HAS the technology industry - a big and undeniably important slice of the economy - become a business whose best days are behind it?
In other words, is Silicon Valley turning into Detroit?
That is certainly the way things look now to some industry observers. They believe that Silicon Valley is destined to see its competitive stature erode, as new global rivals undercut American technology companies on price and increasingly wrest the lead from the United States in innovation.
Being someone who identifies closely with technology, I tend to take the side of the malleable nature of IT rather than the "greying industry" view of Goldman Sachs. IT is finding its way into the more conservative areas like medicine and religion (hey, Pope John Paul II's passing was announced via e-mail!). And it has to continue along this vein and in more affordable ways e.g. the Simputer, which I liken to the Long Tail phenomenon. Maybe when it has exhausted all these possibilities can we then start talking about it as a "greying industry".
That being said, the very progress that Silicon Valley has made in IT has made it possible for Silicon Valley clones to appear all over the world. However, it doesn't symbolize the decline of Silicon Valley. Rather, I view this phenomenon more as distributed processing at a global scale with Silicon Valley leading the way.
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