How Silicon Valley Ate Itself – and What Comes Next

The Valley’s pre-eminence isn’t going anywhere, but its special gloss has faded. And that’s a good thing, for both society and the future of innovation.

Silicon Valley has been a global hub of innovation for several decades. The Santa Clara Valley is home to many of the world’s largest tech giants, a sprawling ecosystem of start-ups, entrepreneurial talent and, most critically, risk capital. However, anyone looking at the exodus of businesses and talent from the region might argue that it has already peaked, and it’s all downhill from here.


In fact, The Economist first reported on this theme in September 2018 with its provocative cover story, “Peak Valley”. While moderating panels at MIT and in San Francisco, one of the co-authors of the article you’re reading had a chance to ask several Silicon Valley luminaries what they thought of The Economist story. He was met with deep denial each time. Yet, two years later, there is no denying that this trend is real.


In 2017, the Valley witnessed negative net migration for the first time in decades, a trend that continued through to last year.


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Aly Madhavji (INSEAD MBA '16D), Partner at Blockchain Founders Fund, Sameer Hasija, INSEAD Dean of Executive Education, and Mike Grandinetti, Co-Founder & CEO of Global Venture Catalyst | April 21, 2021

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