Not all Silicon is the Valley. True in Biotech + Space too

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Don't let the empty halls fool you.

Behind the scenes in almost every corporate park and office building in Carlsbad, CA you will find cutting edge technology, world class competitive companies and lots of gee whiz technology.

This beautiful little city north of San Diego, California is home to some of the world's largest bio technology companies, some of the world's largest scientific technology companies; some of the world's largest space and satellite companies as well as gaming and internet technologies.

I recently was given a tour of this innovative and forward thinking city and some of the world class companies that call it home. What I saw ought to send some serious wake up calls to venture capitalists and politicians alike.

Companies that have raised gobs of money from investors in part because their employees can afford to work and live in the same city. Being near the ocean and mountains provide for an abundance of natural resources from which employees can feed their minds and bodies.

Companies with employee retention rates that are so amazing as to be almost unbelievable. Company after company was able to demonstrate retention rates that would make most companies salivate. All of them attributed the quality of life in the city in part to these amazing retention rates.

Companies utilizing cross border excellence by drawing on highly educated Mexican nationals, from Mexico. Many of the companies indicated this is an important element to the cross functioning of their teams, and that they found the Mexican national specialists to be experts in their fields.

In short, what I saw was the anti-silicon valley, and definitely not silicon beach. What I saw is a live-able, workable city with world class leading companies in multiple disciplines. The companies have a city government that has invested in their future; along with the companies by taking a forward approach to water, power, recycling and high speed data lines and hubs.