Inspiration from Paul Graham

Who is he and who & why should One know him?

Paul Graham is an essayist, programmer, and programming language designer. In 1995 he developed with Robert Morris the first web-based application, Viaweb, which was acquired by Yahoo in 1998. In 2002 he described a simple Bayesian spam filter that inspired most current filters. He’s currently working on a new programming language called Arc, a new book on startups, and is one of the partners in Y Combinator.

Paul is the author of On Lisp (Prentice Hall, 1993), ANSI Common Lisp (Prentice Hall, 1995), and Hackers & Painters (O’Reilly, 2004). He has an AB from Cornell and a PhD in Computer Science from Harvard, and studied painting at RISD and the Academia di Belle Arti in Florence.

Paul’s ideas are published in Essays on his web site could help us to think and learn how to build our Cyber based development in Mauritius. I wish that we Mauritian specially Academia, Politicians, Government authorities, Entrepreneurs, Businessmen would be inspired by his writings to map out our model of development.

Paul’s dual track of Philosophy & Arts and Computer science educational back ground gives him insights which resulted in unbelievable achievement.

Of particular interest to me is his essay :HOW TO BE SILICON VALLEY

In short, Silicon Valley (SV) happened at the confluences of various factors and absence of other factors.

Learning about the factors will help us model our own.

The founding and creating element of a technology hub lies in two essential types of people: Rich People and Nerds.

No Bureaucrats

Bureaucrats by their nature are the exact opposite sort of people from startup investors.

Not Buildings

But it’s the people that make it Silicon Valley, not the buildings.


So if you want to make a silicon valley, you not only need a university, but one of the top handfuls in the world.

So if you managed to recruit, en masse, a significant number of the best young researchers, you could create a first-rate university from nothing overnight. And you could do that for surprisingly little.


It has to be a place where investors want to live, and students want to stay after they graduate.

There has been a lot written lately about the “creative class.” The thesis seems to be that as wealth derives increasingly from ideas; cities will prosper only if they attract those who have them.

What exactly is personality? I think it’s the feeling that each building is the work of a distinct group of people. A town with personality is one that doesn’t feel mass-produced. So if you want to make a startup hub– or any town to attract the “creative class”– you probably have to ban large development projects. When a large tract has been developed by a single organization, you can always tell.

Nerds Attraction

If you want to attract nerds, you need more than a town with personality. You need a town with the right personality. Nerds are a distinct subset of the creative class, with different tastes from the rest.

What nerds like is the kind of town where people walk around smiling.

Most nerds like quieter pleasures. They like cafes instead of clubs; used bookshops instead of fashionable clothing shops; hiking instead of dancing; sunlight instead of tall buildings.


It’s the young nerds who start startups, so it’s those specifically the city has to appeal to. The startup hubs in the US are all young-feeling towns. This doesn’t mean they have to be new. Cambridge has the oldest town plan in America, but it feels young because it’s full of students.


That has two important implications. The first is that you need time to grow a silicon valley. The university you could create in a couple years, but the startup community around it has to grow organically. The cycle time is limited by the time it takes a company to succeed, which probably averages about five years.


One of Silicon Valley’s biggest advantages is its venture capital firms.

Does the impetus given by the spirit of the new Budget speech encourage the creation of a technology hub?

What are the gaps to be bridged?

Too much Bureaucracy! The battle to wage against the heavy bureaucracy has been ordered.

How will it be fought successfully?

We need infrastructure. High speed internet connections at competitive costs have to be available. More importantly we need to attract Nerds or brains and set them in right environment.

We have the youth and need to get them at university level.

Where are the venture capital firms? How long have we got to wait?