Why Startup Ecosystems Need More Than Just VC Funding
Hi. I read your [Tweet, Medium Post, WSJ OpEd] about leaving the Bay Area for [Texas, Florida, Seasteading]. I totally understand. Even though I might be more progressive politically than you, I too am frustrated by San Francisco’s [tax policy, failure to pass housing bills, conflicted attitude towards tech companies]. But no hard feelings and your [pictures with the mayor of your new city, floorplans for your new house, comparison of your new tax bill to your old effective rates] do occasionally make me jealous, although we don’t have any near term plans to leave.
One ask though. Don’t just take your intelligence, your hustle and your [angel, VC, SPAC] dollars to the new city — bring the best of SV values with you too. While it’s fair to assume we named Homebrew after [coffee, alcohol, opensource software package manager], it’s actually a tribute to the Homebrew Computer Club. The HCC was a group of early PC enthusiasts who met in the 70s and 80s to just tinker, share, build. And it was perhaps most notably where Jobs and Woz connected.
What would a modern HCC look like in your new city? It certainly would be visually different — the HCC was very white and very male. But besides fixing that, maybe a lot of the values would be the same. Sharing versus stealth. The love of building versus just the love of funding. Challenging each other constructively, even sometimes competitively. Supporting failures in addition to cheering successes.
Maybe I’m overly nostalgic for a Silicon Valley that we’ve romanticized but never really had. Maybe being an incumbent industry versus underdog means there’s too much power in tech to ever return to hobbyist roots. But I [like, respect, have muted on twitter] many of the people moving away and am actually hopeful they find what they’re looking for in their new locations. It’ll be good for the US overall and good for entrepreneurs everywhere if they bring the best of SV values with them. So that’s my hope.
Farewell travelers! I look forward to visiting you as soon as I’m able to access [OneMedical’s COVID vaccines, Benchmark’s private plane, the a16z stash of antibodies].