Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Innovation and Geography

I ran across a post in Read/Write Web - Does Location Matter in Web Innovation? that talked about a recent NY Times article When It Comes to Innovation, Geography Is Destiny.

Reading the articles and the comments is probably worth it, but I personally think that the NY Times is overstating the advantage of being in Silicon Valley with a couple of exceptions...

I've personally been involved in the start-up world in Los Angeles for about 15 years, and have had the opportunity to work on many early-stage companies (e.g., eHarmongy) as an acting CTO. LA is a vibrant community with a rich network of angels that fund early stage companies, lots of VCs, easy access to big media, lots of innovation in media, mobile content, games, green, health care, and many, many others.

Probably the biggest drawback of Los Angeles is the distance and traffic that makes networking more difficult. Evening events in Orange County require about 2 hours of round trip drive time. It has to be a pretty good event for it to be worth attending. Some events, like a recent Tech Coast Angel event at UCLA are really worth it. But some events you don't get quality attendees and then its a drag to drive that far.

My only other complaint is that right now it's very hard to find good technical people at all levels. Of course, that's probably even more true in Silicon Valley.

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