Why Portland Will Actually be the Next Silicon Valley
By Silicon Valley I don't mean the Silicon Valley that exists today, but the beginnings of the Silicon Valley that involved young nerds toiling away in apartments or garages on ideas and software they were interested in working on.
By Silicon Valley I don't mean a batch of fundamentally the same software with one-off UX designs and visual design, but software designed under real-life constraints that solves real problems.
Having an absence of funds is okay - it helps weed people out who aren't completely dedicated to their ideas. Having a shortage of mentorship with connections to those who understand the difference between a business and a side project is important. Build something interesting enough and funders will come out of lurking to talk with you. Demonstrate that you're serious enough and it won't be difficult to catch the interest of funders in Portland, Seattle and the Valley. Of course, you really have to be hardcore about it.
I don't think people have problems building software in Portland. I think they have problems getting connected to people who have experience growing businesses.
There may likely need to be a lot more failures before there are successes. And when there are successes, no one will remember the failures. They'll simply think that a group of entrepreneurs set out ot make a company, and wham -- success! Without any background work or sweat. It always looks easier from the outside than it is on the inside.
Working long hours is not equivalent to more productivity.
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