The tech tour, sometimes, feels like Groundhog Day.
In every city, a local accelerator / incubator director talks about their “great” companies. The local entrepreneurs all complain about the lack of capital. Everyone else just wants to figure out what startups actually do.
To be honest, it’s hard not to become a little cynical after a while.
If I had a magic wand (and unlimited cash), I’d force at least one entrepreneur, one investor and one community leader to come with me to at least one other city on the tech tour.
Only then would they realize that it really is the same everywhere else. It’s just as hard, just as noisy and just as frustrating for everyone else.
I’ve learned something else along the tour this year: it’s so easy for everyone to claim that it’s easier elsewhere. Mostly because it absolves the individual for taking ownership of their own problems.
If you’re trying to build a company, 99% of what you need to know is available via Google and the last 1% is available via email. Bonus points if you get on a plane (or come with us).
If you’re trying to build a community, 99% of the challenges you’re facing have been handled by your peer in another city. Email them. Better yet, get on a plane (or come with us).
If you’re just trying to figure out what a tech community looks like, it’s never been easier to visit coworking offices in other cities. Again, get on a plane (or come with us).
If I could figure out some way to systematically connect entrepreneurs and community builders with their peers across North America, I’m fully convinced that they would all have no other choice than to raise the bar for themselves.