[FoRK] Ithaca, indeed :)

Rohit Khare < rohit at commerce.net > on > Thu Jun 8 12:00:44 PDT 2006


> I think you only need two kinds of people to create a technology  
> hub: rich people and nerds. They're the limiting reagents in the  
> reaction that produces startups, because they're the only ones  
> present when startups get started. Everyone else will move.
> Observation bears this out: within the US, towns have become  
> startup hubs if and only if they have both rich people and nerds.  
> Few startups happen in Miami, for example, because although it's  
> full of rich people, it has few nerds. It's not the kind of place  
> nerds like.
> Whereas Pittsburgh has the opposite problem: plenty of nerds, but  
> no rich people. The top US Computer Science departments are said to  
> be MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, and Carnegie-Mellon. MIT yielded Route  
> 128. Stanford and Berkeley yielded Silicon Valley. But Carnegie- 
> Mellon? The record skips at that point. Lower down the list, the  
> University of Washington yielded a high-tech community in Seattle,  
> and the University of Texas at Austin yielded one in Austin. But  
> what happened in Pittsburgh? And in Ithaca, home of Cornell, which  
> is also high on the list?
> I grew up in Pittsburgh and went to college at Cornell, so I can  
> answer for both. The weather is terrible, particularly in winter,  
> and there's no interesting old city to make up for it, as there is  
> in Boston. Rich people don't want to live in Pittsburgh or Ithaca.  
> So while there are plenty of hackers who could start startups,  
> there's no one to invest in them.

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