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March 17, 2019 | Tom Ballard

BRIEF COMMENTARY: Author outlines key philosophy that has driven growth of Silicon Valley

As noted in this article about the recent “Innov865 Alliance Mayoral Forum,” there were several mentions of innovation districts and other ways to accelerate a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. Chattanooga was cited as one that is doing just that along with other cities like Greenville and Louisville.

Chattanooga is cited again in this article as is advanced manufacturing, clearly a strength on Knoxville-Oak Ridge based on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It is also worth calling your attention to these two paragraphs from the article with points highlighted by me:

“In the 1960s and 70s, Route 128 outside of Boston was the center of technology, but by the 1990s Silicon Valley had taken over and never looked back. As AnnaLee Saxenian explained in Regional Advantage, the key difference was that while Route 128 saw itself as a collection of individual companies, Silicon Valley saw itself as an ecosystem.

That led to a major difference in tactics and outcomes. The Boston-based businesses, for example, lobbied for tax breaks to increase profitability, while the Silicon Valley firms pushed for community colleges and better infrastructure to support an expanding workforce. Those investments accelerated the region’s growth.”

Some thoughts worth considering.

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