After spending the last few years traveling the world, it’s become clear to me that every major city is an aspiring tech hub.
No matter where I go, the locals tell me the same thing: The government has recognized the importance of tech entrepreneurship, and they’re taking major steps to encourage it there. The obvious archetype for these places is Silicon Valley in California, but there’s a Silicon Something-or-Other just about everywhere I visit: Silicon Alley in New York, Silicon Roundabout in London, even Silicon Savannah in Kenya.
After months of trying to figure out where I should move next, the only obvious conclusion was that each place had its own pros and cons. In this post, I’ll look at each of the cities I considered and the facts that ultimately led me to my decision.
With its rich history of tech entrepreneurship, Silicon Valley is the undisputed center of the tech world. Roughly defined as the stretch of California between San Francisco and San Jose, the Valley is home to some of the world’s most valuable tech companies, most of the top-notch venture capital firms, and of course, the Valley’s academic center, Stanford University. For decades, if you wanted to start a tech company, the Valley was the place to do it. There was no other reasonable option.
You might ask: With so much going for it, why would anyone go anywhere else? In my experience, the central factor that makes Silicon Valley a suboptimal option for some startups is the same aspect that makes it such a brilliant place for others. Silicon Valley is full of bright young people looking to build something cool, change the world, and make a billion dollars.