On Immigration and Silicon Valley

TechCrunch offers a guest post today by Vivek Wadhwa titled Beware The Reverse Brain Drain To India And China.

It caught my eye.

Wadhwa suggests that many younger Chinese and Indians who have come to the United States to work in the technology business are returning to their native countries, and provocatively concludes:

It is very possible that some of the smart Indians who sat in the room with me holding their hand up on Columbus Day will start the next Google or Apple. Many of them will build companies which employ thousands. But the jobs will be in Hyderbad or Pune, not Silicon Valley. (emphasis mine)


Wadhwa essentially implies: if smart Indians and Chinese leave, well, there won’t be many smart people left here in the Bay Area. “The jobs will be in Hyderbad or Pune, not Silicon Valley.

I don’t pretend to possess a definitive history or deep understanding of Silicon Valley. But it seems to me that the genius of the place is that it attracts interesting, smart, able people from all over the world and all over America, and from many diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. Not just from one or two countries.

To the folks going home to Shanghai and Pune and Bangalore, best of luck. Yes, our economy is a mess, but I suspect some smart kid from Romania, London, Mexico, Brazil, Cleveland, Alabama, or Vietnam will arrive to take your place. And Silicon Valley will go on.


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