyre the limiting reagents in thereaction that produces startups, because theyre the only onespresent when startups get started. Bureaucrats by their nature are the exact opposite sort of peoplefrom startup investors. Chicago has the third largest metropolitan area in america.
So if you managed to recruit, en masse, asignificant number of the best young researchers, you could createa first-rate university from nothing overnight. It would be a wasteof time to try to reverse the fortunes of a declining industrial townlike detroit or philadelphia by trying to encourage startups. But as startup investors theyd have to competeagainst pros with a great deal more experience and motivation.
If youwanted to start a new fad-- a new way to focus ones energy, forexample, or a new category of things not to eat-- the bay area wouldbe the place to do it. Most towns with personality are old, but they dont have to be. It hasto be planted in the right soil, or it wont germinate.
A professor at a famous universitywho is highly regarded by his peers will get funding, pretty muchregardless of the proposal. Shockleysemiconductor, though itself not very successful, was big enough. If you paid 200 people hiring bonusesof 3 million apiece, you could put together a faculty that wouldbear comparison with any in the world. Rich people dont want to live in pittsburgh or ithaca. Vc fund) they outsourcemost of the work of selection.
How to Be Silicon Valley - Paul Graham
May 2006 (This essay is derived from a keynote at Xtech.) Could you reproduce Silicon Valley elsewhere, or is there something unique about it? It wouldn't be surprising if it were hard to reproduce in other countries, because you couldn't reproduce it in most of the US either.
America Needs Its Nerds EssayStaying Classy | Slate Star Codex
Siderea writes an essay on class in America.You should read it. In case you don’t, here’s the summary: 1. People tend to confuse social class with economic class, eg how much money you make.
America Needs Its Nerds Essay That wouldnt work for startups, Probably just thirty, if i could pick them, would be enough to turn buffalo into a significant startup hub. Fewstartups happen in miami, for example, because although its fullof rich people, it has few nerds. At the time that was an odd thing to do. My guess is that no city with a dead center could be turned into astartup hub. And the fact that they have apersonal stake in the outcome makes them really pay attention. Both have thekind of effervescent feel that attracts the young. For all its power, silicon valley has a great weakness the paradiseshockley found in 1956 is now one giant parking lot. Its the young nerds who start startups, so its those specificallythe city has to appeal to, Of course.
Communities — Voices and Insights - Washington Times
Bureaucrats by their nature are the exact opposite sort of peoplefrom startup investors. Probably just thirty, if i could pick them, would be enough to turn buffalo into a significant startup hub. The two like much the same things, because most startup investorsare nerds themselves. My guess is that no city with a dead center could be turned into astartup hub. Is that all it takes?that was all it took to make the original silicon valley.
But none of the startup hubs has not san francisco,or boston, or seattle. It has to begood enough to act as a magnet, drawing the best people from thousandsof miles away. But a competitorthat managed to avoid sprawl would have real leverage. All a cityneeds is to be the kind of place the next traitorous eight look atand say i want to stay here, and that would be enough to get thechain reaction started. Shockleysemiconductor, though itself not very successful, was big enough.
So whatever it costs toestablish a mediocre university, for an additional half billion orso you could have a great one. Most towns with personality are old, but they dont have to be. Nerds dont care about glamour, so to them the appeal of new yorkis a mystery. Theyre eachonly a great university short of becoming a silicon valley, if theywanted to. The bay area was a magnet for the young and optimistic for decadesbefore it was associated with technology. Vc fund) they outsourcemost of the work of selection. Those companies were apparently willingto establish subsidiaries wherever the experts wanted to live. Its the young nerds who start startups, so its those specificallythe city has to appeal to. The other implication of the organic growth hypothesis is that youcant be somewhat of a startup hub. You dont build a silicon valley you let one grow.The European Union has long criticized its East European members — the former Soviet satellites Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic — for alleged "authoritarian" tendencies.