Silicon Valley is an extremely well known location for technology, startups, and the dominant tech firms in the world. Google, Apple, Stanford University, Cisco, eBay, HP, Intel, Yahoo!, Adobe, AMD, Intuit, Juniper, Nvidia, Oracle, Western Digital, and so many more are headquartered right in the region between San Francisco and San Jose – Mountain View, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Stanford . It’s a hot bed for tech, what can I say. When I visit and chat up people at the bars, the conferences, and such, it seems like people switch startups each year. Half of the people moved to the area just for the vibe. It is a completely unique way of life.
On the east side, we have Maryland, which is uniquely similar to California, but it seems that most of the businesses have migrated to the hot bed of Northern Virginia (NoVA) that is a host of several tech firms opposite to Silicon Valley; consisting of the cities and towns west of Washington DC – Tysons Corner, Vienna, Reston, Herndon, Fairfax. NoVA headquarters include Verisign, Network Solutions, General Dynamics, Booz Allen Hamilton, Computer Sciences Corporation, Northrop Grumman, XO Communications, ITT Exelis and is host to companies such as Amazon, AOL, Apple, AT&T, Cisco, Dell, ExxonMobil, HP, Juniper, IBM, L-3, Microsoft, Bechtel, NEC, Oracle, Raytheon, Siemens, Unisys, Verizon, and many others. Also uniquely different where we find professionals who work in highly enterprise level environments at high rates, responsible for tremendous amounts.
The difference between the two, Silicon Valley holds the start ups, and the new, the young, the brave, funded by the venture capitalists and some of the newest tech firms in the world. Where the Dulles Tech Corridor is funding is sponsored in a very large part by the US Government, Defense and recently attracting even more of the tech sector. NoVA is a new home to recent companies such as Microsoft, Verisign, and Bechtel. And as of 2008, has been taking much of the financial world from New York City. It has also been reported that half of the internet is run through the NoVA area, largely in part from Amazon Web Services.
This isn’t really so much about Silicon Valley vs NoVA, but rather the interesting side effects that technology companies get when locating themselves in a technology hot bed, that happens to be 10 miles west from capital hill. One of those is the amazing opportunity to secure very large deals with very large government agencies, such as the CIA. It sounds like there may be some opportunity for Amazon Web Services to strike a great deal with the CIA. Verisign moved in, taking over the Sally Mae building three years ago. Bechtel partially moved in 2012. The trend is hot.
Do not forget though, we still have the Silicon Hills in Austin, TX, a regular host of the South by South West Conference, and of course, New York City a staple for almost every industry. As for tech, take notice, NoVA is the hot tech place in the world.