There is no skyline in Silicon Valley. This is an important fact that people in emerging markets should take heed of. A city need not be measured by the impressiveness of its skyline. Emerging markets often attempt to “create” success by constructing grand structures. They build train systems even though most older cities had metros before they were replaced in usefulness by cars. They build high rise buildings even when low rises will do.
In the picture above, that I took during my morning walk in Silicon Valley, there is actually nothing that impressive to see per se from an architectural standpoint. It is however the skyline of Silicon Valley, arguably the most consequential “city” of our age. The market capitalization of the companies within the borders of the picture is approximately 10 trillion dollars. This I believe is a visual demonstration that the true wealth of a nation is created not by the buildings it builds but by the minds it enlightens. To win, a country must invest in its brains, and not its bricks.