Growth & Value, 2014, 60″ x 60″
Océ VariaDot UV inkjet print on .125″ 6061 Aluminum plate
with random orbit finish and UV protective matte clear coat finish
Eighth of eight artworks that tell the story of Silicon Valley,
installed at the San Jose Marriott, Ballroom Pre-function Area (Mezzanine Level)
Growth & Value is an artistic allegory about how small Silicon Valley beginnings end up generating massive companies with huge international impact, an innovative and entrepreneurial growth pattern repeated again and again in Silicon Valley. It is about the immense growth and value brought about by the companies that make up Silicon Valley. I use the term “value” as measured in positive impact on billions people’s lives across the globe, as well as by the capitalization of the companies worth in the economy. The global reach is symbolized by the stars that form part of the background of this artwork. The capitalization value is symbolized by the NASDAQ board floating near the top of the spiral and the NASDAQ numbers that provide a backdrop for this image. The view across Silicon Valley looking down from Alum Rock, shown in the lower section of the artwork, represents the crucible of the valley from which entrepreneurship flourishes, just like the apricot orchards that preceded them.
The Fibonacci, or Golden, spiral prominently featured on this artwork is a metaphor for the many aspects of growth in Silicon Valley, from Moore’s Law concerning the growth of the density of transistors that fit onto an integrated circuit to the increase of the worth of Silicon Valley companies on the NASDAQ exchange and the increase in the presence and utility of their products, and hence the value in people’s lives, the world over. The Fibonacci spiral is a form seen in nature, art and science. In this sense it also mirrors the way that Silicon Valley has grown out of the harnessing of natural substances such as silicon into making powerful transformative products such as computers.
I have placed the historic garage where Bill Hewlett and David Packard started Hewlett Packard in 1939 on the lower left, symbolic of the humble beginnings of so many of the iconic Silicon Valley companies. As you follow the spiral upwards you see, following the spiral clockwise:
The Apple HQ in Cupertino (upper middle), symbolic of the established legacy companies that make up the Valley such as Intel, Electronic Arts, IBM, HP, Google, Facebook, EBay and Youtube, etc, mostly based on the Peninsula;
The Twitter HQ in San Francisco (upper left), symbolic of the new generation internet companies, many still in start-up pre-IPO mode, who have moved the Silicon Valley center of gravity from Santa Clara to San Francisco, such as Zynga, Wikipedia, Dropbox, Square, Airbnb, Yelp, Kayak, Reddit, etc.; and, finally, in the top right,
The San Francisco skyline which symbolizes the continued growth of Silicon Valley and the value it introduces into people’s lives.
As Silicon Valley marketing guru, Regis McKenna, said: “every 10 years there is a new industry that arises here in Silicon Valley. Of the top 15 companies [in the region], 12 of those companies were formed in the past 15 years, they generate $600 billion of revenues, and employ about three-quarters of the people in Silicon Valley, and they were all entrepreneurial companies 15 years ago. So we continue to see this sort of churning and creating of new industries.”
The Silicon Valley Series