Thursday, May 24, 2012

Minorities Are Majority in America's Silicon Valley

The U.S. Census Bureau  has recently reported that the United States has reached a historic tipping point -- with Latino, Asian, mixed race and African American births constituting a majority of births for the first time. Minorities made up about 2 million, or 50.4%, of the births in the 12-month period ending July 2011. The latest figure was up from 49.5% reported in the 2010 census.

80386 CPU Design Team
Standing L to R: Riaz Haq, Jan Prak, Gene Hill, Pat Gelsinger, John Crawford
Sitting in Front: Dave Vannier
I  have personally witnessed Silicon Valley's racial mix change dramatically over the last several decades. When I arrived here to join Intel in 1981, there were few non-whites in the Valley. In fact, I was the only nonwhite person in a picture of the six-member award winning Intel 80386 CPU design team which was published by the PC Magazine in 1988.

My experience of the demographic changes in this high-tech valley is not just anecdotal. It's supported by data compiled by the local San Jose Mercury newspaper in 2010. The data shows that 49% of Intel employees are now Asian, a full 7% more than whites. In Silicon Valley, the difference is even more pronounced with Asians accounting for 53.9% of the employees versus 37.6% white workers.

 With Asians accounting for just 15.5% of the high-tech work force nationally, Silicon Valley's high-tech racial mix is also very different from the rest of the country. Silicon valley's employee pool also differs in terms of under-representation of Blacks, Hispanics and women relative the national averages.

 Among Asian-Americans, Pakistani-Americans are the 7th largest community in America, according to a report titled "A Community of Contrasts Asian Americans in the United States: 2011" published by Asian-American Center For Advancing Justice.  Pakistani-American population has doubled from 204,309 in 2000 to 409,163 in 2010, the second largest percentage increase after Bangladeshis' 157% increase in the same period.

Source:  TheAtlantic Cities

The total fertility rate in the United States is now at 2.06, just enough to maintain the current level of US population. It's possible mainly due to the history of relatively liberal US immigration policy. If US immigration policy is tightened in response to pressures from various labor organizations and the traditional anti-immigration groups, the US fertility rate is likely to dip and hurt the US economy which needs more workers to pay for the retiree benefits of the growing population of senior citizens. Already, many US multinational corporations have added 1.5 million workers to their payrolls in Asia and the Pacific region from 1999 to 2009, and 477,500 workers in Latin America, according to US Commerce Dept data as reported by the Wall Street Journal. If the businesses can not find workers in the United States, they are more likely to continue to accelerate moving jobs elsewhere, depriving the US government the revenue it needs to balance its budget.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistani-American's Game-Changing Vision

US Firms Adding Jobs Overseas 

Pakistan's Demographic Dividend

Pakistanis Study Abroad

Pakistan's Youth Bulge

Pakistani Diaspora World's 7th Largest

Pakistani-American NFL Team Owner

Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs Catch the Wave

Pakistani Graduation Rate Higher Than India's


Anonymous said...

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, California has the highest number of South Asians in U.S. These include people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The largest among the SOUTH ASIAN ETHNICITIES is INDIAN and it is also the most affluent and educated.

California Population Demographics

Sri Lankan............10,240

Anonymous said...

Riaz - You were one of the first among the equals like Suhaib Abbasi and a handful of others. Wondering why we lost the footing in the Middle East and European market and why our gains were not as prominent in US as they should have been.

Abdulla said...

Who is Suhaib Abbasi, can we learn more about him please

Riaz Haq said...

Abdulla: "Who is Suhaib Abbasi, can we learn more about him please"

Suhaib Abbasi is originally from Pakistan. He is among the first few engineers who joined Larry Ellison at Oracle in its first year as a start-up. He served in senior executive positions before leaving to start his own company.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India story on Indian exaggeration of Indian professionals in US:

It's an Internet myth that has taken on a life of its own. No matter how often you slay this phony legend, it keeps popping up again like some hydra-headed beast.

But on Monday, the Indian government itself consecrated the oft-circulated fiction as fact in Parliament, possibly laying itself open to a breach of privilege. By relaying to Rajya Sabha members (as reported in The Times of India) a host of unsubstantiated and inflated figures about Indian professionals in US, the government also made a laughing stock of itself.

The figures provided by the Minister of State for Human Resource Development Purandeshwari included claims that 38 per cent of doctors in US are Indians, as are 36 per cent of NASA scientists and 34 per cent of Microsoft employees.

There is no survey that establishes these numbers, and absent a government clarification, it appears that the figures come from a shop-worn Internet chain mail that has been in circulation for many years. Spam has finally found its way into the Indian parliament dressed up as fact.

Attempts by this correspondent over the years to authenticate the figures have shown that it is exaggerated, and even false. Both Microsoft and NASA say they don't keep an ethnic headcount. While they acknowledge that a large number of their employees are of Indian origin, it is hardly in the 30-35 per cent range.

In a 2003 interview with this correspondent, Microsoft chief Bill Gates guessed that the number of Indians in the engineering sections of the company was perhaps in the region of 20 per cent, but he thought the overall figure was not true. NASA workers say the number of Indians in the organization is in the region of 4-5 per cent, but the 36 per cent figure is pure fiction.

The number of physicians of Indian-origin in the US is a little easier to estimate. The Association of American Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) has 42,000 members, in addition to around 15,000 medical students and residents. There were an estimated 850,000 doctors in the US in 2004. So, conflating the figures, no more than ten per cent of the physicians in US maybe of Indian-origin – and that includes Indian-Americans – assuming not everyone is registered with AAPI.

These numbers in themselves are remarkable considering Indians constitute less than one per cent of the US population. But in its enthusiasm to spin the image of the successful global Indian to its advantage, the government appears to have milked a long-discredited spam - an effort seen by some readers as the work of a lazy bureaucrat and an inept minister.

The story has attracted withering scrutiny and criticism on the Times of India's website, with most readers across the world trashing it. "The minister should be hauled up by the house for breach of privilege of parliament (by presenting false information based on hearsay). We Indians are undoubtedly one of the most successful ethnic groups in USA, be it in Medicine, Engineering, Entrepreneurship. BUT, that does not translate to those ridiculous numbers that have been presented....this is a circulating e-mail hoax," wrote in Soumya from USA, who said he worked at the NASA facility in Ames, California, and the number was nowhere near what was mentioned in the figures given to Parliament.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET story about Pak tech companies with Si Valley connections:

With about 50 people assembled in one room to discuss seven start-up ideas, the general mood was ecstatic at The Second Floor (T2F), a project of PeaceNiche and a community space for open dialogue.

Budding entrepreneurs, technology geeks, fresh business graduates and app developers were there to participate in the first Entrepreneurs Roundtable Pakistan (ERT PK), an informal meeting of entrepreneurs to get instant feedback on their ideas from each other.

“It’s not about pitching your ideas as a salesman. The objective is to share these ideas with other entrepreneurs and get their feedback,” said Shirley Lin, who helped popularise the concept of informal meetings of entrepreneurs to share start-up ideas in cafes of Silicon Valley, while addressing the audience from California via Skype.

1 Doc Way

Danish Munir began his presentation by asking the audience if any of them found the procedure of getting a doctor’s appointment easy. Predictably, no one from the audience replied in the affirmative. Munir said his business aimed to help patients pay online visits to their doctors at their own convenience without worrying about the commute or time off work.

He said his website was generating revenues in the US, mainly because 60% of doctor-patient meetings in the country were conversational. “After the patient-doctor meeting on Skype, the doctor’s secretary calls the pharmacy and the patient can later collect the medicine,” Munir said.

Although the business model works differently in different countries, the website does not require patients to pay any additional charges.

Munir worked at Microsoft in Seattle, Washington, until eight months ago. He said he quit his “mundane job with a great package” for the love of entrepreneurship.

I’m confused

How many times have you been at a loss when deciding where to eat out when you have a certain amount of money to spare? “It’s either money or the location of the restaurant. Random searches on Google or even Karachi Snob don’t produce desired results most of the time,” said Zafar Syed, who is developing an advanced search engine by the name of “I’m confused.”

Syed said it would initially be focused on food and fashion outlets, adding the search engine would produce results according to prices one could afford to pay and look for such businesses within a defined area.

Pakistan’s Silicon Valley?

“People often say Lahore is to Pakistan what Bangalore is to India when it comes to the IT industry. But I think Karachi is swiftly catching up with Lahore. Both are neck and neck in terms of entrepreneurial activities,” said AR Rafiq, a California-based technologist, who organised the ERT PK along with the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA), while talking to The Express Tribune.

“There’re a lot of tech companies in America that have offices here, including Folio3, Whizz Systems, PalmChip, NexLogic and Inspurate,” he said, adding that Karachi’s IT professionals should now move away from the “outsourcing model” to the “equal partnership model” to reap the benefits of a truly globalised IT industry.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts of an AP report on surging Asian immigration in US:

For the first time, the influx of Asians moving to the U.S. has surpassed that of Hispanics, reflecting a slowdown in illegal immigration while American employers increase their demand for high-skilled workers.

An expansive study by the Pew Research Center details what it describes as "the rise of Asian-Americans," a highly diverse and fast-growing group making up roughly 5 percent of the U.S. population. Mostly foreign-born and naturalized citizens, their numbers have been boosted by increases in visas granted to specialized workers and to wealthy investors as the U.S. economy becomes driven less by manufacturing and more by technology.

"Too often the policy debates on immigration fixate on just one part — illegal immigration," said Karthick Ramakrishnan, a political science professor at the University of California-Riverside and a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. "U.S. immigration is more diverse and broader than that, with policy that needs to focus also on high-skilled workers."

"With net migration from Mexico now at zero, the role of Asian-Americans has become more important," he said.

About 430,000 Asians, or 36 percent of all new immigrants, arrived in the U.S. in 2010, according to the latest census data. That's compared to about 370,000, or 31 percent, who were Hispanic.

The Pew analysis, released Tuesday, said the tipping point for Asian immigrants likely occurred during 2009 as illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico sharply declined due to increased immigration enforcement and a dwindling supply of low-wage work in the weak U.S. economy. Many Mexicans already in the U.S. have also been heading back to their country, putting recent net migration at a standstill.

As recently as 2007, about 390,000 of new immigrants to the U.S. were Asian, compared to 540,000 who were Hispanic.

The shift to increased Asian immigration, particularly of people from India, China and South Korea, coincides with changes in U.S. immigration policy dating to the 1990s that began to favor wealthy and educated workers. The policy, still in place but subject to caps that have created waiting lists, fast tracks visas for foreigners willing to invest at least half a million dollars in U.S. businesses or for workers in high-tech and other specialized fields who have at least a bachelor's degree.

International students studying at U.S. colleges and universities also are now most likely to come from Asian countries, roughly 6 in 10, and some of them are able to live and work in the U.S. after graduation. Asian students, both foreign born and U.S. born, earned 45 percent of all engineering Ph.D.s in 2010, as well as 38 percent of doctorates in math and computer sciences and 33 percent of doctorates in the physical sciences.

Several bills pending in Congress that are backed by U.S. businesses seek to address some of the visa backlogs, through measures such as eliminating per-country limits on employment-based visas or encouraging investment in the sluggish U.S. real estate market. They have stalled amid broader public debate over immigration reform that has focused largely on lower-skilled, undocumented workers.

In recent years, more than 60 percent of Asian immigrants ages 25 to 64 have graduated from college, double the share for new arrivals from other continents.

As a whole, the share of higher-skilled immigrants in the U.S. holding at least a bachelor's degree now outpaces those lacking a high-school diploma, 30 percent to 28 percent.

Riaz Haq said...

The key to America's dominance has been and continues to be its technological prowess.

It's on display nowhere better than in multi-ethnic and multi-cultural Silicon Valley which is predominantly nonwhite. Enable by top talent and risk capital, there is huge research & development going on here on everything from biotechnology to nanotechnology and advanced AI. If you get a chance, please read about the work of Singularity University. Abundance, a recent book by Peter Diamandis, sheds some light on it.

This is what will maintain significant US lead over competitors in the 21st century.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a WSJ PR release on Pakistani engineer Farhan Masood's SoloMetrics:

Mace(R) Security International, an established manufacturing brand known for its personal defense pepper sprays and security equipment, announced today a joint venture with SoloMetrics LLC, to provide safety technology inspired by the film "Minority Report."

The Steven Spielberg thriller, set in 2054, focuses on the role of protecting citizens by preventing crime. While watching the film, inventor Farhan Masood realized he could design the futuristic technology. And he went on to create a successful multi-national company called SoloMetrics.

Now SoloMetrics is partnering with Mace(R) brand to provide innovative technology and services that produce the next generation of safety and security products. The joint venture, named SoloMace, will significantly enhance the Mace(R) brand line of personal defense products and increase its range of law enforcement products.

"This partnership will create unprecedented opportunities in the area of security," said John J. McCann, president and CEO of Mace Security International.

SoloMetrics is a Chicago-based research and development company that invents and assembles technologies addressing gaps in security and access control, time and attendance, business process automation and location-based tracking systems.

Under the newly announced partnership, SoloMetrics will work alongside Mace Security International, its partners and customers to create integrated, automated and intelligent products and solutions. SoloMetrics will utilize its arsenal of patent pending hardware and software technologies including biometrics, complex pattern and gestures recognition, augmented reality and big data.

Mace(R) plans to launch SoloMace in the summer of 2014.

"This will transform what it means to protect yourself and engage law enforcement in new ways," McCann said.

Masood, an engineer whose work was recognized by the MIT Enterprise Forum in 2012, is known as the originator of the Arabic, Urdu and Persian languages on the Internet.

Carter Kennedy, interim CEO at SoloMetrics, said, "Our alliance with Mace(R) brings together technology and protection. It creates a security blanket for people who could be in threatening circumstances."

Mace(R) brand (OTCPINK: MACE) is a manufacturer and provider of personal defense, safety and electronic security products for home, school, business and law enforcement use. The company provides site assessment and integrated security strategies, ranging from pepper spray devices to electronic surveillance and rapid response rescue networks. Mace(R) brand has been a source of non-lethal solutions since 1970.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistani-American NEDian Rehan Jalil's Cloud Security Startup Elastica Comes Out Of Stealth With $6.3M From Mayfield via @techcrunch

Elastica, a cloud security startup launched in 2012, is coming out of stealth mode with $6.3 million in Series A funding from the Mayfield Fund. The startup is also launching its new apps that offer real-time threat detection and even post-incident forensic analysis.

As more enterprises embrace SaaS and other cloud-based services, they are increasingly feeling the need to have a different approach to security beyond just traditional firewalls. This shift means over $2 billion annual market for cloud security vendors like Elastica. As Gartner noted last year, the highest growth is forecast to occur in cloud-based tokenisation and encryption, security information and event management (SIEM), vulnerability assessment and web application firewalls.

Elastica joins a fast growing club of cloud security startups promising to combine data science and in some instances even machine learning tools to help companies and employees secure SaaS data. There’s huge investor interest in the segment and some of the biggest names in the enterprise software world are backing many of these startups.

Elastica was founded in 2012 by Rehan Jalil, former CEO of WiChorus, which was sold to Tellabs for $165 million in 2009.

Riaz Haq said...

From Forbes 4/14/14 issue:

"Put flags in a world map and you will see Sequoia (Silicon Valley's Top Venture Capital Firm that funded Oracle, Cisco, Yahoo, Google and LinkedIn) connecting with entrepreneurs born in Ukraine, Ireland, Finland, Greece, India, Pakistan, Venezuela and a dozen other countries. (By contrast, Kauffman Foundation data (compiled by Vivek Wadhawa)show that barely a quarter of all U.S. startups have at least one immigrant cofounder.)"

Foreign-born founders, incl. #Pakistani-Americans, built 59% of startups in @Sequoia_Capital's Midas List portfolio

I know at least 2 Sequoia funded #SiliconValley startups founded by #Pakistanis: Ashar Aziz's #Fireeye, Naveed Sherwani's #OpenSilicon

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a interesting except from a piece by Kalimah Priforce on lack of Blacks and Latinos in Silicon Valley high-tech jobs:

It’s one of the reasons why Blacks in tech would rather participate in a forum like the one gathered by the College Bound Brotherhood than pay attention to another article about why so very few of us exist in the land of innovation, Silicon Valley. Here are five top reasons why I avoid “lack of minorities in tech” articles:

(1) they’re mostly written by non-people of color who are focused on Silicon Valley but don’t live and work in Silicon Valley*

(2) they are written by non-techies, non-builders of technology products and services

(3) they focus on what is wrong with Black people, as if the problem lies with our culture

(4) they typecast Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis as model minorities who don’t have a problem with the status quo

(5) they lack investigative journalism, research, and actually interviewing those of us in the field

However, Giang’s BI article struck a chord because it targeted affinity groups by suggesting that Blacks in tech self-selected segregation, based on Maya Beasley’s Opting Out: Losing The Potential Of American’s Young Black Elite.

Beasley interviews sixty Black and White students and uses her small sample findings to draw a conclusion. It’s a good thing she isn’t in the startup world, because very few of us would get away with validating a business model based on sixty people, but apparently that’s sufficient for a book.

Here’s what Beasley’s work is missing – stepping off the campus and interacting with actual black entrepreneurs in tech. If she did, she’d have learned that most of us didn’t attend the University of California at Berkeley or Stanford. So part of her research is based on assumptions that have no real basis in the industry. She sticks to Cal and Stanford campuses, assuming that they would provide the primary pipeline for Silicon Valley entrepreneurship, and blames African-American students for not doing so. In her words, “Black students need to learn to interact with white people and have some amount of comfort with them and I don’t think that’s asking a lot.”

What I find most disturbing about her conclusions is that she singles out African-Americans when just about every ethnicity has their share of assimilation that is balanced with affinity grouping. When the state of California eliminated affirmative action programs, the number of Black students attending Cal and Stanford dropped. So there aren’t a lot of Black students to begin with. That must be uncomfortable for the many Black students who are just discovering themselves outside the comfort of their homes and backgrounds. There is a great amount of identity formation happening for minority students, but for the straight, privileged White guy, that process isn’t as crucial. He doesn’t have to worry about the words “monkey” written on his dorm door, or date rape, or someone posting a video on YouTube ridiculing his accent when talking to his parents back home.

So Blacks learning from other Blacks, and socializing with other Blacks is important, and perhaps necessary for a healthy sense of self. But according to Beasley, this places Black students at a disadvantage for getting into tech. Has she questioned why the status quo dictates that the gatekeeper for successful entry into tech is how well minorities and women get along with white males? For organizations like Women 2.0 and Girls in Tech, the approach is simple: women must support each other, and united, can shatter the glass ceiling in the tech world. Beasley doesn’t take this approach with Blacks, but rather, makes the claim that an assimilationist approach will create diversity in tech.

Riaz Haq said...

Most new immigrants to #USA in 2013
1 #China
2 #India
3 #Mexico

For decades, Mexicans have been the largest contingent in America’s 41.3m foreign-born population. But the annual inflow has slowed dramatically. In 2013 Mexico was overtaken as the biggest source of new migrants by both China and India, according to the Census Bureau. In 2007, just before the recession, Mexicans made up 23.6% of all annual migrants. By 2013 more jobs at home and tighter border controls had reduced this to 10%, while China’s and India’s combined share rose to a quarter. These new migrants are even younger, and well-educated. Around a third of America’s 1.1m foreign students are Chinese, and some 70% of H1B visas for highly skilled jobs go to Indians.

Riaz Haq said...

A new non-partisan study on entrepreneurship gives some credence to the tech industry’s stance that American innovation benefits from robust immigration.

The study from the National Foundation for American Policy, a non-partisan think tank based in Arlington, Va., shows that immigrants started more than half of the current crop of U.S.-based startups valued at $1 billion or more.

These 44 companies, the study says, are collectively valued at $168 billion and create an average of roughly 760 jobs per company in the U.S. The study also estimates that immigrants make up over 70% of key management or product development positions at these companies.

The foundation examined 87 U.S. companies valued at $1 billion or more as of Jan. 1, as tracked by the Journal’s Billion Dollar Startup Club. The authors of the study used public data and information from the companies to create biographies of the founders.

The three highest valued U.S. companies with immigrant founders include car-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc., data-software company Palantir Technologies Inc. and rocket maker Space Exploration Technologies Inc.

Stuart Anderson, the study’s author and the foundation’s executive director, says the findings show that the U.S. economy could benefit from the talents of foreign-born entrepreneurs even more so if it were easier for them to obtain visas.

Tech leaders including Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates have called for increasing the number of H-1B visas that let skilled foreign workers stay in the country. They argue that immigration greatly benefits the tech community, and that it is difficult for companies to hire foreign-born workers and for immigrant entrepreneurs to start businesses due to the visas’ constraints.

Critics argue that tech executives are simply looking for cheaper labor, and some politicians, as well as Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump, aim to curb the work visa program. A bill introduced by Republican presidential candidate and Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) in December that the lawmakers say aims to reform the H-1B visa program would require petitioners to hold an advanced university degree, have worked at least 10 years overseas and not get paid materially less than U.S. workers.

Either way, the process to secure a visa is lengthy and cumbersome. The visas are capped at 85,000 per year — 65,000 are set aside for foreign workers applying for the first time and 20,000 are for foreign students graduating from American universities. In 2015, the lottery to obtain a visa hit capacity within one week, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The USCIS said it received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period.


The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which funded the study, estimated the EB-JOBS Act provision would create 1 million to 3.2 million jobs over 10 years.

According to the study, founders of billion-dollar startups most often hail from India (14), followed by Canada and the U.K., with eight each, then Israel (7) and Germany (4). Two originated from France and the Collison brothers, the co-founders of payments startup Stripe, make up the pair from Ireland.