Palo Alto is world renowned for its significant role in Silicon Valley, for its educational and medical excellence, innovative residents, and venture capital prominence.
Forty percent (40%) of all United States’ venture capital investments are concentrated in Silicon Valley, the startup capital of the world. $8.5 billion last year poured into creative ideas here for software, nanotechnology, health care, biotechnology, medical devices, communications, social networking, and cleantech.
The “20-minute rule” further concentrates venture investments in communities nearest venture capitalists; Palo Alto is at Ground Zero for these investments.
Think of it this way…if you are a Silicon Valley city, on average there is $700 million per month of venture money “up for grabs.” First, as a city, do you want young growing businesses in your town? Answer: Absolutely, it greatly adds to the vitality of the community.
Then, what can you do to attract the $700 million each month earmarked for high talent labor, leading edge services, and cost effective space? One great answer: Open fiber infrastructure is a very attractive amenity.
Palo Alto Goal: Become the most attractive Silicon Valley city for startups to start up. We already have an envied startup record, but it would be unwise to rest on our laurels. Startups began here before Hewlett-Packard and now include VMware, cleantech companies Better Place and Tesla Motors, Facebook and hundreds more. (See ‘Palo Alto Economy’)
When Palo Alto becomes the pioneering Silicon Valley community with an open network of real fiber to the premise power, Palo Alto will move to the top of more startups' lists. See Open-access Fiber Network for key reasons.
Our Stanford University neighbor provides its nearly 10,000 faculty and staff on campus with fiber networks; its 6,500 undergraduates and 10,300 graduate students (who live on campus) with ‘fiber to the pillow’ access (for maximum reliability, speed, and security); and it is a WiFi campus (for maximum mobility). In one Stanford faculty and staff neighborhood next to campus, Google is testing a one gigabit fiber installation. A natural follow-on would be to expand this test network to include all of Palo Alto and make it open fiber. People with entrepreneurial vision have been attracted to our region for at least a century. We’d like to consistently attract them to live/work in Palo Alto and stay for a lifetime.
Stanford is unprecedented in spawning world class enterprises… Google, Yahoo!, and fast-growing Facebook in Palo Alto among them. David Filo, Jerry Yang, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg are but recent examples of those who created companies which now employ thousands in our area; “companies whose assets go home at night.” Many of the employees live in Palo Alto neighborhoods.
Home offices proliferate here, as well. As computers have gotten cheaper while ever more powerful, most of the 64,500 nighttime population in town (remember, Palo Alto’s daytime population is about 125,000) who are employed or in school now are able to have their office work or homework on a personal computer while office and personal email and text messaging is available by cell phone. Productivity is gained because work is now accomplished 24/7/365; employers and educators alike love it. Keeping work secure and getting it where you want it when you want it requires a robust broadband network. If not, something is compromised…like your time or security. In Palo Alto, the question is: “Who doesn’t have a home office?
The exciting Google Fiber for Communities proposal, should Palo Alto be chosen to participate, would add valuable leading edge amenities to the Palo Alto experience encouraging those with businesses here to continue to grow them here and others to come here as valued local employers and neighborhood residents.