Here’s how small-town America is primed to beat Silicon Valley in innovation
Robert Scoble
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In many ways this post is iconic of Rackspace, the company. There has been a huge migration from Rackspace to Amazon Web Services. In the case of nderground, we never even tried Rackspace, but went directly to AWS.

I’m not sure if there is anything that Rackspace can do in the face of the AWS Juggernaut. At least right now AWS is crushing Google’s cloud and, outside of the Microsoft OS arena, Microsoft’s cloud as well. Being a futurist at a company with a questionable future seems like a problematic title.

Why is the post iconic of Rackspace? It misses or understates an important issue.

Listing Champaign-Urbana as an example of migration away from Silicon Valley understates a long standing fact. The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana has been one of the top technology universities in the world for my entire career. They have been innovators in supercomputing, compiler design and many other areas of science and technology. They have an excellent graduate school and faculty. A university with technology departments of this caliber is going to be a magnet for technology companies, no matter where it is located.

Yes, it is true that the cost of living in the Bay Area is terrible. I’m not planning on locating nderground in San Francisco because of this (we’re in the East Bay).

The cost of living in Manhattan is terrible also. But both the Bay Area and Manhattan remain magnets for a highly educated workforce.

A lot has been written about network effects when it comes to hiring, funding and infrastructure. The continued existence of the Bay Area and Manhattan as areas where knowledge industry is concentrated suggests that these network effects are real.

I would not shed any tears if large parts of Silicon Valley (or Manhattan) relocated to areas with a better quality of life. But I don’t see this happening in the foreseeable future. But then I’m not a noted “tech influencer”. I barely have a following on Twitter.

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