The New Silicon Valley: San Francisco’s Cloud Corridor

The New Silicon Valley: San Francisco’s Cloud Corridor

In 1971, a series of newspaper articles were published under the title “Silicon Valley in the USA.”  Branding this innovation center as ‘Silicon Valley’ sparked the imagination and interest of people around the world, and attracted people to the area. There is little doubt that Silicon Valley helped fuel global high-tech growth and blaze trails that led to changes in the way we work, live and play.   To be sure, this was not the only place where innovation was taking place, but surely it was a critical center of gravity for ideas, money, talent and change.

Silicon Valley, in so many ways, epitomized the second half of the 20th century in good ways… and some of the bad.

But we are in a new century, and the world has continued to change in many profound ways.  Today, many of the innovations changing the way we work, live and play are happening in the cloud.  New applications for business, entertainment, communication, productivity, and connections are being developed and launched every day, sometimes with profound impact.

But the center of gravity for the cloud is not in Silicon Valley.  It has shifted north by about 30 miles.  Quietly and with little notice or fan fare, a Cloud Corridor has emerged in San Francisco.  And like its silicon-centric older sister community, the Cloud Corridor has become a magnet for some of the best and brightest minds in technology.

Today, there are over 50 companies concentrated in a tiny geography, attracting new talent, money, and ideas and driving enormous world change.  There is a vibrancy and buzz that Silicon Valley had in the day.  But while the Valley spreads over a 20 square mile radius, the Cloud Corridor is concentrated into 2 square miles.  The intensity is compacted and heightened. There’s even an annual celebration of all-things-cloud held within the boundaries of the Cloud Corridor. Like pilgrims coming to the holy land, people flock into Dreamforce to learn, connect, share, and proselytize.

Similar to Silicon Valley, companies in the Cloud Corridor will come and go, and many will grow and grow.  And, the talent may shift around.  But people will always be attracted into this emerging center of gravity, because this is where anyone can wake up in the morning and change the world.

If you’re in a cloud company in San Francisco’s SOMA district, visit and learn how you can become part of the Cloud Corridor.

Follow me on Twitter @C_Heckart

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Christine Heckart

Christine Heckart is responsible for all aspects of global marketing at ServiceSource. Christine brings over twenty years experience to the position, spanning business and consumer markets in high tech software, subscription services and hardware. She has served previously as chief marketing officer of NetApp, general manager in Microsoft's TV, video and music business and chief marketing officer of Juniper Networks, Inc. She is currently on the Board of Directors at Lam Research, a leading supplier of wafer fabrication equipment for the semiconductor industry. Under Christine's leadership, NetApp was awarded the prestigious American Business "Stevie" Gold Award for best Business-to-Business marketing campaign in 2012 and Juniper received a Stevie award for Best Marketing Team in 2004. Christine received the Women's Leadership Award at Microsoft in 2009 and was named to both Network World's "Top 10 Power Thinkers" and the "50 Most Powerful People in the Industry" in its annual Power issue. It was during this time that she served as president of strategic consulting firm TeleChoice, Inc, where she worked with a "who's who" of industry entrepreneurs and market leaders to create new market strategies and launch disruptive innovations. Christine is the author of two technology books, ATM for Dummies and The Guide to Frame Relay Networking. Her writing has also been featured in Performative, Business Computing World, Big Data Week, and She has also finished her first science fiction novel, Core Truths ( She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1988 with a degree in economics. Follow Christine on Twitter @c_heckart.

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