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I think it's fair to say that Silicon Valley is dead. Cheap venture capital, minimal startup cost, access to university researchers, and good inter business communications fueled an engine which turned ideas into products. You can now find venture capital elsewhere, with the discount rate being what it is. The cost of housing and office space has spiraled out of control, thanks to the environmentalists and Prop 13. The trade secrets and intellectual property mania have pretty much destroyed open cooperation. The universities remain, but aren't the driving force they used to be.

The place has a much different, more ossified feel to it than it did seven years ago.

[Note: The words above aren't mine; they were written in 1993 by the co-founder of AltaVista.]

People like to claim that arguments like mine are cynical, but what’s actually cynical is reaching far into the past for a quote, snipping it out of context, and then extrapolating to pretend that the quote is just as relevant today.

Or said more simply: past results do not imply future performance.

Is it possible that we’re about to turn a technological corner and it’ll be like the rise of the web - a revolutionary new media platform - all over again? Sure. Maybe I’m wrong. But I’m pretty informed, and I don’t see a web-like technology where everything is done and working, and just needs to be explored. There’s no green-field tech on the horizon where simple refinement is going to open up new industries. We’re back to waiting.

Today we’re increasingly focused on stuff that might not even work at all (e.g. fusion), or that has huge technological or societal barriers that are unsolved (e.g. robots, electric cars) It’s a different world, and even if something revolutionary comes around the corner next week, right now the playing field is fairly competitive.

perhaps you may look into cryptocurrencies and virtual reality as two places where simple refinement will open up new industries.

And AI.

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