[FoRK] Ithaca, indeed :)

Owen Byrne < owen at permafrost.net > on > Thu Jun 8 19:03:31 PDT 2006

I found this piece and this other similar piece  - 

 - kinda insular and self-serving. How to innovate? - the only way is 
the way we did it. I found Paul Graham's mention of Detroit evocative - 
once upon a time Detroit was an innovative place (and the main driver of 
the US economy), then suddenly it wasn't. What happened? Did
Especially since there are people 
(http://www.isc.hbs.edu/econ-clusters.htm) who have done systematic 
research on just this subject, rather than just pontificating.
Its interesting that these similar pieces appeared so close together. It 
seems like the hype is at a peak now. In 2002 these would be laughable. 
I suspect they'll be laughable again in 2007.

Rohit Khare wrote:
> http://www.paulgraham.com/siliconvalley.html
>> 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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