I’ve seen tons of communities around the world try to replicate Silicon Valley. Whether it’s attempting to have more seed investing, more successful startups, or an increased density of educated talent, they want to be like Silicon Valley. Yet after living in Silicon Valley for three years, I’ve recognized something that provides a stark contrast to other places around the world: there’s no “startup community” here.
Don’t get me wrong. There are countless events, pitch events, developer events, designer events, and more. There’s literally a meetup every night for people in the internet industry. However I’ve noticed something incredibly different in other aspiring startup cities: a genuine sense of community.
In D.C., New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Omaha (yeah), Austin, Los Angeles, and more, there are events that members of the community consistently attend. They feel its a duty to, because the community needs it. You start to see the same faces over and over and it often results in lifetime friendships and possibly even business relationships. What some individuals in these cities fail to realize is that this sense of community is their source of strength.
The smaller communities are platforms that enable leaders to rise much quicker. In Silicon Valley, everybody is a leader (not literally, but it often feels like that). It’s an ecosystem built around the hyper-competitive. Startups are literally an industry in Silicon Valley. The benefit of this is that it’s a great place to learn quickly because everybody and their mother is building something.
However if you go to the communities outside of Silicon Valley creating a startup is unique. That’s a good thing … because it is! For any communities outside of Silicon Valley, here’s my advice: inspire others in your community through ambition and execution. The same rule rings true in Silicon Valley, however there’s far more people here that are already executing.
The most important thing: don’t call yourself “Silicon __________”, it’s doing yourself injustice. That’s because other cities have something Silicon Valley doesn’t have: community.