Valley Guy
By Josh Quittner/Editor

(Business 2.0) – Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I look out my office window. Not because the view is awesome--it is, of course--but because our location in San Francisco makes Silicon Valley our backyard. That puts us in close proximity to the world's greatest wellspring of innovation, and to an amazing crop of writers who have grown up covering the place.

Preeminent among them is our newest senior writer, G. Pascal Zachary, who began covering the Valley when some of my reporters were still in grade school. Zack started out at the San Jose Mercury News before joining the Wall Street Journal, where he worked for most of his career covering the likes of Apple, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft. He's written countless front-page stories as well as three books, and I'd match his knowledge of our backyard against anyone's.

While he's seen considerable tumult in the Valley over the decades, Zack says one thing has remained constant: "Entrepreneurs here are very vocal about trying to improve things through innovation." You only have to read Google's IPO filings, he says, to see how seriously that company takes the premise that it's improving the world. And eBay, that quintessential capitalist heaven? "They'd say they're democratizing the marketplace," he explains.

You should expect many great Valley tales from Zack in months to come. But for this issue's cover story, "Seven New Technologies That Change Everything" (page 82), I had him range farther afield to find innovations driven by that same world-changing entrepreneurial impulse. From machines that turn living rooms into factories by "printing" electronic gadgets to memory pills that wipe out senior moments once and for all, Zack and the rest of our tech scouts found some real game-changers.

Want to change your own game? Every fall, hundreds of thousands of up-and-comers enroll in business school, in pursuit of that ticket to the good life known as an MBA. We know, of course, that your local Barnes & Noble is filled with books that provide detailed rankings of B-schools across the nation. But our take, "An Insider's Guide to America's Top Business Schools" (page 117), is different--and, I think, a lot more valuable. Instead of rating schools against each other on some arbitrary scale, we used on-the-ground reporting to help you figure out which school would fit you best, whether you're looking to become an expert marketer, master high finance, or run the whole darn show. And if you want to launch a startup that will change everything? Pick the right one and you'll learn how to do that too.

JOSH QUITTNER, EDITOR jquittner@business2.com