I attended another enjoyable meeting of the Atlanta Lean Startup Circle last night. It was a bit of a rambler of a meeting, but it was centered around making Atlanta more like Silicon Valley in terms of technology startups.
We wound up defining startups for this purpose as a company that is
- high risk
- high growth
- consumer focused
- in vital need of investment money
I don’t really keep track, but apparently Atlanta ranks low on both investors and startups that meet the above criteria. We rank highly for quality of life issues, and our entrepreneurs are happy, but there are not many of them. Getting more of them was the gist of the meeting, with the assumption that the investors would follow.
As always, the good thoughts happen on the drive home. In particular the thought that Silicon Valley is set up to take advantage of startups as defined above. Great! I’ms glad that someone is.
Then I had the thought; why compete against Goliath at a test of strength? Silicon Valley already has all of the risk based startups, venture capitalists, angel investors and assorted hangers on. To wit, they are well stocked with the necessary evils. We can try to go head to head, and lose repeatedly and badly, or we can build something new. Why not have the South be the hub of bootstrapped, and lifestyle businesses?
There’s plenty of opportunity to go around, instead of trying to be the next Facebook, why not build The Internet of Things or wearable computers? There’s no gold in old mines, and you can’t win (to the degrees that cities compete) when your opponent knows the rules better than you do. Why not be the center of something else?