Buzz Friday (week of April 20)
100 voices, 1 goal

The geography of ideas

geography.jpgWhat makes one city more successful over another when it comes to technology? When you think of innovation, where do you think? Mountain View/Silicon Valley, Seattle, New York, Boston? All the usual suspects. Those cities have lowered hurdles for established businesses and startups when it comes to recruiting talent, offering raw technology and money.

The tenets behind Web 2.0 are enabling a shift in this long held view. While the money and the raw technology are still centralized, something far more important is breaking free. Ideas. The open nature of the user generated content movement is based on open technology architectures. That means that, while the heavy engineering is still done in the traditional tech centers, many more people are able to capitalize in order to ideate and innovate. Information that was previously held tightly in Silicon Valley is not relayed in real time to the rest of the world through sites like TechMeme or TechCrunch. There is almost no geographic advantage as far as information goes any more.

Just tonight I attended an panel event here in Cleveland centered around emerging technologies. I talked to a lot of people at some really great companies who are doing some progressive and interesting things. More companies everywhere are able to get in on technology early and create solutions for their clients. This is happening in Cleveland for sure. Smart people are getting together and sharing great ideas and it's happening elsewhere too. Blogging tools are letting new voices be heard and the ideas are leading the way. Take Des Moines, Iowa for example. Up until a year or so ago you wouldn't have necessarily thought it to be a hotbed for great marketing thinking, but Mike and Drew have changed that.

Are you noticing this in your area? Have you see a city/region capitalize on this to make steps toward recruiting new talent to the area in a real, successful way? Do people in your area even know what's going on right next door? Let me know.

Viva ideas!

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