Only 6 of the 20 largest software companies are in Silicon Valley

So after Fred’s post caused a little bit of a stir in the blogosphere by downplaying some of the advantages for startups being in Silicon Valley, and being from a Berlin-based startup that’s out exploring the Silicon Valley vibe this month it set me to wondering — just where have most of the “great” software companies been started?

Forbes has a list of the 2000 largest public companies, so I went through and picked out the top 20 and noted their locations.  Here’s the list:

  1. IBM, New York
  2. Microsoft, Washington
  3. Oracle, California
  4. Google, California
  5. Softbank, Japan
  6. SAP, Germany
  7. Accenture, Bermuda
  8. Computer Sciences Corporation, Virginia
  9. Yahoo, California
  10. Capgemini, France
  11. Computer Associates, New York
  12. Tata Consultancy Services, India
  13. Infosys Technologies, India
  14. Fiserv, Wisconson
  15. Wipro, India
  16. Symantec, California
  17. Adobe Systems, California
  18. Affiliated Computer Services, Texas
  19. Activision Blizzard, California (non-Valley)
  20. Intuit, California

Notably, 7 are based in California (all but one in the Bay Area).  On the one hand, it certainly is far and away ahead of any other location (Bangalore, interestingly, being its closest competitor); on the other it shows a wider distribution of companies than one might assume.  I’ll leave further conclusions as an exercise for the reader.

Update:

I realized after publishing this that I’d used the 2007 numbers rather than those from 2009.  The number of companies in Silicon Valley remained the same.

2007 Numbers:

1. IBM, New York
2. Microsoft, Washington
3. Oracle, California
4. Google, California
5. SAP, Germany
6. First Data, Colorado
7. Electronic Data Systems, Texas
8. Softbank, Japan
9. Yahoo, California
10. Symantec, California
11. Computer Sciences Corporation, Virginia
12. Capgemini, France
13. Tata Consultancy Services, India
14. Fiserv, Wisconson
15. Adobe Systems, California
16. Infosys Technologies, India
17. Computer Associates, New York
18. Wipro, India
19. Affiliated Computer Services, Texas
20. VeriSign, California
  1. IBM, New York
  2. Microsoft, Washington
  3. Oracle, California
  4. Google, California
  5. SAP, Germany
  6. First Data, Colorado
  7. Electronic Data Systems, Texas
  8. Softbank, Japan
  9. Yahoo, California
  10. Symantec, California
  11. Computer Sciences Corporation, Virginia
  12. Capgemini, France
  13. Tata Consultancy Services, India
  14. Fiserv, Wisconson
  15. Adobe Systems, California
  16. Infosys Technologies, India
  17. Computer Associates, New York
  18. Wipro, India
  19. Affiliated Computer Services, Texas
  20. VeriSign, California

9 thoughts on “Only 6 of the 20 largest software companies are in Silicon Valley

  1. Damn lies and statistics. Since even though Cali “only has 6″, that’s till 2 times India, 3 times New York and Texas, and 6 times as many as all the other places.

  2. Ok! what’s the point when you just can’t have the WORLD UNDER YOUR FEET.

    How can all the BIG SOFTWARE COMPANIES come under one roof when THE WORLD IS BECOMING HIGHLY COMPETITIVE BY THE MINUTE.

    Best software engineers are in America, India, Malaysia, Pakistan and oh! Japan, China, – Korea.

    This article is just a thought or a worrisome shown on part of the writer.

  3. Keep in mind that the substantial growth in Bangalore has come about largely because these U.S. firms expanded into that part of India.

  4. Nice work for digging up the data. There’s a lot of debate around the Valley effect and this week it seems to have turned a bit nasty, with the feedback to Fred’s post and Paul Carr’s declaration that the London scene is dead.

    There’s always an attractive market, an attractive industry, etc, but there are still very many opportunities outside those. As Sarah Lacy during a panel session at the TechCrunch Europa awards on Thursday, non-valley businesses should focus on what unique advantages they do have. E.g. London has a lot of financial services, so BetFair has prospered. Berlin has a great music scene, so Ableton and others have grown quickly.

  5. You need to be a bit more disciplined in naming the list. Software company is not the same as IT company. At least 7 of the 20 in the list are typically classified as not software company.

    For example, Capgemini is “technology, consulting, outsourcing” company. Likewise EDS, Tata, etc. These IT services companies’ lifeblood is tightly related to software, but they are hardly software companies in the sense of Adobe, Symantec, etc.

  6. Great analysis, but the source is of questionable quality. Many companies listed by Forbes as software companies, actually do not have much software revenues: Google, Softbank, Accenture, Yahoo… Many of the really large software companies are not listed, or listed under another sublist, such as HP, which is a very big hardware company but also a multi-billion dollar software company.
    If you look at the Software Top 100 (www.softwaretop100.org), you find that 70 out of the 100 largest software companies in the world are from the US. I estimate that half (35) are in California. Considering the small size of California on the world map, this does implya disproportional success for California-based software companies, in my opinion.

  7. Also keep in mind that almost all of these companies either bought subsidiaries or have branches in Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley still has far more successful startups than anywhere else in the world if you define “successful” as eventually being sold for a large sum to one of these bigger tech giants.

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