It may rank fifth on our list, but this is the Big Kahuna of tech capitalization. Everybody does business in "the Valley," a hard-to-define slice of land centered on San Jose. Intel, Apple, Oracle, Sun and Hewlett-Packard are the granddaddies. Top universities are nearby--Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley. Venture capital is thick. So are new-breed Internet billionaires from companies like Yahoo! and eBay.
Tech journalist and publicist Tom York gives the insider's perspective:
Why it's hot: "All the knowledge, resources and capital are here, so it's easy to get an idea, fund it and build a company quickly," York says.
What's not so hot: "Traffic--some people commute two hours each way to work--and housing prices," York says. One-bedroom apartments rent for more than $1,000; $400,000 buys a "starter home."
Hot networking spots: The two biggies are the San Jose Athletic Club and the Silicon Valley Capital Club.
Power eats: Breakfast at Buck's in Woodside. ("A lot of deals get cut there," says York.) Lunch spots include Il Fornaio (Palo Alto location only), Bella Mia (San Jose) and Lion & Compass (Sunnyvale).