38th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Europe Quo Vadis? - Regional Questions at the Turn of the Century", 28 August - 1 September 1998, Vienna, Austria
Various publications tabulate and publish lists of the ?top 100? information-technology (I.T.) firms. The July 1997 issue of PD Magazine, for example, has a list showing that most of the world?s key firms in computing, software, semiconductors, and related fields are American. They are also heavily concentrated in such western states as Texas, Utah, Washington, and of course California. The distribution of firms and entrepreneurs is markedly different from 15 years ago. For example, the December 1997 Upside Magazine list of the top 100 people in I.T. contains only three individuals from supposedly ?high-tech? Massachusetts ? or no more than the number predicted by the state?s share of the US population. The paper will extend my work tracking the westward rebirth of American computing since the early 1980s. It will complement the employment shifts I have already documented with new mappings of firms and entrepreneurs. The hypotheses is that the PC revolution spurs a regional realignment of US computing away from the more hierarchical and bureaucratized firms of the Northeast to flatter, more agile, and more entrepreneurial firms in the younger economic cultures of the West. A look at the specific enterprises and entrepreneurs will illuminate the process by which the US regained its leadership in I.T. within the world economy.