_Regional Advantage_, by Annalee Saxenian describes some differences between the high-tech cultures in Massachusetts' Route 128 area and Silicon Valley which appear to explain why sales of Silicon Valley companies substantially surpassed Route 128 companies.

While Route 128 companies adopted some of the informal hacker-style culture that Silicon Valley did, they kept many of the organizational policies of traditional industrial firms.

Some of the differences:

Massachusetts companies retained a fairly hierarchical structure with important decisions being centralized in the top management, while Silicon Valley companies had divisions which functioned much more like autonomous units.

There has been much more cooperation between companies in Silicon Valley. The boundaries between companies is blurred enough that it is almost possible to think of Silicon Valley as one big company. There are reports "that in the early days of the industry it was not uncommon for production engineers to call their friends at nearby competing firms for assistance when quartz tubes broke or they ran out of chemicals". Whereas in Massachusetts, it is uncommon for competitors to discuss business at all.

Massachusetts companies were much slower to adopt open systems.

Massachusetts companies remained vertically integrated, which meant that a start-up had trouble finding a market in which to buy components that it couldn't afford to make itself.

In Massachusetts, the normal career track was to stay at the same company for decades. In Silicon Valley, widespread acceptance of frequent job changes made start-ups easier and spread knowledge more widely.

Curiously, I looked in 3 bookstores in the Boston area for this book and didn't find it. I have noticed it in 2 out of the 3 bookstores I have been in since moving to Silicon Valley, without deliberately looking for it.