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Silicon Valley led the foundation of companies, valued at $1,000,000,000,000 today and took 20 years to build. Today, disruptors are raising new companies valued 5x this amount. How long do you think it will take them?


by Paul Holland


The earliest companies in Silicon Valley were created by dreamers. Driven by visions of an improved future, these dreamers built entirely new areas of , including semiconductors, computers and networking. But those ventures also laid the groundwork for companies today, which are using that technology to bring massive change to the industries that form the foundation of our modern society. Big innovations are happening in the areas of finance with Bitcoin and transportation with Uber, and the face of hospitality has forever changed thanks to Airbnb. It feels like we may be on the verge of an infrastructure revolution — with the market for these disruptive ideas being so big that their eventual impact could be five to 10 times greater than those companies on which the Valley was built.


Dreamers Set the Course of History

In the documentary Something Ventured, about the history of Silicon Valley, many of the original VCs — including Arthur Rock, Tom Perkins and Don Valentine — talk about what it was like to be involved in the seminal moments of soon-to-be corporate giants like Intel, Apple, Genentech, Atari and Cisco. The of those companies was a turning point in our culture, and their combined value today is over $1,000,000,000,000.

These investors were also dreamers, just like the people they believed in. Together, they built businesses that led to the creation of digital platforms that have become the backbone of computing, networking, science and entertainment — and helped millions of people along the way. Without their work, companies like Google and Amazon, let alone the entire Internet, might not exist as they do today. However, it’s interesting to note that because those early companies were so cutting-edge, our country’s most entrenched industries were able to ignore them and continue with business as usual. That’s not the case today.


Disruptors are Charting the Future

Due to the proliferation of technology, the pace of change today is faster than ever. Industries that have been doing business the same way for generations are being disrupted by entrepreneurs who are making services more accessible, efficient and personalized. Vital industries, such as finance, transportation, food and hospitality, are under siege, and the market opportunity for this infrastructure revolution is enormous. In the long term, these new companies could have five or 10 times the global impact of Silicon Valley’s original companies. $1,000,000,000,000? That could be small potatoes.

Here are a few areas that the disruptors have set their sights on in this new era of Silicon Valley.


Taking the Financial Services Industry Online

There is approximately $156 trillion in global financial assets, according to Business Insider, but less than 20 percent of people worldwide have access to a loan from a financial institution — which means there’s a huge opportunity to transform the consumer lending business. Lending Club, founded in 2007, facilitates personal and business through an online . With no branch structure to support, overhead is low, fees are virtually non-existent, and savings get passed on to customers via lower interest rates and higher returns. Last quarter alone they processed over $1.6 billion in loans. LendingHome, founded in 2013, brings the same simplicity to home loans. In their first year, they processed over $100 million in online loans — most of which closed in less than 10 days. Making money more accessible to people around the world is going to be a huge boom to the global economy, and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface.



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