10 thoughts on “Arista, Uber, Silicon Valley”

  1. Om I loved this post! Such an acute analysis of the tech industry, and you pinpoint some of my feelings about the “hype” that surrounds the newest apps/software that seem to skimming the surface of, rather than advancing, technology (“tech-enabled services,” like you said). Having grown up in Silicon Valley (born in Mountain View), my memories of the classic Silicon Valley that you speak of are actually through my parents’ and parents’ friends’ eyes — most of whom worked as a part of the old guard — my dad worked on printers at Hewlett Packard and my mom ran her own hardware sales company out of a warehouse in Sunnyvale. The kind of expertise required to work on hardware is immense and deep — my dad had a PhD in electrical engineering; and I know friends’ parents who similarly were working on microchips and other hardware systems — there does seem to be a divide in the type of knowledge that is thirsted after in software vs. hardware (the former: SEO, SEM, tech-enabled marketing?). You obviously have seen the tech industry since its birth and have such incredible insights about it — always a pleasure to read and digest your thoughts!

  2. ED of Open Compute here.

    When cloud companies actually figure out how to federate. You will suddenly see a huge push for non lock-in commodity hardware. This will bring new speed to the pace of innovation for SV hardware companies. There is a reason Andy is in my board.

  3. Om – Great article as always. I invite you to consider the current tech landscape from a different vantage point. New industries ( Internet tech in general) and new marketplaces share a lot of similarities with development of cities and nations. The first things to come up are – mostly border outposts (for the internet: core routers, a few telecom companies managing access) , then come the network of roads and bridges (for the internet: connection infrastructure, T1/T3/OC access lines, some basic routers), then come faster super highways, airports, toll roads (for the internet: giga bit routers, optic fiber access, etc..etc). When much of the bigger infrastructure is completed, the focus(innovation & capital) turns to a more under-served local infrastructure. As these cities grow and support a critical mass of people, other public infrastructure local to the city takes over – much like apartment complexes, storage places, malls, restaurants (for the internet: shopping sites, online storage, cloud storage, email etc). As these markets become really stable, the focus (innovation & capital) turns to industries that serve the needs of the hyper local populace – services, security, etc..etc (for the internet: consumer tech, health tech, edu tech)..

    In some ways, we are all lucky to see a completely new mega industry take shape and see its evolution. Also, financially there is a lot of value to be captured in the new frontier than the old frontier.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I very well understand all the issues — and have articulated them at various points in my writing career. The point of the piece is that we have skewed attention/focus from media on what it seems as technology instead of taking a more 360 view of the ecosystem. In not doing so, we lose the way.

      To think it another way, the fact is without core improvements in the boring infrastructure technologies our cities would be a mess, and the shiny malls and apartment complexes are going to be pretty pointless. In focusing the spotlight on all aspects of the development means that at any given time you view the big picture and make decisions.

  4. I’m glad to see someone celebrating yet another chapter in Andy’s amazing career. Here’s a guy who would be a legend just from the first 5 years of his career, yet he’s still building billion-dollar companies.

    I had the great privilege of sitting next to Andy on the bus ride to the SVForum Visionary Awards. I had no idea who he was, or that he was one of the honorees that night. He couldn’t have been nicer, and was honestly interested in what a young punk like me had to say about the Internet.

  5. Great blog post. There’s a lot involved behind the scenes to make our always-connected world possible. Companies like JDSU contribute a lot of the software, hardware and services that keep network infrastructures humming along. If we do our (silent) jobs right, that ‘always on’ capability allows for cool innovations like Uber to happen. Noel – JDSU

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