Startup Hubs

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Paul Graham is a big believer that location matters for a startup. He encourages entrepreneurs to move to what he calls "startup hubs" and for most web startups, that’s the Silicon Valley.

Startups happen in clusters. There are a lot of them in Silicon Valley and Boston, and few in Chicago or Miami. A country that wants startups will probably also have to reproduce whatever makes these clusters form.

In his recent talk about the future of web startups in London he re-iterated that position and took a little heat for it. His latest essay defends his statements.

I think I can prove I’m right. You can easily reduce the opposing argument ad what most people would agree was absurdum. Few would be willing to claim that it doesn’t matter at all where a startup is—that a startup operating out of a small agricultural town wouldn’t benefit from moving to a startup hub. Most people could see how it might be helpful to be in a place where there was infrastructure for startups, accumulated knowledge about how to make them work, and other people trying to do it. And yet whatever argument you use to prove that startups don’t need to move from London to Silicon Valley could equally well be used to prove startups don’t need to move from smaller towns to London.


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