A fundamental shift in innovation has begun to surface in Silicon Valley. "There's something happening at the grassroots level that Wall Street isn't able to understand," according to Trip Chowdhry, managing director at equity research firm Global Equities Research. Although the Labor Department reported Friday that the economy shed 150,000 jobs in December, compared to 85,000 previously reported -- and U.S. employers unexpectedly cut 20,000 jobs in January -- many companies in Silicon Valley have begun to hire in force. Chowdhry predicts Silicon Valley companies will reinforce their respective roles in innovation this decade, starting now. Dynamics have changed. Cisco remained bullish on its last earnings call. Oracle had a job fair on Tuesday. Apple will have a job fair today, Friday. And according to sources, Intel and Google plan to host job fairs in April. Although I heard similar rumblings late last year at a MediaPost event, Chowdhry traced this trend to a cycle in the technology sector. He tells me Silicon Valley has not had so many job fairs -- or open positions -- since the 1990s, where people were invited to bring their friends. That's when venture capitalist handed money to start-ups based on ideas, rather than proof of profit. Job fairs, for the most part, stopped after the dot-com bust. I remember speaking with sources and co-workers based in Silicon Valley in 2000 and 2001. They spoke of driving along an empty highway 880 or highway 101, and how it took less time to get from point A to point B because fewer people commuted to work. Today, the job descriptions are much more technical. The Apple job fair, or networking meetup, in Cupertino calls for a software QA engineers, developers, and product managers. The description reminds applicants to bring their resume, and that Apple looks for people who can help them push the evolution of mobile communications. Google has 62 job openings with the word "mobile" in it. The company also seeks new hires to support AdSense tools development, enterprise software, and security analysis. There are about 100 U.S. jobs listed on its Web site. Pointing to "a fundamental turnaround" in the technology industry, Chowdhry says companies that innovate the fastest win, and that innovation comes from people. There's a time crunch, and that's why companies want to hire quickly, he tells me. The iPhone, Nexus One and other smartphones will become the conduit and tool for consumers and small businesses to access programs from cloud computing, supported by companies from Google to IBM to Oracle. Think about applications becoming available on the phone and boundaries between consumers and enterprise continuing to blur. "Getting costs under control is last decade's story," Chowdhry says. "Innovation is a driver, and if you're doing cost-cutting you're living in yesterday's world.
Having been an entrepreneur for 25 years I found you comment very interesting. "That's when venture capitalist handed money to start-ups based on ideas, rather than proof of profit."
Actually, that's what a start-up is, an idea and by definition they can't be profitable, since they are a start-up.
You comment is very common here in the valley today. Having a new idea is looked upon as "strange".
Sun Microsystems was funded from a three page business plan. Google actually was struggling for years to get funding.
Even more unfortunate to consider is that this is actually the risk-averse stance the VC's have had for a decade. Where has it gotten them? Seen any great IPO's lately from the valley?