c Why Silicon Valley is a global village
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How international startups have turned Silicon Valley into a global village

Jack Hershman

A philosopher foresaw that the world was turning into a global village, what does it mean for an international startup heading to Silicon Valley?

In 1964, a Canadian Philosopher foresaw something well before its time.

Marshall McLuhan wrote about the global village, an interconnected central nervous system that would fundamentally change how everyone thought about media, technology and communications.

The carefully chosen phrase foresaw a rapidly integrated planet, where events in one part of the world could be felt almost instantaneously in other parts.

It was based on the human experience in smaller, more primitive, villages.

McLuhan’s theory is applicable across a huge number of sectors. And in Silicon Valley, it explains how a tech hub previously occupied primarily for US businesses opened up into a truly global village that now houses startups from every corner of the globe.

“Silicon Valley has huge groups of companies coming from Israel, China and India,” explains Alastair Mitchell, the Co-Founder of enterprise collaboration software business, Huddle.

Huddle itself moved its headquarters from London to Silicon Valley, with Mitchell leading the way.

It is easy to see why international startups have flocked to the Valley for a slice of the action.

The 14,000-19,000 startups that call Silicon Valley home have a combined total GDP of $535 billion.

And whilst “California is a great place to be” with very little prejudice towards international startups, Mitchell explains that businesses thinking of taking the leap toward the global village of Silicon Valley must recognize that every “market has its homegrown heroes”.

“There’s nothing against people who aren’t from that market whatsoever. [Homegrown businesses can be more successful because] It’s just where they have started and grown. A lot of that is where you’ve got the money from, if you’ve raised your money from there, your investors are rooting for you from there. It’s just the way it goes.”

Overseas businesses certainly shouldn’t take it personally though as, “even the East coast are considered ex-pats”, Mitchell quips.