Silicon Valley vs. Everywhere Else

15 02 2008

There’s a spirited discussion over at TechCrunch over Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman’s perspective on Seattle versus Silicon Valley. There’s 116 comments (one from me) as of now, far more than standard startup news. I’m not the only one thinking about this stuff!

Tradeoffs make you really evaluate what you want. For a long time, I’ve wanted it all but having to choose makes you evaluate what you find most important. The point of Glenn Kelman’s point was not as much for lifestyle. Glenn’s rebuttal also concedes that Silicon Valley is better for startups. Rather, he makes the argument in areas where Seattle or non-Valley locations are superior for startups. If you (and thereby, your company) value a homier atmosphere, then maybe the big game is not where you want to be. You don’t always play in the big game to win big. The corollary is that the big game is also how you lose big. An “at all costs” mentality can be dangerous, but it’s also what drives the innovation.

I also lived in both Seattle and San Francisco, and I do prefer all that the Bay Area has to offer: tech scene or not. But that’s just me: I don’t like hiking that much.




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