One of the most interesting trends we follow is the growing importance location plays for technology startups. The Boston Globe's The Road to Awesome looks at this issue from Boston's point of view.
It seems that many of Boston's most talented young interent entrepreneurs are moving to Silicon Valley and New York. The article trys to figure out what the Boston area needs to do to keep these folks. Key quote:
"Boston likes to see itself as a hive of innovation ... But when it comes to young, first-time founders working on websites, mobile applications, and devices designed for consumers, the magnetic pull of Silicon Valley and New York City is strong ... the city seems to be grappling with a coolness deficit when it comes to retaining twentysomethings and newly-minted college grads ..."
The article focuses on Boston not being cool, or at least not as cool as Silicon Valley or New York. What's the definition of "cool?" In this case it's being located near the action:
"So what constitutes coolness to techies not generally known for being the hippest of the hip? Accessible investors willing to take a risk on wild ideas. Hangouts that attract entrepreneurs and investors, and encourage serendipitous meetings. An endless succession of office-warming and product launch parties with open bars. Companies that make stuff that your friends from college actually use or have heard of. Chief executives with big personalities, and experienced entrepreneurs willing to mentor up-and-comers."
For many tech startups, being in Silicon Valley or New York is not enough. Last year we posted on Internet startups being willing to pay higher rents to be in the same building or neighborhood as Twitter.
The main driver for this frenzy around location is the ability to easily meet and rub shoulders with others in the tech startup ecosystem. The CEO of TaskRabbit says in the Globe article "the serendipitous moments to talk with other amazing entrepreneurs and influencers in the consumer Internet space has been the coolest factor, by far ..."
The growing role that location plays in business is but one facet of the much broader New Localism trend. It is one of the most complex, multifaceted and important trends we follow.
New localism is covered in the Intuit 2020 Report.
This post has been translated into Catalan. Click here to see this version.