This week's poll relates to a somewhat controversial NY Times article over the weekend, which suggested that Silicon Valley is more likely to create innovative and successful tech products than elsewhere in the world. Obviously Silicon Valley has a lot going for it - it's a hub for smart Web technologists, it's swimming in VC money right now, the universities there provide a steady supply of talent, and of course the history and 'myth' of Silicon Valley is well known. So yes, the chances for success are higher for a web startup living in Silicon Valley. But does that make Silicon Valley startups inherently more innovative? This article says yes, and what's more claims that "where you live often trumps who you are."
Om Malik has already written a good response, pointing out that Skype was a Nordic creation. And he links to a piece by Vinnie Mirchandani, who rightly says that "the Valley trails other global centers when it comes to many "next-gen" areas", such as mobile and enterprise software.
Like Vinnie, I think the real value of Silicon Valley is in commercializing innovation. Indeed this is something I mentioned recently in an interview I did with a New Zealand newspaper - I said that kiwis are known for their innovation and so there's no reason innovative web startups can't be created here. But I noted that to succeed on a large global scale, kiwis will probably need to take the pilgrimage to Silicon Valley. And it's not just for the VC money - the networking is just as important.
So to this week's poll, do you think Web innovation is dependent on location?