LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Having the privilege of living in Silicon Valley (and before having lived in London and Berlin) I can see the lure of locating your startup in the heart of one of these beehives of startup activity. And I regularly have the conversation with founders about relocating to a startup hub.
There surely are many good reasons to be here (or in any other hub in the world) — density of talent and capital, a strong entrepreneurial culture, lots of likeminded folks and, in the case of Silicon Valley, amazing weather. But for each of these positives, there is also a negative: cost of living is sky-high; you are a small fish in a very big pond; cutthroat competition and, to stay in the Silicon Valley case, a drought.
Where this becomes particularly complicated is for founders who are not completely independent twenty-somethings — those of us who have a family, are tied to a place for specific reasons or those who maybe want to balance their lives with other things than just work.
To those I say: Honestly, location doesn’t matter all that much. In today’s age — where travel is comparatively cheap; where we have free high-quality video calling and shared, collaborative document editing in the cloud (and all the other things which make this globe truly connected and smaller by the minute) — you can be pretty much anywhere and be successful.
Point in case: Warren Buffett
. Arguably the most successful investor ever to roam this planet lives and works in Omaha, Nebraska
. And not just after he became successful but since 1958 when he bought his house there (in which he still lives!).
Don’t over-rotate on where to locate your startup and instead focus on building a damn good product. The rest will follow.
Build What Matters.