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Silicon Valley Stands for Innovation

Branding Expert Christopher Johnson Explains How Silicon Valley Has Become a Cultural Brand

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - April 25, 2014) - The name Silicon Valley was coined in the early 70's by California businessman Ralph Vaerst, and then further popularized in the 80s by companies such as IBM, Apple and Microsoft.

While the term originally referred to the concentration of silicon chip manufacturers in the area south of San Francisco, it eventually grew to represent the dynamic technology hub that formed in the region. Leading branding expert Christopher Johnson says, "Now, Silicon Valley is rapidly evolving to become a brand that extends far beyond its origins." In fact, almost half a century later, Silicon Valley represents the entire American technology sector -- receiving over one-third of all venture capital invested each year.

Johnson explains, "Although many are trying to imitate this success, currently there is no other hub that can recreate the unrivaled entrepreneurial culture and economic engine that has become Silicon Valley." This is a valid point. Silicon Valley's influence and reach extends far beyond the Bay Area -- and includes many of the largest global technology companies, thousands of startups, and also an increasingly sophisticated business ecosystem. Johnson says, "Silicon Valley has a unique culture -- one that easily accommodates new ideas, exceptional successes and just as importantly, an understanding of failure."

Silicon Valley also boasts the greatest number of serial acquirers with an appetite for innovation and deep pockets such as, HP, Intel, Google and now Facebook. Johnson says, "Given their history of organic and strategic development, these companies have both the foresight and resources to make large acquisitions, take risks to deliver the market valuations which, in turn attracts the flow of venture capital that drives innovation."

So how did this happen? And more importantly, why has Silicon Valley become the largest and most productive center of innovation worldwide? Johnson's answer is direct, "Consistent and effective disruption. This is to both developing markets and now we are seeing a similar effect on highly structured and once impenetrable markets." Another good point.

In fact, it appears to many that no market is immune to Silicon Valley's culture of innovation. Almost from the beginning, Apple and Google created and built their businesses by disrupting the technology industry, then the music industry, the mobile industry and now, television. Johnson says, "It is fascinating that just as Silicon Valley has focused on TV -- TV has simultaneously focused on Silicon Valley too."

Just one day after the third episode of the new HBO series called Silicon Valley aired, the network announced that it would renew the show for a second season because viewership immediately exceeded 2 million. The show's creators Mike Judge and Alec Berg now have a hit because they developed a show that offers a realistic and entertaining inside view of Silicon Valley as an engine for innovation.

Johnson concludes, "Silicon Valley has become a cultural brand. Nimble, customer-centered, collaborative and scalable are all descriptions that reflect this unique culture. As the new HBO series aptly points out, Silicon Valley is changing the world -- one product and one business at a time." 

About Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is CEO of branding firm Whitehorn Group in New York. Mr. Johnson is a highly regarded authority on creating and managing innovative brands, like Infiniti Motor Company and JetBlue Airways. He attended Carnegie Mellon University where he won the Tholenheimer Award and McCurdy Prize.

About Whitehorn Group

Whitehorn is a premier brand strategy firm. They create what's NEW and NEXT through global branding, design, product innovation, political and celebrity brands, business strategy, global marketing and distribution. www.whitehorngroup.com

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