Building Indias Generation Valley

Building Indias Generation Valley
Building Indias Generation Valley

The core here is that incremental and evolutionary can co-exist and every effort we make in Evolutionary doesn't need to be pulled down by the potential opportunity cost of not looking at incremental.There have been a number of articles written about the “Silicon Valley transition for India” through the last decade, almost at the same rate as Silicon Valley lost its absolute connection to Silicon for one that is more abstracted and maybe in the future even just notional.Silicon Valley, now an epicenter of technology thinking has been far more than just the companies it has produced; at its core it's a way of thinking, embracing, trying and ultimately accepting that failure is the only route to success. It's a strong symbol for disruption, hope and ultimately the deliverer of the dream of self-actuation.Less than 50 years ago, technology was an industry, today one could argue that every company in the world is now part of that industry or that technology is the suit we wear to work everyday. It moved us from the Industrial era to the Digital Spectra, and incrementally thinking, its going to be a key ingredient in the next jump much like mobility was a key ingredient of the Industrial era.Therefore the question is not what India needs to emulate Silicon Valley, for that emulation would simply be out of date before it was even produced, but for India to become the epicenter for Generational Technology / Generational Thinking.Silicon Valley was never an emulation, it was a convergence of minds that did things differently originally fuelled by Stanford University at an era where everyone had college at the top of their mind (after all the best of the best went to Stanford!). If we therefore take the liberty to shift our thinking from emulation to the creation of “Generation Valley” for better words we need to possibly highlight some of the core potential traits needed in the updated context of the world we are in (not to say all the traits are part of this 21st Century thinking).Exploration & Discovery {Education & Culture}As a culture we need to promote exploration and discovery, not keeping it safe by going through the tried and tested. We demand our place at the World Table not because of our ability to discover, find and explore but rather our ability to execute in what is soon to become a World gone by.This need to explore, to open our minds, to question and be nurtured to stay constantly curious has to start at an educational level. Initiatives like the Vega World School opened by a dear friend of mine are the first steps to create thinkers, tinkerers and believers.Through this uninhibited belief and thinking, will we create the minds that will help us build Generational Thinking; that are going to build technology and solves problem that transcend Generations.Thinking Evolutionary not just incrementallyA part of the battle that Education solves is to bring people to the ideas table, however in order for that to incubate and grow, the problems we need to solve need a heavier weight on being evolutionary and not intrinsically incremental.We need to see the world 50 years out, not necessarily 5 years - there needs to be enough motivation (financially and otherwise) to be open to create and think about things that are seemingly out of context for our world today.The world has so many problems today; there are even grander ones, a few decades out. The likelihood is, solving those may solve more than one of the ones today; just like the internet solved a particular purpose back in the days of its invention; but today seemingly solves a lot more than it was originally designed for.In the case of Silicon Valley in the technology era, NASA and the natural curiosity that space brings fueled this heavily. One could argue, therefore, that India's necessity to an elaborate space program will help create a new way of thinking through bringing together people who can earn financially in a new industry to those who can help dream that space ahead.The core here is that incremental and evolutionary can co-exist and every effort we make in Evolutionary doesn't need to be pulled down by the potential opportunity cost of not looking at incremental.The power to fail. The power to disrupt.Whilst this seems a daunting option when coupled with the grand notion of “Generational”; we have only to realize that every major disruption is fuelled by a slightly crazy, blinkered, somewhat oblivious dreamer who considers failure a lesson, as a faire du compli, rather than something to be avoided.Culturally in every spectrum of Indian society we need to open this so that we bring out the dreamers; the ones that will push the envelope and think. Our booming startup culture is opening this with maybe the baby step being to look at short wind problems and solutions. Planning a mission to Mars would definitely pull open a generational set of technology from communication faster than the speed of light (a paradigm we always thought was impossible) to the notion of currency and banking in a brand new world.Building for today, tomorrow and the century aheadTo build anything needs funding and investors who will fund in all the spectrums not just the ones with the nearest potential returns. Part of Silicon Valley's strength dwells from the wide time horizons for investments which leads to economic generation at all time periods. India's investment access needs to move forward considerably if there is a chance in emulating Silicon Valley let alone building a “Generation Valley”.In ClosingI'm not a hater, nor am I a pessimist, I have a deep rooted belief we have the potential to achieve this; for it to happen, we need to move in unison which for a democracy of our size is a considerable weight. For us to achieve the start of “Generational Thinking” we need to first move the envelope in how we measure success; especially the care for the success for the generations outside of our lifetime.

Sachin Dev Duggal is a tech entrepreneur who was one of the first in the cloud in 2004 and now runs Shoto, a photo app that lets you get the photos your friends took. He's based between San Francisco and New Delhi. Sachin is the chairman of SD Squared, a technology services company based in Delhi, Amsterdam and San Francisco. A World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer and an PWC Leader of Tomorrow.

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