Silicon Valley is a State of Mind

silicon valley

Silicon Valley may be a state of mind, but a direct connection wouldn’t hurt either.

In an interview with SocialMedia.net (@socialmedianet), Galway native and Silicon Valley resident, Fergus Hurley (@fergushurley), repeated a theme I heard often at the Dublin Web Summit.

As Hurley said, “I think Silicon Valley is an ideology, a way of thinking rather than a place in itself.” Yet governments around the world seek to grow their way out of the economic crisis with “smart” or “knowledge” economies and often claim to be building a new Silicon Valley.

Hurley said:

Silicon Valley doesn’t think it is even a place. It’s just a bunch of people working on tons and tons of stuff and just trying lots and lots of experiments. People can be a part of that anywhere in the world.

That begs the question: Is Ireland doing enough to replicate those conditions? On March 11, a government committee, the “innovation taskforce,” issued a report with recommendations that may or may not be implemented. One of the most important, in my opinion, is reform of the personal bankruptcy laws. People have got to be allowed to fail. Instead, we have left-over, Victorian-era, British laws that imprison people for failure to pay debts.

Well, the Brits are gone almost 100 years and even they had the wit to change their own laws. Meanwhile, the chuckleheads running Ireland do squat. And that brings me to the second important point about Silicon Valley: the need for a direct flight. The Irish Technology Leadership Group has set up a Facebook page to lobby for a re-introduction of the flight. They argue that it helps business people meet.

I don’t know about that. But it may serve as a useful destination for our entrepreneurs if or when the government never implements the innovation report.

Silicon Valley Lookout courtesy of Ian Phillip Miller on Flickr.