Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Silicon Valley Part 2?

            We all know Silicon Valley and the incredible advancements and achievements that have been made in the San Francisco Bay area, California. From the high-tech corporations that reside in Silicon Valley to the start-ups that are hoping to make it big, America is where companies have gone to try and get their new tech products on the market. But what if there was a new hub for technology and it was on the other side of the world?
            Most ideas for new technology come from entrepreneurs in America and then the products are manufactured in Asian countries. But what if entrepreneurs took their ideas to Vietnam instead of California? Binh Tran and Eddie Thai are entrepreneurs that have been to Silicon Valley and Binh Tran has tasted success through his company Klout, which sold for $200 million in 2014. These two men have left Silicon Valley, California to see what possibilities await in Ho Chi Minh, southern Vietnam. They believe there are more opportunities arising in Asia than in California right now. "Vietnam in the past 20 years has been one of the fastest growing markets in the world," says Mr. Thai. (BBC News). For those of you thinking, “What’s ever come out of Vietnam,” think apps, specifically, one of the most downloaded apps ever: Flappy Bird. Flappy Bird was created by a Vietnamese entrepreneur and is just one example of what young Vietnamese entrepreneurs have to offer.
            Vietnam is gaining popularity quickly. Google has started to get in on the new developments in Vietnam. Google boss Sundar Pichai has said Google will help train 1,400 local IT engineers. “It will easily be in the top 10 countries for many companies and people who are building products,” says Pichai (BBC News). Samsung is also starting a $2 billion complex in Ho Chi Minh within the next couple of weeks. This recognition from top companies like Google and Samsung, as well as Intel and GE who already have investments in Vietnam can help create this idea of another Silicon Valley in the world.
            But what the BBC and other sources fail to address is Vietnam’s political standing and why Silicon Valley is currently in the United States. Vietnam has a communist government ¾ vastly different to democracy in the United States. These investments in Vietnam are going to drastically help the economy of the country and also take it further away from it’s old agricultural roots, but right now it does not have the same allure that the United States offers. San Francisco doesn’t just offer a place to begin a start up company, but entertainment factors for those who move to California to do in their down time. Vietnam’s move into a technological hub is one that is going to take time. Vietnam can’t become a second Silicon Valley without mimicking more about California than the brilliant technological achievements.


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