The rise of the tech industry giant has been personified by huge tech mega-cities across the west coast, with some diversification into the east. The resulting sun-baked area of Silicon Valley, CA, has long had nominees for its successor. Now according to a Wired article quoting AOL founder Steve Case, the next Silicon Valley will almost certainly be in the US South or Heartland. There are a number of factors that go into making an area suitable for the exciting business of forming the next tech mega-hub, and how that will impact the IoT. Interestingly, one of the best potential areas is a state already known for its business ties – Texas.
The new tech home
Texas is well known for its oil and agriculture sectors, but the urban spaces of the state have played host to an increasing number of tech giants. The move of automotive giants and renewable innovators Tesla to Austin has been the biggest such coup. Setting up a business in Texas is already easy; enlisting a Texas registered agent to setup an LLC or corporation is a straightforward step for most entrepreneurs, and the state hosts a huge range of both skilled and unskilled labor.
Where the state is starting to excel for tech is more nuanced, however. As the LA Times highlights, the monopoly of California on tech companies has slowly been leaked to Texas. State universities produce a higher number of engineers, the engineering research being conducted is more groundbreaking, and house prices are far more accessible. When it comes to tech itself, and the IoT, Austin is already an industry hub; IoT World Austin is a legitimately crucial event across the world. As such, Texas is a well established and important hub for IoT tech already.
The Great Plains
Less well built up but with an equal stake to challenge the California crown is North Dakota. Quietly, but assuredly, the state has built up significant technical architecture and the amenities to support a high-tech economy. That includes better internet connections to support the cheap and plentiful housing across the state.
According to the New York Times, the state will be the next big tech battlefield – for legal reasons. Moves made in states like California are having a direct impact over in heartland states, and now, rather than trying to push against the tide, tech giants such as Apple and Google are looking to see how they can work in, as opposed to against, places like North Dakota. There’s good news here for IoT. One benefit of innovation in agricultural hotspots like North Dakota is the ability to scale up tech. The state and its economy will look for solutions to economic problems and the IoT can provide.
Heading to the beach
A lesser-known hub of tech on the east coast is Miami. Florida is of course associated with its service and tourism industry – less so tech innovation. However, as Business Insider highlights, the city is facing a dip from its tech boom. Arresting this dip, and facing up to the challenges on hold, can also help to provide guidance into how a proposed new silicon valley might operate.
Migration, remote work, and living conditions have created a situation where Miami has turned into a genuinely attractive place for tech workers. What is perhaps lacking is innovation. One area where this is being lifted is in the IoT. With lots of high-value, high-profile people living in and around the Miami metropolitan area, there is a significant amount of innovation required, and a significant amount of demand, for new devices. Finding gaps in the market, creating products to plug that gap, and then innovating from there on could not be easier than it is in Miami. With the current status of the city under threat with its regards to being a tech hub, innovation is crucial to help push the Florida hub above competitors.
A dispersed future?
Another line of thought, advocated by The Guardian among others, is that Silicon Valley was a certain ‘golden age’ for tech and there is unlikely to be another such development. Instead, a series of regional hubs across the country, and further investment in challenger cities such as New York City and, internationally, London and Busan, will instead start to take up demand. While this may be true, there will always be competition within the industry itself to create productive new hubs in the USA.
Silicon Valley is here to stay – tech is that important. Whether it will be located in California, though, is up for debate. Crucial to continued innovation is diversification, across the states of the USA and indeed the world – and IoT can lead the way in directing that.