Commentary

Keeping Silicon Valley Innovative

A while back I mentioned a survey of Silicon Valley CEOs. Here is an edited transcript of a discussion the San Jose Mercury News Opinion Pages editor had with a small group of (I’m assuming) area CEOs. Part of one exchange:

What is the most important federal issue for your company? Polese: The excessive restrictions on immigration. Some of the best talent just can’t get in, or is being actively encouraged to leave, and that talent is really what drove a big part of the economic engine here. We cannot, as a valley, as an industry, as a nation, remain competitive if we don’t get a handle on this. Wilcox: Sarbanes-Oxley or SOX. It is one of the several factors that are limiting the ability of smaller companies to go public. De Geus: We’re absolutely in a knowledge-based economy and brain power determines your opportunity in the global economy. So it is incredibly exciting to see hear the president talk about algebra. Now everyone is talking about “being competitive,” which means doing better in math and science. What we really need is to make that belief, from the government down, a national priority.

Read the whole thing for more on housing, transportation, and other business bugaboos.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.