Is Silicon Valley seeing an economic turnaround?

Michael Malone wrote a post that caught my eye this morning saying he’s seeing an economic turnaround in Silicon Valley.

He might have a point. I’m seeing a bit more optimism in the valley. Yes, January was bloody. Yes, we’re still seeing layoffs, and probably will see a few more. Yes, our houses are under water (there are three houses on sale on just my small street and one of them is a foreclosure, so I owe more on my house than it’s now worth in the marketplace).

But I’ve been feeling more optimistic lately. At least about the Valley. After I got back from Davos I was really depressed. Why? Because I heard very few ideas about how to get people working again. But then I got back to the valley and met with companies like Playfish, which has been seeing great growth lately (they are the most popular games company on Facebook).

Also, this week we saw Intel invest billions of dollars in its US plants.

Oh, and some companies, like Craig’s List and Etsy, are seeing increased activity because of the recession. Above is a video I shot on Sunday of Craig Newmark, founder of Craig’s List.

Some other interviews you should check out:
Playfish’s CEO talking about how they are building games for Facebook, part I and part II.
Etsy’s founder, in Davos, talking about the success he’s seeing in selling handmade goods.

Oh, and Twitter just closed another round of funding.

Have we hit bottom? It’s too early to say, but it sure is nice to see even a little optimism around.