Detroit had a prosperous and seemingly invincible economy over the mid-1900s, and became bankrupt in 2013.
When you drive through Detroit today, you'll see a wasteland of empty buildings and houses - could this happen to a powerhouse like Silicon Valley in a few decades? Remote work and decentralization are quickly eroding Silicon Valley's monopoly. Bay Area tech companies almost had a chance to return to office life in 2021 - but COVID's Delta Variant delayed re-openings to 2022. Having a work culture involving an office is becoming similar to requiring a suit and tie to do software engineering.
How long can Silicon Valley last closed, while employees are eyeing real estate that is offered at a heavy discount of 50% or more outside of the Bay Area?
Balaji Srinivasan talks about this at Startup School 2013, talking about exit as a mean of change:
Given software engineers vote with their feet, I believe they will push towards a better quality of life over living near an office.
The Metaverse is coming soon.
But this doesn't mean Silicon Valley will be destroyed - it will simply become a regular California location, like San Diego. Silicon Valley is decentralized.