Stop Talking About Moving to Silicon Valley and Just Build a Great Company Where You Are
Founder Institute

I think your core message, Adeo, of not having to go to the Valley to create a startup is absolutely correct, but I’m not at all satisfied with your argument. The decision for a startup to leave or stay is much more nuanced.

Every startup must determine what it needs to be successful with its most important, current/future ‘pains’, including first customers, capital needs, team makeup, strategic partners, etc., then make a sound decision on where to house its business that offers the greatest opportunity for success. Of course, this may mean staying in a community with little activity related to their business or to startups, but the startup must build bridges to pull in the necessary resources to be successful. When you state that people should focus on what a community ‘does have’, not what it ‘does not have’, a location bias forms (much like the Valley-cult does on the other side) that is not in the best interest of the startup. A startup must assess what’s best for them and make business decisions to fill any voids, which may mean to move.

With regards to the premise where in communities with no entrepreneurs, there is an opportunity to grow one, I don’t know if that message was intended for the entrepreneur or for a general group of startup catalyzers in a region, but it’s terrible advice for an entrepreneur hell-bent on making great products. Build your business first, then make decisions whether it’s better to create an ecosystem to support your business or leverage an existing one. By amplifying the importance of your own entrepreneur ‘data’, even stating that the Valley doesn’t hit the top 10 in entrepreneurial traits, I question your methodology more than the traits of Valley entrepreneurs.

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