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Escaping the echo chamber ... and life in an "and" world

Silicon Valley lives in its own bubble, in a black and white world that bears little resemblance to the broader world and its many possibilities.

I'm spending much of December away from Silicon Valley in Paris and in London. I recently returned from the Le Web conference in Paris and am catching up with family and friends in London.

I find it is always useful in escaping Silicon Valley for a good period of time because it reminds me that we are not all obsessed with the constant discussions abut Facebook, Twitter, Android, and all things Apple.

In the outside world people find such subjects mildly interesting but not to the same extent as people seem to do in Silicon Valley.

There is a binary mentality to such topics in Silicon Valley -- everything is couched as one versus the other, as one killing the other. There is only one winner it would seem.

It's a binary attitude popular in the geek engineering culture yet we know the reality of the world at large is that many things can co-exist without one necessarily "killing" the other.

The real world is not a black and white world it's a spectrum of many things. It's an "and" world: iPhone and Android; Apple and Microsoft; Dell and HP, Facebook and MySpace, etc. One can exist and so can the other, and create economies of scale and profit for many developers, and value for many users.

When you leave the echo chamber of Silicon Valley you get a glimpse of the reality of the wider world and the spectrum of possibilities but you can't do this on a flying visit, you need to dig in for a couple of weeks or more, imho.