Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Startup Opportunities in SoCal

On Ben Kuo's blog, he posted about Entrepreneurs in Southern California
and pointed to a post by Will Johnson, a Southern California entrepreneur and blogger. Will's post talks about lack of interest in working for startups here in Southern California, saying:
..we probably’d don’t have the: a) same support infrastructure (meet-ups, networking events, etc.); b) history of success; and c) abundance of start-up companies (so if one fails there is another to jump on).

Ben responded with:
I’d argue that it’s all a perception, rather than a reality. There are more than enough meet-ups and networking events; we’ve got plenty of examples of successes in the area; and there are plenty of startups to jump to in case of a startup failure.

Ben actually didn't address the issue raised by Will that there is definitely a shortage of really good developers, engineers, etc. willing to go work for startup companies. Will associates this with the fact that people who have great (or even bad) jobs with companies that are farther along don't want to leave. I'm not sure that's the only or primary reason. There are a lot of risk adverse people who won't work for a start-up. Being right next to lots of aerospace companies here in El Segundo, I can find them by the truckload at lunch time. But they won't leave there job. Still, there is definitely a pool of folks who will take more risk.

The problem is that right now it's very competitive to find good architects and developers period. It doesn't matter the size, shape, risk of the company. Maybe in this kind of good market it's harder for start-ups, but if anything I think the wave of innovation going on right now makes it easier to find people willing to take a risk.

That said, I agree with Ben that you have to know where to look and how to look. There are definitely lots of events going on. And there are tons of ways to use social networks. And if you are looking for engineers you have to be willing to go where the geeks go and look for the geeks.

This is something we've discussed before in: Entreprenuer Network and Events and Networking in Los Angeles.

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