Why go West… or North?

May 22, 2014 Mac Lackey

In today’s digital landscape, how possible is it to build a tech business outside of Silicon Valley or NYC’s tight circles? And I don’t mean a local blog or an app, I mean a big business. A business with $100+ million in revenue and millions of users.

The answer: VERY possible.

Easy, NO. Of course not.

Building a great business, a great BIG business, requires lots of things: big vision, capital, talent, marketing savvy, great customer service, and so on. But more than anything, building a great business requires drive and commitment.

The Benefit of Traveling West or North

I wrote this post on a plane to Silicon Valley. Sure, I can raise money in my home town; I have. I can find great engineers in Charlotte, NC; actually, we already have them on staff for KYCK. But Silicon Valley and NY represent what is possible. They are (currently) the peak of the startup generator and the best place to test yourself and your business.

You go to NY for energy. You see the pace of the city and realize you could work harder. You see the powerful advertisements all around you, the products, the stores and realize your ideas need to be more polished. You meet with entrepreneur, and you hear the vision. You feel it; it pushes you and makes you better.

Silicon Valley challenges the senses. You see the global HQ of Facebook and Google. You know deals are being done all around you. Each coffee meeting likely involves decisions being made to create millions of dollars or plot the demise of a service we all thought was bullet-proof. Silicon Valley gives you the glimpse of the future and the people who are trying to shape it.

Are you thinking big enough?

Are you hiring the best people?

Does your model have flaws or challenges you aren’t seeing?

Take your show on the road and put yourself to the test. You’ll come away with good ideas, a more critical eye, and maybe a thicker skin.So don’t be afraid to test yourself. But when you fly home, put the ideas in action because your home town has YOU and many other things that might give you advantages in this new world (cheaper talent, lack of group think, unique resources, etc.).

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