San Jose: The center of Silicon Valley – Where is Silicon Valley and why is it called that?

San Jose: The center of Silicon Valley – Where is Silicon Valley and why is it called that?

I am living in San Jose – the center of Silicon Valley. There is no doubt that this nickname is very famous all over the world. When I was in Vietnam, I was very curious about this special name. So Where is Silicon Valley and why is it called that?

I Would like to share with you the story behind how Silicon Valley gets its name. Silicon Valley is the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in California in the United States including San Jose, Milpitas, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Campbell, Los Altos, Los Gatos, Santa Clara and Saratoga. Nowadays, Silicon Valley has become the technological leader in the world that Apple, Google, Facebook, HP, Cisco,  NVIDIA, NETFLIX, Tesla and many other famous tech companies place their headquarters here.

The term “Silicon Valley” originally meant the innovators and manufacturers of silicon chip who worked here. Until the 1950s this area was best known for agriculture and ranching. Then a technological boom happened to result in the is being nicknamed the “Silicon Valley”. At that time there was explosive growth in the number of companies doing semiconductor research and development such as Fairchild that went on to create the integrated circuit, or microchip, that is the basis of electronic devices today. With these innovations, Fairchild launched the growth of Silicon Valley as companies were formed to cash in on the growing semiconductor industry.

In 1968, Noyce and Gordon Moore, two of the most important figures left at Fairchild resigned to incorporate NM Electronics. Later, they changed the name to Intel Corporation which has become the highest revenue microchip producer in the world. The numerous start-up and spin-off companies which formed around Fairchild led to the dominance of Silicon Valley in technology.

Since most of the biggest Tech Companies locate in Silicon Valley, there is no doubt that the living costs are so expensive. According to Business Insider, Some residents of Silicon Valley self-identify as being in the middle class, even though their salaries dwarf those of many Americans. This group of earners makes at least two times the national median household income: $59,039 in 2016, according to the latest data from the US Census Bureau’s2016 American Community Survey. Since San Jose is the center of Silicon Valley, the median income is around $110,040. Therefore, if you want to be in the top 1% in San Jose, California, your income should be $453,772.

In contrast to other cities such as Oklahoma City, the median income is about $55,065. We can see the big gap between these two cities that leads to the difference of the living costs.  For example, it costs you about $95,000 to buy a single house ( 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms) in Oklahoma; however, you need to pay around $700,000 for a single house with the same conditions. Another example is about the rental fee. You can pay $600 for an apartment with 2 rooms in Oklahoma; otherwise, it costs you about $3000 for the same apartment in San Jose.

Even though the standard of living is high in San Jose, I still prefer to stay in this city with the best weather ever. San Jose has a unique mix of cultures influenced by the city’s history and present draw of Silicon Valley. There are a variety of cultures such as Mexican, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, Portuguese, Italian, Ethiopian, Japanese and so on. While in the past you may have needed to go to Orange County (Phuoc Loc Tho) for Vietnamese restaurants, San Jose has a lot of excellent restaurants, culinary venues, and a very creative food truck culture these days. If you want to cook at home, you can shop at Asian markets where you can find a variety of local ingredients. There is no doubt that most of the traditional Vietnamese foods in Vietnam, you can try in San Jose.

If you want to learn more about Silicon Valley. I highly recommend you to read The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story is a New York Times Bestseller. Michael Lewis, the author,  focuses on Jim Clark’s ascent in the world of Silicon Valley entrepreneurship and Clark’s persistent pursuit of the titular “new new thing.”.This book is just a fun read. It is not an academic book, and Lewis does love to dwell on the excesses or silly points, but Lewis captures better than any other author the culture and people of Silicon Valley, who have legally created a stupendous amount of wealth in less than a decade.


Amy Nguyen

Amy Nguyen

I feel happy to share my experiences with you about Travel - Food - Life around the world. I hope to inspire you to Live-Love- Laugh :)



No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Post Reply