After the worst year the valley has experienced in 10 years and the highest rainfall in December for 30 years, it is good to see the area coming back to life in 2002.
The new year brought back the famous California optimism with the belief that the worst is behind us and it can't rain any more!
Technology is back in favour on Wall Street with the likes of John Chambers (Cisco) and Larry Ellison (Oracle) leading the charge, suggesting that growth is slowly coming back. Apple astounded the technology savvy with the new look iMac and even suggested they were back pursuing Microsoft.
Lucent has announced a new female chief executive in the shape of Patricia Russo - just in time you might suggest - and Intel and AMD got back to Moore's Law (the doubling of microchip complexity every two years) by announcing newer and faster microprocessors.
The prediction from most now in the industry is that the third and fourth quarters of 2002 will see growth returning to the technology and telecoms market. This may not be in time for many startups which are seeing their money burnt away and the venture capital markets closed tight for at least another year. There is still blood to be shed in this valley.
The valley, and it really is a valley, is a close-knit community of like minded people who seek opportunity, wealth and new ideas. Being optimistic is in their nature and, although it can be over-bearing in social events, it is something even a relatively normal Brit can eventually warm to.
In the next couple of months I can see T-shirts saying: "What recession?" or " I survived the 2001 technology burn out."
PS: I must not forget my umbrella. Now that sounds familiar, doesn't it?
Hubert "Bert" Whyte
Bert Whyte has worked in the telecoms industry for over 30 years. His career kicked off at the old GPO, followed by a partnership with Terry Matthews and the then newly created Mitel Telecommunications.
Within a few years Mitel was sold to BT and Whyte made the move, with Matthews, to a small startup, Newbridge Networks. From initial fledgling company under Whyte's expertise international business turnover reached £100m within a four-year period.
In 1995 Whyte moved to Newbridge affiliate ACC: the company which was the first to install a node on the internet. Whyte overhauled the firm and presided over its now famous $400m acquisition by Ericsson in 1998.
1999 saw Whyte move again, to become president and chief executive of net.com.
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