A Silicon Valley Startup’s Response to the SVB Collapse — Silicon Valley Is Not a Location. It Is an Idea.


Madhukar Kumar


A Silicon Valley Startup’s Response to the SVB Collapse — Silicon Valley Is Not a Location. It Is an Idea.

I came to this country over 20 years ago with nothing but a suitcase and a dream. Years later, Silicon Valley is where my dreams came true.

Over the past two decades, I have had the privilege of having a front row seat to experiencing  the creativity and resourcefulness of the people and companies that makeup the Bay Area. Being here during these pivotal years of tech expansion, I’ve witnessed — and participated in — the ever-evolving technological revolution we are experiencing that is arguably sometimes referred to as the third industrial revolution.

The innovations birthed have changed every aspect of the world, and the economic impact has been staggering. I am proud to call Silicon Valley my home, and am even prouder of the people and innovations that come from it.

When Silicon Valley Bank collapsed two weeks ago, I knew the fallout would be devastating for many companies and individuals. But I also know in my heart that this will not mark the end of Silicon Valley.

I know that all of us at SingleStore feel just as strongly.

Two days after the SVB collapse, our CEO Raj and I discussed our feelings about it over dinner. While we were deeply concerned for those affected, we also noted all the negativity around how the story was being reported. We felt that framing this story as evidence of Silicon’s Valley eminent downfall was a disservice to everything the people of the Valley have accomplished in the past and will bring forth in the future.

Our conversation quickly turned into a discussion of gratitude for the ways Silicon Valley has changed both our lives. Raj, like me, is an immigrant, and we bonded over our shared experiences of moving to the Bay Area and being part of this startup culture. Our experiences in Silicon Valley are evidence that the dreams and ideas birthed here, and the enduring impact they have across the globe.

We wanted people to know that just because a situation seems hopeless, that does not make it so. We wanted to remind them and ourselves that what sets Silicon Valley apart is its unique penchant for innovation and constant re-invention. This means that when a problem arises, the folks of Silicon Valley somehow always find a way to ask “What If” and using scrappy resources, set out to build on a dream.

We wanted to remind the people of Silicon Valley, this country, and the world of these truths.

It was 9p.m., and Raj suggested that we take out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal. He tasked me with writing it. Adrenaline kicked in and despite the late hour, our incredible SingleStore team came together to contribute to the piece. Thanks to their support, a beautiful ad was published in the WSJ less than 12 hours later. 

The way this message came about together – starting with a thought, an idea, and brought to fruition a few hours later due to everyone's undying and relentless passion – accurately describes the idea, and reality, that is Silicon Valley.

Hope, optimism, and a passion for innovation — these are the things that brought me to Silicon Valley, and why I, like many here at SingleStore, am proud to call the Valley home. 

The ad, originally published on March 15th in the Wall Street Journal, can be found in full below: 

Silicon Valley is not a location. It is an idea.

It is a melting pot where everyone speaks the same language—the language of innovation.

Silicon Valley is an actualization of dreams. And a conviction of notions.

It is an emotion that starts with a “what if” and ends with a change.

It is a tapestry of tenacity and a fusion of sweat, tears, laughter, and ringing the bell.

Silicon Valley is sometimes a graveyard of ideas yet a fertile ground that blooms a thousand creations.

It is a valley of the boom. And sometimes a trough of the bust. 

Silicon Valley is not a bank.

It is an institution. A tradition of invention.

A collective where strangers bank on each others’ ideas. 

To this idea, to this melting pot, to this emotion that is Silicon Valley,

we say — Dream on!

May the best ideas thrive and give birth to a thousand more.

Silicon Valley is a place we are proud to call home ❤️.