While the “Silicon Valley” derives its name from the large number of silicon chip innovators who put down roots in the southern region of the San Francisco Bay, in the decades since the tech-boom, that name has come to be synonymous with technology corporations and startups of all kinds. A 2008 study revealed that when the entire Bay area is taken into account, the region outranks New York and Washington for the number of high-tech jobs it generates. The Silicon Valley is, without question, the largest high-tech manufacturing center in the United States. Naturally, these statistics are an incredible testament to the ingenuity of the entrepreneurs and companies that have chosen to call Silicon Valley home — among them, Apple Inc., eBay, Google, Hewlett Packard, Intel and Yahoo!.
However, Timothy Sprinkle argues that the future of high-tech entrepreneurship is developing on a much more diverse landscape. Sprinkle is a longtime web-journalist whose work has appeared in Wired and the Washington Post, among numerous other publications, and he currently serves as an editor at Yahoo! Finance. To a certain extent, Sprinkle feels that Silicon Valley has become a “victim of its own success. It’s expensive, it’s crowded, it’s hypercompetitive and it’s rapidly becoming the kind of hype based, money-first place that drove many engineers away from the east coast establishment and to California in the first place.” Silicon Valley is essentially oversaturated, and as a result, college graduates and entrepreneurs seeking to launch businesses are flocking to cities with newly emergent tech-culture.
In his forthcoming book, Screw the Valley, Sprinkle will take an in-depth look at seven cities he has identified as constituting the “new frontier” of American tech-startups. The cities he will explore include: Austin, Raleigh, Las Vegas, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Boulder and New York City. Taking a memoir approach, Sprinkle will use the personal accounts of entrepreneurs living and working in these cities to illustrate how their local cultures stand apart from Silicon Valley, and how those differences impact the kind of work they produce, and in turn the future of American entrepreneurship. We are delighted to be collaborating with Timothy Sprinkle on this exciting project.