Next Era on the Horizon ~

  I thought this was an interesting and insightful article written by Michael Malone in the Wall Street Journal today. Dealing with the aspect of real estate in particular,  investors have been backing away from paying high dollar costs per square foot in the immediate valley and searching for the next immediate boom area. First time buyers have already experienced the frustration of not being able to afford decent homes on their budgets, deciding to push out further into surrounding communities.  The San Jose Mercury News article of recent note wrote that sales of homes over $1M in Santa Cruz County were up over 21% just from June.

Here is the article as it was published in the WSJ:

Silicon Valley, especially its San Francisco wing, is richer and more powerful than ever. Yet there are growing murmurs—underscored by plateauing new-jobs numbers and housing prices, street protests in San Francisco over the new ‘plutocrats,’ the lack of exciting new products and a decline of early-stage new investments—that Silicon Valley has finally peaked and begun the downhill slide to irrelevance.

Slide? Perhaps. The Valley has always been characterized by a four-year boom-bust cycle, and the electronics industry is overdue for such a downturn. Yet there is very good reason to believe that not only will the Valley return bigger and stronger than ever, but that it will further consolidate its position against all comers as the World’s High Tech Capital. Here’s why:

Success breeds success. A major new report being prepared by the Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project has found that the region’s dominance is still decisive and growing. While a decade ago the nation’s various tech centers showed a relative balance in creating high-value companies, Silicon Valley (including San Francisco) has now jumped far ahead. The average worker in Silicon Valley generated 50% more output per year than the average U.S. worker in 2012, according to Collaborative Economics Inc.

The Long Wave: Most observers appreciate the Valley’s four-year cycle, but few have ever noticed a much longer, 20-year cycle in electronics. For nearly two decades since the beginning of the dot-com boom, the Valley has been dominated by software. We have lived in the Era of Code—and with it the gestalt of the programmer. This person is young, single, urban, visionary and utopian: the frat boy turned tycoon. But that era is ending, as a cycle of hardware begins to assert itself in the form of watches, wearables, mobile health, autonomous cars, drones, 3-D printing and a revolution in sensors—all tied together by the cloudlike Internet of Things.

We are entering the Era of Devices. This will be led by builders: older, with a family, suburban and pragmatic. This will undoubtedly result in a Valley more like that of the calculator and PC eras in its style, people and attitudes, and a break from the increasingly protested-against titans of social networking.

This shift is already under way. The epicenter of Silicon Valley has always migrated. With the return to hardware, it is now preparing to leap back to where it began 75 years ago—to Mountain View ( Google GOOGL -0.87% glass, autonomous vehicles), Palo Alto (Tesla, Theranos) and Cupertino (the new Apple headquarters). Even the San Francisco 49ers have moved to a high-tech stadium in Santa Clara. Back to Traditional Valley—and traditional attitudes.

Population: While Silicon Valley is among the most multicultural communities in the U.S., even more important is the composition of those communities. The Valley immigrant is twice as likely as the average U.S. immigrant to hold a bachelor’s degree. Unlike in the other technology centers, the net influx of these immigrants continues to climb rapidly. If the past is precedent, this will accelerate the creation of new startup companies and patent filings (6% of all patents filed in the U.S. include the name of at least one Valley worker.) There’s a good chance that a decade from now the “face” of Silicon Valley will be an Indian woman CEO.

Infrastructure: In experienced engineers, incubators, recruiters, contractors and service companies to support entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley remains unequaled. The great universities—Stanford, Berkeley, Santa Clara, UCSF Medical—have only become greater, and they are supported by scores of other universities, community colleges and trade schools. Carnegie-Mellon, Wharton and other famous schools have set up satellite programs or relationships in the Valley.

Perhaps most compelling for the future, the past few years have seen the arrival of research and design laboratories from the likes of BMW BMW.XE -0.94% and Mercedes, Samsung 005930.SE +0.65% and Nissan 7201.TO +0.05% and even General Electric. GE +0.46% Most important, this remains the world’s center of venture capital: Total Valley (including San Francisco) venture investments this year exceed the rest of the country combined, according to the investment-analysis firm CB Insights.

The Valley does still face some serious challenges. While it may not succumb to its traffic and cost-of-living problems, it may soon be compelled to expand. San Francisco’s tech industry is already crossing the Bay to Oakland, while the rest of the Valley is pouring into the East Bay and beyond toward the San Joaquin Valley cities of Tracy (where Amazon has set up a plant) and even Stockton. That is a glimpse of things to come.

It is possible to imagine a “Greater Silicon Valley” of 2050 that stretches from Santa Cruz on the coast, up through Sacramento, 250 miles to the Gold Country and on to Reno/Lake Tahoe. But that will take a profound rethinking of the state’s transportation system. A good start would be for Gov. Jerry Brown to abandon his San Francisco to Los Angeles high-speed-train boondoggle and replace it with an equally high-speed hub-and-spoke system centered in San Jose (and perhaps a separate hub and spoke in Orange County).

The Competitiveness and Innovation Project has found one gaping hole in Silicon Valley: research-grant money, where the Valley trails almost every other tech region. The Valley has always eschewed government money—usually for good reason. But even that may have to change as the Valley can no longer wait for the government-backed Big Science projects, now taking place elsewhere, to power its future. It needs those initiatives, and the talent they attract, closer to home. The peripheral counties of Greater Silicon Valley may be the perfect sites for those big laboratories and research facilities.

Finally, Silicon Valley needs a de facto “mayor,” the person who represents its broad interests, and not those of a particular company, industry or advocacy groups. The Valley began with such individuals—Stanford’s Fred Terman, Dave Packard and then Intel founder Robert Noyce. But that ended with Noyce’s premature death in 1990. Now, poised to reinvent itself one more time and lead the global economy again, Silicon Valley needs another leader to address the great changes to come.

Mr. Malone writes often for the Journal about technology. His latest book is “The Intel Trinity: How Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore and Andrew Grove Built the World’s Most Important Company” (HarperBusiness, 2014).

National Farmer’s Market Week!

If you haven’t had the visual and informative pleasure of reading a copy of Edible Silicon Valley….you are truly going to be pleasantly surprised when you do.  The artistry that is scripted in this publication embraces the love of all things food. From what is seasonally fresh, to where to find it and what recipe to prepare it in, the appealing pictures ignite the desire to prepare all the artisanal recipes. Providing the confidence for each aspiring evening chef with user friendly directions, you can enjoy all the bounty that this beautiful state provides…and not just high real estate prices.

“Edible Silicon Valley celebrates the local, sustainable food sources of the Silicon Valley area. Every season we serve up a combination of profiles, features, and recipes that illuminate the people who work so hard to bring this bounty to our tables. Intertwined throughout the magazine we include food as art through stunning photography and illustrations. Edible Silicon Valley is a feast for the eyes, the intellect and the palate.”

Here is a picture of the quarterly magazine that is available in print  form or on-line. I’ve provided the link below if you would like to subscribe to it. They also feature a newsletter and blog. Some local markets feature the publication. I know Roberts has it!

Decorating a Dorm Room?

Well you knew it would come eventually….the wonderful bundle of joy that was your blessing 18 years ago is flying off to the land of the “College Campus”.  So how do you prepare emotionally for leaving the love of your life, turning around and walking away so they can begin their own lives…you prepare their nest! Off to Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Best Buy and The Container Store! These are the immediate rites of passage. Keep the parents busy preparing the kids new home away from home while they are busy socializing, adjusting and preparing for their first sojourn into the eventual shock of reality. I’ve done this 3 times…and it is always a mix of love, emotion, devotion, completion, accomplishment and sadness. Here are some tips I wish I’d had.


1. Dorm beds need Twin XLG sheets! You will need to find them on-line as most stores, with the exception of BB&B don’t stock them. Good news is that nowadays there are chic and stylish sheet selections. You can definitely be creative and embrace the new found independent sense of style that is emerging in your collegiate.

American Flag Twin XL Bed Set, $169 from Urban Outfitters.

2. Rugs, most colleges will specify how big your rug should be on their website, but if they don’t, generally 4×6 or 5×7 is a safe bet. These rugs will provide warmth for the cold little tootsies that are waking up early to get to the 8am class that only freshman enroll in.

Virring Rug $9.99 from Ikea.

3. Pillows….pop with personality and  can provide sentimental connection.

Plus One Pillow In Pug, $44.99 from Mod Cloth.


4. Lighting…in my family we call these Gypsy lights and they can be changed depending on the mood or holiday! These little lights  that can be static or flickering provide a soft approach to the sometimes glaring overhead florescent lights that most dorms offer for optimal studying success.

Mix and Fla-mingle String Lights, $19.99 from Mod Cloth.


5. Laundry Storage….and you will need a lot of it because laundry will not be in your college students top 10 must do’s each week!

Large Tint Stacking Drawer $14.99 ea from The Container Store.

6. Wall decor!  From clocks to expressions of personality dorm walls are the mirrors of every collegiate’s true directional purpose…even if it’s only in the immediacy.

We Are Young Flag, $34 from Urban Outfitters.


Photos courtesy of Pinterest!



Luxe Rustic Vacation Retreats ~

Ranch at Rock Creek

Recently Architectural Digest featured an article on luxurious “glamping” destinations in the United States. Striking a nerve in the sense of relaxation and adventure portion of my brain, I thought I would share the highlights of the “tent resorts” that peaked my interest. Can’t you just see the stars, smell the pines, imagine the peace, taste the evening meals you enjoy with family and friends……escape for a moment….and come back with memories for a lifetime.
The above tent cabin is at Relais & Châteaux’s  Ranch at Rock Creek, in Philipsburg, Montana is a two-hour drive west of Helena. “Glampers”have the option of staying in rustic luxury log cabins or a selection of ten canvas tent suites with private bathrooms, fluffy beds, and wood-burning stoves! From $995/night per person, all inclusive;
Photo courtesy of The Ranch at Rock Creek

Dunton River Camp

Dunton River Camp is the sister property of the Dunton Hot Springs resort in the Colorado Rockies. Sitting in a riverside clearing, the eight smartly appointed contemporary tents each include an en suite bath and a private porch. The dining room and guest lounge are located in an adjacent 19th-century farmhouse.
From $1,400/night for two people, all inclusive;
Photo courtesy of Dunton River Camp
Hedges, New York
This once lakeside Adirondack camp for a Civil War brigadier general features wood-and-stone lodges and cabins of the Hedges of Blue Mountain Lake, in upstate New York. Retaining the charms of a bygone era—albeit with many marked improvements, including four-course dinners, daily maid service, and nightly s’mores.
From $195/night for two people, including breakfast, dinner, and activities;

Photo Courtesy of Alan Pouch

The Point, Adirondack Mountains

Staying on the East Coast for another Relais & Châteaux resort, The Point in the Adirondack Mountains Upper Saranac Lake (which is upstate New York for all of my California friends who don’t go past Colorado) graciously occupies the four original log buildings of the Great Camp built by William Avery Rockefeller in the 1930s. Art and antiques adorn the 75-acre resort which today upholds a formal tradition worthy of the Gilded Age: black-tie dinners on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

From $1,600/night for two people, all inclusive;

Photo Courtesy of The Point.

Mustang Monument

I featured this resort in Northern Nevada a few months ago. Opened in June on 900 square miles in northern Nevada, Mustang Monument exists primarily to protect the group of 650 rescued wild American horses from which it takes its name. Guests who come for equestrian and hiking safaris stay in one of 20 luxurious tepees or cabins kitted out with plush king-size beds, leather armchairs, and woven rugs.  Here was my original post:   From $1,000/night for two, all inclusive;

Photo: Kristi Johnson and courtesy of Mustang Monument

The Resort at Paws Up—a 37,000-acre working cattle ranch between Helena and Missoula, in western Montana— is enticing guests with 30 one- and two-bedroom tented accommodations across five camps.  Cliffside Camp opened only last June, on a precipitous perch with panoramic views over the Blackfoot River and the rest of the ranch. From $450/night per person, all inclusive;

Photo courtesy of The Resort at Paws Up

Bedroom Dimensions not Dynamics!

As we spend most of our time….although not always awake….in the bedroom, the dimensions and the placement of your furniture can impact your day.  Particularly if you wake up and stub your toe the first thing in the morning. The comfort and solace that we seek at the end of the day and in the early morning are enhanced by the layout of your bedroom. I pulled this article from Houzz because I found it provided specific dimensions and design ideas to maximize your bedroom furniture placement potential. When real estate is becoming increasingly more expensive per square foot. Creativity becomes a must when dealing with smaller spaces.
From small spaces, to night tables, cribs, dressers, ceilings and sitting areas Stephen Randel details exact placement for your furniture and reasons why they work. Remodeling, sprucing or reinventing….need some suggestions..