If you've ever lived in San Francisco/Silicon Valley, you might’ve observed the same thing I have since moving there about 18 months ago. Since this is home to many of the world’s largest technology and venture capital companies, it would make sense that there'd be a large amount of motivated, intelligent and hardworking people. So you did notice that too, huh?
Why don't pockets of awesome people like this exist in other parts of the US?
Upon my initial recognition of such a specialized cluster of people, I was reminded about a chapter in a book called Freakonomics. Whether you're familiar with the book or not, I'll explain the correlation.
In the book, the chapter referred to two schools that were in neighboring areas; one school had a reputation for being better than the other as far as curriculum, instructors and overall atmosphere. With that being said, the parents of the children living in the district of the latter school did everything in their power in order for their child to attend the “better” school. Whether they had to lie about their address or petition to their city commissioner, these parents were determined to give their kids what they thought would be a better education. While other parents stuck to the guidelines of their district and had their kids to go the school they were zoned for.
Researchers had analyzed data ranging from the quality of teachers at both schools to the way students were taught, even the types of students who attended both schools and oddly enough, the results were quite similar. As it turns out, the outcomes had nothing to do with which school the students attended, but had everything to do with the parents. The students who performed better had parents who were involved with their education, regardless of the school they went to.
In relation to San Francisco/Silicon Valley, those intelligent, motivated, and hardworking people I observed had the desire to succeed and moved here because if it. The thought that startups will only succeed in SF/SV is not completely accurate. They succeed because the people here already possess the passion, motivation, and drive to succeed.
I compare living in SF/ SV to living in Florence during the Renaissance; there are just so many great people you can learn from. I am consistently surprised at the high quality of conversation I can have with what seems to be with just about anyone in technology.
Can these pockets exist elsewhere? How can we grow the same community elsewhere? What are your thoughts on the topic, Comment below.
Here are a couple upcoming posts.- Usability Tests for Non-UX Designers.- Why Every Entrepreneur Should Learn to Play Poker- Design Hacks for Non-Designers- Justifying Your Design Decisions