Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network is the story of an economic region coming together as a community. It is about reigniting hope and excitement for the future of Silicon Valley, and taking collaborative action to build that future.
Where Silicon Valley once embraced a “culture of blame,” we now see a commitment to working together. For instance: Although the region could not get its act together to attract the SEMATECH consortium in 1988, it did come together to attract the US Display Consortium in 1993. And, whereas 27 cities and two counties had over 400 amendments to building codes and viewed each other competitively, there is now a uniform building code, created in an historic demonstration of local cooperation.
This evolution has occurred thanks to the ideas, energy, and persistence of thousands of people and dozens of public and private organizations in our community. We have enjoyed success and worked through some tough issues. And we are still learning. The James Irvine Foundation asked that the Joint Venture model be shared, in hopes that others who are trying to improve the economy of their regions might benefit from our story. We don’t pretend to have a magic formula, but we do know what has made the difference: a new community spirit to improve our region’s economic vitality and quality of life.
We call this spirit “the Joint Venture Way” - a community collaborating to compete globally. The people and organizations that participate in Joint Venture have pioneered a new collaborative way of addressing regional economic issues and opportunities in our Valley, of building trust and respect for one another, and of holding ourselves to high standards of performance. The phrase “the Joint Venture Way” is inspired by the “HP Way”shorthand for the collaborative culture of one of Silicon Valley’s original companies, Hewlett-Packard.
We hope other communities can benefit from reading about our experiences, successes, and disappointments. Collaboration is hard, sometimes painful work. But, if the Joint Venture experience is any gauge, the rewards are more than worth the effort.