Bangalore boom, traffic congestion
Today’s (Sunday) San Jose Mercury News features a cover story on Bangalore, India, and draws some parallels with the Bay Area. The headline reads “The tech boom didn’t die. It just moved to India.” I find that I unexpectedly run into people from the Bay Area quite often during trips out there, and there has been amazing growth in salaries and real estate prices which reminds me of late ’99 here. At the same time they seem to be hitting resource limits of various sorts. The water and power supplies can be spotty, the storm drains routinely flood the streets during monsoon season, the roads are overloaded, there’s often a shortage of hotel rooms, and the airport is remarkably bad, considering that so much of the local economy depends on foreign business travel.
Bangalore, the tech center of India, is booming as the Bay Area once did, becoming a world-class hub for tech jobs, economic activity and, increasingly, innovation. While Silicon Valley still retains a hold on high-end tech jobs, countless lower-level positions, particularly in software — and now some sophisticated research and development work — are shifting to this city of 6.5 million in southern India. The emergence of Bangalore — and of India — as a tech power signals a new world economic order that is both opportunity and threat to Silicon Valley.
The article also mentions the traffic (and the fact that it can take an hour to go a few miles). Reminded me to go dig up some video clips I’ve been meaning to do something with. Nothing spectacular, but as I travel, I find the differentness of the mundane aspects of daily life interesting, and there are lots of little things to see in these. (WM9 only, no Quicktime, I don’t have an encoder handy at the moment.)