The Daily Beast
March 7, 2012
By Zachary Karabell
It’s no secret that the media world is disproportionately represented by denizens of the East Coast, which also overlaps with the corridors of politics and finance. For the past years, these circles have been focused on financial crises, the fate of the Eurozone, high unemployment, government debt, unbridled political partisanship, nuclear proliferation, and successive waves of market panic.
All valid concerns, but on the other side of the country, the ecosystem of Silicon Valley sees the world through a radically different lens. The focus is not on crisis and decline and imminent threats but on the burgeoning world of new technologies, which are enjoying a period of efflorescence that make the heady days of the 1990s look like amateur hour. And when those who populate that world listen to the gloom that suffuses the media and politics and finance, they often scratch their heads in bewilderment.
Nowhere was the contrast clearer than at one of the major technology conferences of the year, hosted by Morgan Stanley last week in San Francisco. Nearly 200 companies attended and presented their vision to prospective investors. Many of the names were familiar (Google, Intel, eBay); some are becoming household names (Salesforce.com, Netflix, Zynga); and others were more obscure (Square, Fusion-IO, Autodesk), though not for long. All, however, painted a world of radical change and lightning growth, with U.S. and international companies and consumers buying up whatever products and services are offered and showing no sign of a sated appetite or limited means.