[FoRK] Ithaca, indeed :)

Owen Byrne < owen at permafrost.net > on > Fri Jun 9 01:43:55 PDT 2006

And 37signals is, at least nominally in Chicago.  I'm not really 
attacking the idea
of "hackers and backers" as much as the assumed permanence of Silicon 
valley as king of innovation.

Luis Villa wrote:
> On 6/8/06, Owen Byrne <owen at permafrost.net> wrote:
>> I found this piece and this other similar piece  -
>> http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2006/06/how_to_kick_sil.html
>>  - 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.
> Would they have been laughable in 2002? Would you still have wanted to
> start a company anywhere else?
> [Mind you, I think the 37 SIgnals guys make a strong case that you can
> start a respectable company in this day and age with neither an office
> nor VC.]
> Luis
>> 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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