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Justin Fox

Why Silicon Valley Hasn't Moved to Texas (Yet)

Texas has a rich tech history, but it lacks California's startup culture.
Dallas is soooo establishment.

Dallas is soooo establishment.

Photographer: Matt Nager/Bloomberg

Brooklyn-born Bob Metcalfe got his tech-industry start where the U.S. tech industry got started, in the Boston area. After studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University and working on MIT's Project MAC, a pioneer in operating systems and artificial-intelligence research, he headed west in 1972 to work at the now-legendary Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. There he led the invention of the crucial computer networking technology known as Ethernet, after which he co-founded 3Com, the networking-equipment maker that was for a time one of Silicon Valley's leading lights (it was acquired by Hewlett Packard in 2010). Now, he spends most of his time in Austin, where he is professor of innovation and Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise at the University of Texas.

So when Metcalfe saw a certain New York Times headline earlier this month about Silicon Valley being "over," he had a perhaps understandable reaction: