Scaling Silicon Valley

Summary

  • The world’s population will be one-day wholly integrated into the internet as buyers, sellers, passive consumers, content-creators, etc. Think about 100% reach and its political, social consequences.
  • Think big, think huge, now is the right time for such grandiose creativity.
  • Whatever you can imagine could be technologically as close as a use-case demo and a few years away from investment, production, wide-spread adoption, and eventually being something standard.
  • Every city that doesn’t have a tech-center, in the future, will. So make sure you’re aware of this incoming change wherever you are. Hint: You can start it today.

We’re in the social network future

So, its time to reevaluate the future, again. As things are cooling down in the aftermath of what we can describe as the social networking future, its becoming apparent that it wasn’t an “ALL-RIGHT WE’RE DONE HERE” end to all our problems or the last thing we would need from the internet. This time around we’re snapping out of such fallacies while still enjoying an industry-wide boom. In fact, the explosion of social networking has added millions of service providers to the effort of making technology-based solutions more commonplace, even expected. This is good news.

Most importantly the poster-children companies of today have proven that IT businesses can be relatively easy to scale globally. I’m thinking Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Flickr, Instagram, etc. Just because we read about the technical difficulties in detail doesn’t mean they haven’t scaled effectively.

100% internet coverage possible

Considering that by March 2011 only 2,095 million of the 6,930 million humans in the world were internet users (30% of the total are connected), we have much growth to expect in the next 25 to 50 years. The percentage of users that grow up using internet-enabled devices (simple, smart, laptop, tablet, desktop, integrated, console) from infancy that use them life-long will come close to 100%, as it is in Sweden today amongst young demographics.
We discount war zones (still? in 2050? I’m afraid so) and weird dictatorships (lookin’ at you, NK) here. I’m hoping accessibility will have been addressed substantially better than today so infants, the elderly, and people with disabilities will all be able to use these devices much better than today.

As a species, we will continue trying to develop impoverished, problematic areas and add them to the global marketplace . These new, underdeveloped markets will be served by hoards of IT firms, all low-cost and high potential return by nature.

An entity that connects every human being and every electronic device on the planet, will be more than half a century old in 2050. The world will have changed with the internet, as more and more people created an infinite number of solutions upon it. Companies from different countries, continents will come together to pressure international legislation, and borders will have become even less visible. Global e-Commerce will probably have eradicated most customs and licensing issues, or found a way around it by this time. The capabilities of hardware, software and networks will have increased exponentially. Connectivity will [should] probably be added as a human right to the US constitution.

(Unicorns will hand out candy at every traffic light.)

Why not? Grandiose creativity

At that point, what if Siri and translate.google.com combined will mean Babel Fish functionality is just one breakthrough in biotech wireless ear pieces?

If that dream somehow makes more sense today than in 1950 or 1850…

What if such products are now half a century and $49.99 plus shipping & handling costs away?
Is that so unthinkable? Is it really fiction any more?
Think about it: if you saw the now yuck-old iPhone 3GS in 1994, would you believe it could cost you $99?
The first Palm-Pilot hit the market in 1996.

Scaling Silicon Valley

So the fact is, even the most outlandish fiction today might be ubiquitous and tangible tomorrow. Given technology’s power to exponentially speed up our evolution by helping us to train and (in the fraction of a lifetime) rewire our brains with computers, we can expect fundamental changes in what we today perceive as modern life through technology.

So there’s no point in discussing where the next Silicon Valley is. Technological breakthroughs of all sorts are coming to your town in the next 50 years. The discussion should be around figuring out how to export those core values globally (scale!) and make sure thousands of cities and millions of IT workers in the future will have a part of Silicon Valley in them.

What do you think are Silicon Valley’s core values?
Which ones do you think could be exported?

TL;DR: its much easier to imagine a future where the online population is limited by the population on planet Earth thanks to Facebook and et al, heads up for the next 50 years, yo. tech is going to be everywhere and silicon valley should be scaled globally to help that growth.

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