Silicon Valley: The Next Detroit?
An article by Steve Lohr in today's New York Times (free registration required) draws an uneasy parallel between the fate of Detroit, the 20th Century's great technological boom-to-bust town, with Silicon Valley, whose growth rates have been sufficiently anemic to provoke Wall Street analysts to characterize the industry as "greying."
Is Silicon Valley doomed? Not if you accept the author's characterization of networked computing technology as a highly adaptive, rapidly evolving "force", rather than a single technological modality. New high-growth areas will include the highly specialized application of computers to provide efficiencies in areas such as health care, and the rise of self-supporting user-generated content communities, as typified by new institutions such as Blogger, Wiki, and other cheap publishing tools.