37signals: Start up your startup somewhere else (like Portland)

It seems everyone is getting into the Silicon Valley bashing, as of late. But that’s what happens when you’re at the top.

And while I’m not going to pile on with the negativity, I thought a recent 37signals post—entitled “Are you sure you want to be in San Francisco?“—brought up one very positive point that we should all bear in mind:

So stop worrying to much about where you are and start worrying about how you’re going to make your business succeed the old fashion way: Through having a better product than the competition that people are willing to pay for.

Every single day, I’m lucky enough to talk to people who get this. People who have started amazing companies here in Portland and the Silicon Forest.

But you know what else is interesting?

We’re starting to become a destination, as well. We’re starting to attract both the talent and the companies to employ that talent. Companies that have chosen to come to Portland to succeed. Companies like Vidoop, LUNARR, Intrigo, Jive, WeoGeo… the list goes on and on.

All of these companies see something special here in Portland. And that is even more exciting.

(Hat tip Josh Bancroft)

  1. We did our research before we opened up shop in Portland. Austin, Bolder, Boston, Phoenix, and Sacramento made the top six (plus Portland), but when we finally brought the staff to Portland from SUNNY Tucson, a nonverbal, positive, consensus formed. I think we might have even impulsively (without remorse) signed a lease that same weekend.

    …And while my employees are overwhelmed with excitement to move, finding great Portland talent is outstanding. Of course if you think I’m blowing smoke, just open a web app firm in Tucson and try to compete.

  2. With the funding folks finally recognizing Portland, it should be easier for companies to flourish here – either as original PDX start ups or relocated companies.

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