The flotation of social network Facebook in May at a valuation of more than $100bn was notable in many ways, including identifying the shift in the centre of economic gravity from the east to the west coast of the US.

This shift has global ramifications as the venture ecosystem in northern California around the nebulous area of Silicon Valley is creating global disruption.

This disruption is based in part on the money that flows round the world from venture capitalists based in the valley. But also, and more importantly, the idea of how private capital can be used to fund fast-growing, often disruptive products and services from entrepreneurs spread by ambitious, motivated people with allegiance to their network of peers rather than social or professional organisations.

Facebook’s symbolism

Founded by students at east coast-based Harvard University using the school’s equipment and information, Facebook’s rise in less than a…

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