If you’re interested in the world of technology, you’ve certainly heard of the Silicon Valley region, and it has a lot of fun facts about it.
This name became very popular from the end of the 1990s, after the popularization of companies linked to technology and the internet, such as Google and Apple, for example.
Today, the region is a fertile ground for investors, entrepreneurs, and researchers because the largest companies in the world have facilities there. Are you curious to know a little more? Check out some fun facts about Silicon Valley.
Index of this article
1. How it all started…
The Valley is located in the southern region of San Francisco, California. The region has a conglomerate of 30 cities and the most famous ones are Cupertino, Mountain View, San Jose, and Palo Alto.
Before becoming the technology hub it is today, the San Francisco Bay Area was, for a long time, a land inhabited by agricultural and canning industries.
But during World War II, the United States began to invest in research and technology centers for naval purposes, and Silicon Valley was one of the chosen places.
As a result, many scientists and researchers found work in the region. There was also the creation of incentive policies for the private sector, and this caused several industries to emerge in the outskirts of San Francisco.
2. The beginning of Big Techs
It was in the early 1940s that companies such as HP (Hewlett-Packard) emerged, which initially manufactured radar and artillery technology.
Soon after an award-winning physicist by the name of William Shockley founded his company, which manufactured silicon transistors, a component also used to manufacture computer processors, which at that time were only used for war purposes.
In the late 1960s, the leading university in the region, Stanford University, joined the government to develop what would become the internet.
A fun fact about its name is that, given the fame that the region already had, in 1971, a journalist referred to it as Silicon Valley, which to this day is not an official name, but that is how it became known.
Companies such as McAfee, Atari, Apple, and Oracle were founded in the 1970s. From the 1980s onwards there was a great industrial expansion and in the following decade companies such as eBay, Yahoo, PayPal and Google came into being.
As is already known to the general public, from the 2000s came the era of the most recent big technology companies in the world, such as Facebook, Twitter, Uber, and Tesla.
Currently, the Silicon Valley region is home to several startups and it is common to find congresses, conventions, workshops, and events that attract a significant number of entrepreneurs and investors to the region.
3. The famous garage foundations
It is very common to watch documentaries and movies that tell the story of the Big Techs and find similarities in their beginnings.
One of the most common similarities is that they start in garages, which is a fact that inspires many entrepreneurs who dream of achieving success.
Brothers Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard were the first and founded HP in a garage in Palo Alto. Other examples that follow HP are Apple and Google.
4. The famous Stanford University
Yes, it is in Silicon Valley, more specifically in Palo Alto, where the famous Stanford University is located and it is safe to say that there would be no Silicon Valley as we know it today without it.
In addition to Stanford, the region has 4 universities, which are: Northwestern Polytechnic University, Carnegie Mellon University, San Jose State University, and Santa Clara University.
A notable fact is that many of its students have already received the Nobel Prize, in addition to having formed some of the names in technology that have become known by their companies, such as Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google.
5. The economic strength of Silicon Valley
With so many Big Techs residing in the same region, it is possible to imagine how powerful the economy in that region is. Its annual profit is around $250 billion.
If we add the value of companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Netflix, Tesla, and others, which have their headquarters in the region, we will reach the exorbitant value of approximately US$ 3 trillion, making Silicon Valley the most economically valuable place in the world.
Without the slightest doubt, we can conclude that if the United States manages to remain a world economic superpower, it is because Silicon Valley is largely responsible for it, and this certainly fits among the fun facts!
6. The most desirable salaries
In terms of salary, the annual average salary in Silicon Valley is US$ 122,000 and can reach US$ 174,000.
7. Millionaire real estate market
As you can imagine, the real estate market benefits a lot from all of this. Just to give you an idea, a house with 4 bedrooms in Palo Alto can cost around US$ 2.8 million dollars, while an acre (vacant plot of land) can be found for US$ 15 million.
8. The “Valley of Death”
In 1985, HP was still leading Silicon Valley. There was panic in the population regarding job replacement due to the arrival of the personal computer in the market. Because of this, he received the nickname “Valley of Death”.
Today, we know that even though computers have automated processes, someone is still needed to operate and provide even more efficiency.
But at the time, many people were freaking out over these “machines” and the worry that human interaction would become obsolete.
9. Which companies are in Silicon Valley?
Silicon Valley has become home to the world’s best-known technology companies, which sure renders a lot of cool facts. Not all of them were born there, some set up branches and others prefer to migrate completely.
Encouraged by the innovative and entrepreneurial environment, day after day new companies emerge and settle in the region, with the aim of accelerating the growth of their businesses.
Highlighting some of the different branches of technology and their respective companies present in the region, we have:
- Electronic products:
- HP (Hewlett-Packard);
- Social networks:
- Electronic games:
- Electronic Arts.
These are some of the best-known companies that reside in Silicon Valley and, consequently, have great importance in the development and creation of new technologies today.
We can conclude that any of the big technology companies that come to our mind will have facilities in the region.
10. Living in Motorhome
With the housing market’s exorbitant prices, engineers and programmers new to Silicon Valley ended up opting to live in motor homes or vans, which certainly is an interesting fact.
This is a common habit in some rural parts of the United States and also for Americans seeking a more laid-back lifestyle. The only problem is that companies have a rule: it’s not allowed to park motor homes in the company’s parking lot.
11. ‘Silicon Valleys’ around the world
The tech center in Silicon Valley has become so iconic that it has become a model for creating or naming existing tech centers.
Therefore, several countries have already adopted “Silicon” as nomenclature to refer to their technology centers,
In Brazil, for example, there is the “Brazilian Silicon Valley”, which is the group of regions that have an industrial and technological pole, they are:
- Campinas Technology Pole, in Campinas (SP);
- Porto Digital, in Recife (PE);
- Vale da Eletrônica, in Santa Rita do Sapucaí (MG);
- San Pedro Valley, in Belo Horizonte (MG);
- Tecnopuc, in Porto Alegre (RS);
- São José dos Campos Technological Park, in São José dos Campos (SP);
- Rio Technological Park, in Rio de Janeiro (RJ);
- Sapiens Park, in Florianópolis (SC).
In the rest of the world, we have:
- “Silicon City” in India;
- “Silicon Wadi” in Israel;
- “Northern Silicon Valley” and the “Silicon Vineyard” in Canada;
- “Silicon Paradise” in Costa Rica;
- “Mexican Silicon Valley” or “Southern Silicon Valley” in Mexico;
- “Silicon Sloboda” and “Silicon Tiaga” in Russia;
- “Gulf of Silicon” in the Philippines;
- “Silicon Islands” in Japan;
- “Taiwan’s Silicon Valley” in China;
- “Indonesia’s Silicon Valley” in Indonesia;
- “Dubai Silicon Oasis” in Dubai;
- “Silicon Mallee“, “Silicon Beach” and “Silicon St.“ in Australia;
- “Silicon Welly” in New Zealand;
Across Europe and the UK, we have:
- “Silicon Fen”;
- “Silicon Glen”;
- “Silicon Gorge”;
- “Silicon Corridor”;
- “Silicon Roundabout”;
- “Silicon Spa”;
- “Cwm Silicon”;
- “Silicon Alley”;
- “Silicon Beach”;
- “Silicon Channel”;
- “Silicon Dock”;
- “Silicon Forest”;
- “Silicon Mall”;
- “Silicon Pier”;
- “Silicon Spa”;
- “Silicon Walk”;
- “Silicon Sentier”;
- “Silicon Allee”;
- “Silicon Woods”;
- “Silicon Islands”;
- “Silicon Fjord”;
- “Silicon Cape”;
- “Silicon Lagoon”;
- “Silicon Mountain”;
- “Silicon Savannah”;
Among many others.
12. A series on Silicon Valley
In 2014 HBO debuted the Silicon Valley series. A sitcom that tells the story of a technology company founded by five programmers and engineers seeking to achieve the success of their startup, Pied Piper.
The series got a great reception from the public and critics. Even Bill Gates has confirmed that he likes the series because it is a great portrayal of reality in Silicon Valley.
The series has 6 seasons, the sixth season being the last.
13. Many Robots
If you’re going to visit Silicon Valley and see a robot circling near you, don’t be scared, it’s common. By the way, you will be in the biggest innovation and technology center in the world.
Yes, one of the fun facts about Silicon Valley is that there, it’s not strange for a robot to deliver water, food, or some room service while you’re at your hotel.
The most popular is K5, a security robot that was created by Knightscope, a company that specializes in advanced security. The robot is for private use and can be seen throughout the Silicon Valley region.
It can be found in malls, corporate offices, and so on. It has sensors and cameras to collect data, process, and notify the police if there is a problem.
14. The controversial patent disputes
A place full of big technology companies and big monetary interests, Silicon Valley is a scene of constant fights for patents of technological inventions.
The biggest protagonist is, without a doubt, Google, which today offers more than 30 different services around the world through software, but which has already had to face several lawsuits.
Again and again, these lawsuits are transformed into films and series. The most recent production that has gained notoriety is the series “The Billion Dollar Code”.
The series tells the story of the lawsuit by the creators of Terravision (created 1994) against Google Earth (created in 2005) for allegedly breaking Google’s patents with Google Earth. The production is by Netflix.
A 2013 survey revealed that Silicon Valley has the highest number of patent inventions and discovery records, which is obvious from the number of innovative companies present in the region.
In 2019 alone, there were patent applications for 655 different products in Silicon Valley.
15. Mobile Dentistry
Another of the fun facts is that, in Silicon Valley, there is a mobile dentistry service, which is carried out by truck. They stop at companies like Airbnb and Google to attend to their employees’ dental needs. Interestingly, they provide complete cleaning and even X-rays.
This is a characteristic that is part of the culture of innovation, efficiency, and facilitation present in the Valley.
16. Weed in Silicon Valley
In the state of California it is legal and common to use marijuana. Because of this, there is a mobile marijuana service, carried out by food trucks.
You can find trucks on the streets and at company doors at certain times of the day.
It is necessary to have a prescription for the purchase, therefore, there is an application that makes videoconferences with a doctor who will approve the prescription.
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