what silicon valley looked like in 1991

  • Business Insider polled tech investors about whether Silicon Valley, the birthplace of the iPhone and Google, has lost the innovation crown.
  • Most said the exciting startups are less consumer-focused than they once were.
  • Others said that consumer startups have left Silicon Valley for cities like New York and Los Angeles.

Pop quiz: What’s the hottest consumer tech startup to come out of Silicon Valley this year?

If you struggled to come up with an immediate answer for the next Facebook or Uber, you’ve identified the current climate in America’s longtime capital of innovation.

There’s no shortage of money and ambitious entrepreneurs shuffling around San Francisco and its surrounding areas. But in a region constantly looking for the next big thing, the lack of a new breakout gadget or app can be deeply unsettling. Some even wonder if Silicon Valley has become…boring!

We checked in with six veteran tech investors — inside the Valley and out — for an update on the state of innovation in Silicon Valley and for their thoughts on the merits of the “boring” charge.

One surprising takeaway: Silicon Valley no longer rules the roost when it comes to creating hot consumer tech products. But that’s because it’s already moved on to the next big cycle of innovation. If you’re looking for the next viral camera app or social network as evidence of Silicon Valley innovation, you’re missing the bigger picture.

The valley is still a hotbed of innovation, but innovation looks different now.

“The most interesting ideas are usually the non-obvious ones,” Jerry Chen, a partner at Greylock Partners, told Business Insider. “By the time everyone is talking about a technology or a trend it’s usually too late!”

The era of consumer startups is over in Silicon Valley

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