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March 14, 2007

« It's Only Rock and Roll... | Main | There Goes the Neighborhood »

14valley_600_1 So says this article in the New York Times (hat tip: TUS):

"It is no secret that venture capitalists have begun pouring billions into energy-related start-ups with names like SunPower, Nanosolar and Lilliputian Systems. But that interest is now spilling over to many others in Silicon Valley — lawyers, accountants, recruiters and publicists, all developing energy-oriented practices to cater to the cause. The best and the brightest from leading business schools are pelting energy start-ups with résumés. And, of course, there are entrepreneurs from all backgrounds — but especially former dot-commers — who express a sense of wonder and purpose at the thought of transforming the $1 trillion domestic energy market while saving the planet. “It’s like 1996,” said Andrew Beebe, one of the remade Internet entrepreneurs. In the boom, he ran Bigstep.com, which helped small businesses sell online. Today, he is president of Energy Innovations, which makes low-cost solar panels. “The Valley has found a new hot spot.”

This could spell big trouble for existing energy and automotive companies. Does anyone even remember names like Univac, Honeywell, etc. anymore?  Once the Schumpeter's genie is out of the bottle, there's no putting her back in. And the level of inefficiency and bureaucratic incompetence among most incumbent companies in these sectors is mind-numbing.  If you think this has big implications for companies and  industries, ponder for a moment how it could effect regions like for example the Midwest from Ohio through Detroit, or the energy belt running from Louisiana to Houston?  And, California may well be on it's way to becoming its own economy, surely a very different one from the rest of the country with a different future and a different culture as well.

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