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Businessweek Archives

Silicon Valley: Not Just Men And Computers

Readers Report


"Silicon Valley" (Cover Story, Aug. 18-25) espouses the movers and shakers in the Valley, who are pictured to be all white males. Does this reflect on your editorial judgment of your publication to eliminate females and minorities from the "movers and shakers" category? Or, as I believe is more likely the case, that the Valley's management is too much like the rest of Corporate America...just a good old boys club.

Andrea M. Cranford


Reading the article "Why women are so invisible," I immediately identified with the women mentioned in the article, although I am not a CEO--just the owner of my own management consulting business. I started my own business primarily because of the pervasive climate of Silicon Valley, where women are tolerated but not much more. Ironically, I found that the only way to be heard was to become a consultant. I guess it makes a difference when more money is on the table.

Rochelle Ullmann


Strategic Human Resources

San Jose, Calif.

While you did a good job of capturing the magic of Silicon Valley, you left out a large part of the story. The business wellspring of the Valley, which has become a virtual place spanning the entire San Francisco Bay area, is much more than computer hardware and software companies. For example, the Valley is home to companies that have produced breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of important medical conditions, including cancer, heart disease, organ transplants, infectious disease, and perhaps even the aging process.

Scott Minick

President and COO

SEQUIS Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Menlo Park, Calif.

Five crucial letters were conspicuously absent from your glowing report on Silicon Valley: DARPA, short for the Defense Advanced Research & Projects Administration. Embarrassing as this may be for Silicon Valley's laissez-faire zealots, massive federal investment in the form of huge defense research grants to Stanford University and private contractors was indispensable in nurturing high-tech industry.

Andrew J. Perrin

Mountain View, Calif.Return to top


Peter Coy's commentary ("Help! I'm a prisoner in a shrinking cubicle," News: Analysis & Commentary, Aug. 4) really hits home. Everywhere, corporations are paying multibucks to consultants to determine why good people leave, how teamwork can be improved and sales increased. At the same time, they take away the dignity and self-respect of the employees. While preaching empowerment, quality, and teamwork, they create a war zone on the office floor. Like caged animals, workers begin to crawl the walls (in their minds, of course), seeking a moment of solitude.

Save your money, Corporate America. You don't need high-priced consultants. Teamwork is not a product of overcrowding and degradation; low morale and nonproductivity are.

Maryann Barvinski

Alexandra, Va.Return to top


In "Don't worry, be bullish" (News: Analysis & Commentary, Aug. 4), Host Marriott Corp.'s stock was identified as a sell candidate by the DAIS Group. The DAIS Group valuation model is based on earnings per share, which includes depreciation and other noncash items. In the case of real estate investment companies, such as Host Marriott, depreciation significantly reduces earnings per share but increases cash flows. An appropriate valuation of Host Marriott should be based on either funds from operations or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

Robert Parsons

Executive Vice-President and CFO

Host Marriott Corp.

Bethesda, Md.Return to top

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