It’s amazing how far Silicon Valley culture travels

We’re visiting Maryam’s family here in Wales. Her brother’s son, last night, said “I’ll Google that” at one point during the conversation. He also was bugging Maryam’s brother for not having wifi (I’m hooked up to you via an ethernet cable, so “old school”). And people bug me for not getting away from technology. Hey, I traveled 5300 miles to, um, have a geek talk. I remember when Alan Cooper, back in the mid 1990s, told me Silicon Valley is not a place anymore, “it’s a state of mind,” he’d say. I now understand.

80 thoughts on “It’s amazing how far Silicon Valley culture travels

  1. I’ve been living in Silicon Valley for four months now, and I find it a continual source of amusement that the people here seem to think that just because so many Internet and tech companies are headquartered here, that the rest of the country (or, in my case, Canada) doesn’t use that technology. It’s like the Big Three in Detroit thinking no one outside of Michigan drives Chevvies — ridiculous.

    Ironically, from my perspective as someone who’s from Toronto, you’re quite backward here, technologically speaking. I almost laughed myself silly when I saw you still use paper slips in banks — haven’t seen those for years in Canada. And try to ask a retailer in Canada if they’ll take a cheque. They’ll look at you like you have two heads — no one uses cheques anymore. Canada had the first bank to offer online banking, and the rest of ours followed quite quickly. Not only Silicon Valley but the entire U.S. seems about 5 years behind on that front. There are other examples, but I can already feel the flames so I’ll stop.

  2. I’ve been living in Silicon Valley for four months now, and I find it a continual source of amusement that the people here seem to think that just because so many Internet and tech companies are headquartered here, that the rest of the country (or, in my case, Canada) doesn’t use that technology. It’s like the Big Three in Detroit thinking no one outside of Michigan drives Chevvies — ridiculous.

    Ironically, from my perspective as someone who’s from Toronto, you’re quite backward here, technologically speaking. I almost laughed myself silly when I saw you still use paper slips in banks — haven’t seen those for years in Canada. And try to ask a retailer in Canada if they’ll take a cheque. They’ll look at you like you have two heads — no one uses cheques anymore. Canada had the first bank to offer online banking, and the rest of ours followed quite quickly. Not only Silicon Valley but the entire U.S. seems about 5 years behind on that front. There are other examples, but I can already feel the flames so I’ll stop.

  3. okay, just wanna say a few things… While the American culture is preading its influence, I still say there are other countries that are becoming far more advanced. Japan and South Korea are really going up fast. Nokia from UK, I love the phones! WIFI network? it doesn’t work that well. silicon valley may be a state of mind, but it’s not at the top of everyone’s list.

  4. okay, just wanna say a few things… While the American culture is preading its influence, I still say there are other countries that are becoming far more advanced. Japan and South Korea are really going up fast. Nokia from UK, I love the phones! WIFI network? it doesn’t work that well. silicon valley may be a state of mind, but it’s not at the top of everyone’s list.

  5. Simon: hmmm, I’m streaming around HD in my house over an 802.11a network. The trick is to get an “A” network, not a B or G.

    But, gigabit ethernet sounds fun for those LAN parties. :-)

  6. Simon: hmmm, I’m streaming around HD in my house over an 802.11a network. The trick is to get an “A” network, not a B or G.

    But, gigabit ethernet sounds fun for those LAN parties. :-)

  7. To talk about the tech again,

    Wifi!, you got to be kidding! ditch that garbage ! get the house flood cabled with gigabit ethernet, its the only way to go, ok maybe have some 11g for the visiting pda’s but I draw the line there.

    I had Wifi installed back in 2000 after visiting MS in seattle and saw it for the first time, and now after a fair few wifi upgrades I’ve finally got rid, it just cannot cope with HD content streaming, cable is the only way to go.

  8. To talk about the tech again,

    Wifi!, you got to be kidding! ditch that garbage ! get the house flood cabled with gigabit ethernet, its the only way to go, ok maybe have some 11g for the visiting pda’s but I draw the line there.

    I had Wifi installed back in 2000 after visiting MS in seattle and saw it for the first time, and now after a fair few wifi upgrades I’ve finally got rid, it just cannot cope with HD content streaming, cable is the only way to go.

  9. Besides, my brothers nephews uncles sisters aunts cousins brother told my fathers brothers sisters cousins nephew to pick up a blank ink cartridge from Wal-mart last night and he said it was made in silicon valley too!

    Robert, you sure you ain’t from Ole Kaintuck Too?
    Juss Kiddin. ; )

  10. Besides, my brothers nephews uncles sisters aunts cousins brother told my fathers brothers sisters cousins nephew to pick up a blank ink cartridge from Wal-mart last night and he said it was made in silicon valley too!

    Robert, you sure you ain’t from Ole Kaintuck Too?
    Juss Kiddin. ; )

  11. Robert, if you re-read what I wrote, you’ll note that not only did I put the better in quotes, but that the ‘you’ in the paragraph was the American people in general, not you specifically.

    I was trying to get across the general American attitude to the rest of the world, rather than yours specifically; you only need look at your media to realise that is generally the case.

  12. Robert, if you re-read what I wrote, you’ll note that not only did I put the better in quotes, but that the ‘you’ in the paragraph was the American people in general, not you specifically.

    I was trying to get across the general American attitude to the rest of the world, rather than yours specifically; you only need look at your media to realise that is generally the case.

  13. I help CIOs source technology from around the world and it is delightful to see all the neat mobile apps from Korea, vertical BPO from India, open source from Scandinavia etc, neat gadgets from Taiwan etc.

    Having said all that, here is the reality. The US buying power and US capital drives the majority of tech innovation and demand. Some Indian offshore vendors derive 75% of their revenues from the US market. SAP’s biggest market is the US. The US doesn’t have to be that open – people like Lou Dobbs would love for us to be far more closed

    Till Germany or China or India step up and become the engines of tech innovation and growth, like it or not the US will continue to lead the market and yes be somewhat immodest about it. If you don’t like Robert’s POV show him – with cold dollars or euros or rupees. We in the US need to increase our exports anyways…

  14. I help CIOs source technology from around the world and it is delightful to see all the neat mobile apps from Korea, vertical BPO from India, open source from Scandinavia etc, neat gadgets from Taiwan etc.

    Having said all that, here is the reality. The US buying power and US capital drives the majority of tech innovation and demand. Some Indian offshore vendors derive 75% of their revenues from the US market. SAP’s biggest market is the US. The US doesn’t have to be that open – people like Lou Dobbs would love for us to be far more closed

    Till Germany or China or India step up and become the engines of tech innovation and growth, like it or not the US will continue to lead the market and yes be somewhat immodest about it. If you don’t like Robert’s POV show him – with cold dollars or euros or rupees. We in the US need to increase our exports anyways…

  15. I went to America the other day (specifically Redmond) and they were all speaking English! Well, near enough English that I could understand them anyway.

    Those Americans are so cute, using our language so nicely.

  16. I went to America the other day (specifically Redmond) and they were all speaking English! Well, near enough English that I could understand them anyway.

    Those Americans are so cute, using our language so nicely.

  17. attilachordash: I wore my Firefox and Apple shirts to work a lot of times when I was at Microsoft (one day I met some members of the Firefox team and gave them a tour around Microsoft too, which was very weird). There were lots of Apple machines, and there’s a whole team at Microsoft that works on nothing but Linux stuff.

    So, that’s not quite as rebellious as it might seem.

  18. attilachordash: I wore my Firefox and Apple shirts to work a lot of times when I was at Microsoft (one day I met some members of the Firefox team and gave them a tour around Microsoft too, which was very weird). There were lots of Apple machines, and there’s a whole team at Microsoft that works on nothing but Linux stuff.

    So, that’s not quite as rebellious as it might seem.

  19. The Microsoft Building here at Cambridge near the Cavendish Laboratory is a nice place, I visited it once in my Google T-shirt and MacBook and my german friends there are working with Linux on Apple laptops exclusively. :)

  20. The Microsoft Building here at Cambridge near the Cavendish Laboratory is a nice place, I visited it once in my Google T-shirt and MacBook and my german friends there are working with Linux on Apple laptops exclusively. :)

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