More research into the startup scene issue

A startup entrepreneur Adam Kalsey waxes elequently on the Sacremento startup scene…sounds like some of the same issues from another capitol city. 🙂 His article. It also references this piece, by Ben Metcalfe about the UK startup scene issues.

I thought both were genuinely interested in the recipe and for improvement, not just drawing attention to a hole. Both seemed to focus on good networking and really hard work (never ending work days).

Ben also drew attention to capital availability. I thought it was interesting that he pointed out that not only is there not much VC capital in the UK, but also that what is available actually gets invested internationally — mainly, in Silicon Valley companies. He also, along the same lines, rejected the thought that location of the capital itself and the managers of it, was critical–thus negating the ‘ecosystem’ theory. I think his point about lack of capital availability could be summed up as follows: it’s not really where the capital comes from, it’s where the investors want it to go. Most VC investors, regardless of their own location, invest in Silicon Valley.

I think this is very interesting. Adam’s location underscores the point. Sacremento is maybe two hours from Silicon Valley, depending on where you define Silicon Valley. So clearly proximity to capital is relative and it would seem, relatively unimportant.

Culture, problem solving, and the types and methods of solving those problems seems more central. Sharing without hidden agenda seems central. Genuine interest is clearly involved.

Not to get too “new age” but some of the themes bear resemblence to self-actualization. It’s not that startup folks in Sacramento or the UK — or Austin — aren’t talented or are not doing meaningful work. There’s simply a lack of convergence/support between startup teams and the community at large. Everything just kind of clicks in the Valley.

For grins, I hopped on, a job site, and searched
“startup” for Austin, TX and for San Francisco, CA. It’s not that I wasn’t prepared for more quantity in San Fran. That’s reasonable. It’s that the difference was unbelievable! In the Austin search, most results had to do with the “start-up” process related to installing HVAC equipment, which I assume means what it sounds like. But even when I filtered out “A/C” and “HVAC”, I still got pretty limited results. Sure, there were some. But with SF, not only did I not have to do this filter, the results were what you would expect. Pages of job-postings touting well-funded startups, web 2.0, and bleeding edges.


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