West vs Midwest Ronde II

indiana

FERGESE

Ferline wike wie ik yn in paniel by The Combine - 2010 neamd Go West: Eardere Midwesterners dy't binne ferhuze nei de Silicon Valley diele har ferhalen. Ik wie ien fan 'e fjouwer minsken dy't ús persoanlike ferhalen besprutsen en it sette in fjoerstoarm op Twitter en gie nei Cat 4 doe't Doug Karr syn reaksjes pleatste doe't hy de Kombinearje 2010 hjir.

Al dizze gefoelens wiene folslein rjochtfeardige sjoen it ûndjippe karakter fan it formaat, dat ryp is foar brutale lûdsoerlêst, mar net genôch om echt ljocht te werpen op iets dat mear as 10 minuten fertsjinnet petear per persoan. Doug Karr is super genedich west om my de kâns te jaan om yn dizze diskusje te dûken om myn perspektyf te jaan - net oer wat by de Combine gie - mar om it opnij te framejen fan in debat tusken West vs Midwest (mei my yn 'e rol fan Drago) nei ien dy't mear djipte leveret oer ûndernimmerskip hjir yn San Francisco en yn 'e Midwesten (yn myn gefal Bloomington, IN).

I think there are lessons, based on legitimate criticisms, that can provide opportunities in this for all of us regardless of what side we're on.  After-all, isn't this one of the key pillars of entrepreneurship?

Dielde ûnderfiningen foarmje ús mienskip en kultuer

Mienskip bûten West en yn 'e Midwest binne beide like wichtich op beide lokaasjes, mar d'r is in appels foar oranjes fergeliking as it giet om de dynamyk fan har make-up. Myn ferhaal past hjir by in protte: de ferhuzing West is in aktive metafoar dy't in rike en yntinse skiednis hat yn 'e ûntwikkeling fan ús lân. Oars as Lewis en Clark, paddelt hjoed gjinien streamop, fjochtet grizzlybears en ûnderhannelt de passaazje mei striderij. Yndianen Yndianen, mar lykas se diele wy allegear in soartgelikens gefoel fan moeting - moetingen mei minsken, lânskippen en mei ús eigen sels en beheiningen, om't wy risiko's namen ús komfort fan hûs te litten en West te ferhuzen. Net in soad fan ús binne hjirwei, mar wy bouwe ús mienskip ôf fan dizze mienskiplike ûnderfiningen bûten dy fan tradysjes lykas taal, sosjaal-ekonomyske klasse, kleur en hate Kanye West.

In the Midwest, community is one of strongest and most enviable traits of any culture in the world.  People in the Midwest value having each other's back, being overly hospitable (unless you're at an Ohio St – Mich football game), and always getting the job done with as little fanfare as possible (If Indiana University ever puts names on the backs of their jerseys, I wouldn't be surprised if Bloomington turns into a pile of smoldering limestone).  This sense of community is so powerful, it would be an act of insanity to leave it all behind to move to a place where you can pay $1,700-a-month to live in a shoebox on top of an active fault-line.

Dat, beide mienskippen hawwe heule sterke bannen, mar de wearden en ûnderfiningen dy't dizze bannen oanmeitsje produsearje wat foardielen en neidielen yn ûndernimmerskip. Op koarte termyn hat Indiana op it stuit in neidiel.

Risiko en beleanning

gjin filmYn 'e heul ûnderskatte Myn namme is gjinien, de haadpersoan "Nobody" (spile troch Terrance Hill) nimt in pear kûgels troch syn cowboyhoed fan 'e legindaryske gewearslieder Jack Beauregard (spile troch Henry Fonda), om te bewizen oan syn kredyt oan him. It dialooch dat se briljant útwikselje:

  • Jack: Tell me, what's your game?
  • Nimmen: Doe't ik in bern wie, die ik as oft ik Jack Beauregard wie.
  • Jack: …and now that you're all growed up?
  • Nimmen: I'm more cautious.  But sometimes running a little risk, can bring rewards, ya know.
  • Jack: As it risiko lyts is, is de beleanning lyts.

It grutste ferskil dat ik oanwize yn 'e kultueren tusken it Westen en de Midwest lizze fjouwerkant yn dit aksioma. Yn 'e lêste 2 jier fan belutsen wurde by' e web- en technologyske mienskippen yn Indy en Bloomington, kin ik mei wissichheid sizze, dit is it ienige grutste probleem dat Indiana hat om de folgjende Boulder te wurden as de folgjende Silicon Valley. Dit docht net betsjutte dat net ien is taking risks, or that there aren't any meaningful developments happening in Indiana.  But, what it does mean, is that one key component of building a successful tech community hasn't quite bought into the big risk concept yet.

The crucial position in any tech business is a technical co-founder or lead developer (duh).  The demand for these types of people far outweighs their supply, and this is true in San Francisco as well.  The main difference in Indiana, is that a disporportionate number of people with the technical skills to build a web product have responded to this supply and demand inequality by setting up “dev shops” that “outsource” technical development.  This requires non-technical entrepreneurs to dole out all their hard earned capital they've raised and/or equity to pay someone who doesn't have skin in the game.  I've spoken with numerous developers from Indy and Bloomington who were making amazing salaries who also think they are entrepreneurs because they solve start-up problems.  But they really aren't.  You aren't an entrepreneur until you give up your cushion, throw your hat in with everyone else and sacrifice until you've created something that creates value and makes money.  If you file a W-2 every year, you aren't an entrepreneur.

Douglas Karr and many others have done an amazing job at establishing Indy as a Marketing Tech hotspot.  That is awesome.  However, other founders that are looking to build the next Facebook/Google/etc, need some serious engineering talent.  It is here, but it isn't being allocated properly and the incentives are not aligned.  I know numerous non-technical entrepreneurs in Indiana that desperately need dev talent and can't get it unless they pay cash or give up equity that won't stay in the tent once it is issued.  So, Indiana is still losing these extremely talented entrepreneurs to San Francisco and the Valley because that conundrum just doesn't exist in disproportionate numbers out here.  I'm not saying that you “can't succeed unless you move West.”  What I am saying is that it has been way too difficult for non-technical founders to find technical co-founders they need to compete with start-ups and companies out West that don't have the same issue.

Good news for Indiana, though.  Things are starting to move, slowly, and I don't think that this is going to be a problem in the long-run.  How long?  I don't know, but if I were an entrepreneur in Indiana who doesn't want to move West, I'd be beating this horse until it is reduced to a pile of molecules.

5 Comments

  1. 1

    @dougheinz do bist in wiere ealman, Doug. Ik wurdearje de optimistyske post en it fantastyske stânpunt dat jo nei dizze diskusje hawwe brocht. Doare ik te sizzen, jo wiene folle optimistysker as guon fan 'e negative stimmen út' e middenwesten dy't binnenkamen om my op myn post te skellen. Betanke foar de tiid!

  2. 2
  3. 3

    Ik ferhuze nei 3 1/2 jier yn New York City spesifyk werom nei Indianapolis om mei te dwaan oan Raidious. D'r is ien teken fan optimisme.

    Doe't ik dêr earst ferhuze, hie ik in chip op myn skouder oer hoe't wy hjir krekt sa goed binne as earne oars. Ik learde gau dat dat absolút wier is, mar oer prate makket dat jo provinsjaal klinke.

    Myn baas koe net leauwe dat ik út 'e Midwesten kaam, om't ik "rap rinne, snel prate", ik praat mei myn hannen, en ik bin "heul kultivearre." Myn oare puntline-rapport koe de foarm fan 'e steat Indiana net iens tekenje. Dit binne twa NYC-lifers.

    Wylst talint frij streamt, hat kultuer de neiging om út te gean fan ien fan 'e twa kusten. Dat is gewoan in feit. En in protte fan 'e tiid folget talint dat boarne fan kultuer nei ien fan dy twa gebieten.

    Fergriemd wurde en sels rjochtfeardigje is net de manier om te gean. Moai wurk, Doug. Ik fûn jo toan leuk.

    As neat oars, doch lykas se dogge yn New York. Elke kear as immen oan jo twivelet, fertel se dat se sels moatte gean.

    Gewoan dwaan.

  4. 4

    Betanke man. Your's is in frij klassyk ferhaal oer wat bart as minsken út ferskillende gebieten en eftergrûnen eins byinoar komme en foarby de stereotypen gean. It libben is heul lestich om as ideolooch te libjen, is it net?

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