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Why Cloning Silicon Valley Is So Hard

The sprit of a place comes from historical circumstances that are unlikely to be reproduced

3 min read
Why Cloning Silicon Valley Is So Hard
Illustration: Jesse Lefkowitz

The speaker was talking about how New Jersey could become the next Silicon Valley. I was skeptical, but the audience was enthusiastic. “We could be Silicon Valley!” they were thinking.

Through the years I’ve been a number of places that people thought could become Silicon Valley. Some have done well enough—Boston; Research Triangle Park, in North Carolina; Austin, Texas; and Cambridge, England, to name a few. Many more places have had their hopes and aspirations bear little fruit. But Silicon Valley is still the only Silicon Valley.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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