Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Saturday Post: The West Coast Corridor: 1400 Miles Of Innovation - Disruptive Creation On The Fault Line

Posted by Tom Foremski - June 26, 2010

California has by far the largest number of tech workers. According to TechAmerica Foundation's Cyberstates 2010 report, it has 993,000 tech workers, and its largest center is Silicon Valley.

But it's not just Silicon Valley that impresses me. If you fly north along the West Coast starting at San Diego, take a look at what you'll be flying over:

- San Diego, with its large communications, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. This is where Qualcomm is based, the world leader in mobile communications technologies.

- Orange County has a very large number of electronics companies. This is where Broadcom, one of the largest chip companies is based.

- Hollywood with its massive entertainment businesses, all incredibly creative and innovative (3-D movies, animation, etc).

- Santa Monica, where the entertainment industry and technology combine to produce leading online media ventures. This is where Yahoo, AOL, and many others have large centers.

- Silicon Valley and San Francisco, with its huge number of tech, biotech, clean tech companies.

- Portland, Oregon, a rapidly expanding tech community anchored by Intel, which is larger here than its HQ in Silicon Valley.

- Seattle, Washington, with Microsoft and all the other tech companies and aerospace.

- Vancouver, British Columbia, and its large software and graphics technology companies.

From San Diego to Vancouver, you'll be flying along a narrow corridor 1400 miles long, packed with some of the world's most innovative and creative communities.

I can't think of any other region anywhere in the world that is crammed with so many incredibly successful companies, generating so many ground-breaking technologies, decade after decade...

But that's not all...

This West Coast Corridor of innovation, is sitting on top of one of the most unstable fault lines in the world. It's the western edge of the North American Plate, part of the Ring of Fire, where 90% of the world's earthquakes occur, and where 75% of all volcanoes are found.

It's one of the most disruptive geological zones on the planet.

Is there a connection between living in an area of such abundant innovation and where physical reality is disrupted so often?

I've always believed that innovation must contain a strong disruptive element otherwise it's not really innovation.

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Backstage Pass- Tom Foremski says disruptive tech linked to fault lines - Sky's Blog

If you liked this post you can find another just like it next Saturday at 4pm PDT, and also in my new book:

In My Humble Opinion


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