Paul Graham’s “Messages from cities”

Interesting post from Paul Graham about the message and measure of success that different cities send.

This is my comment:

To the inverse question is also very interesting.- Specifically, what if a city *does not* send a message? To me that is the same as a company that can’t get its marketing message and corporate culture right. The city, like the company, flounders and “fails”. I used to live near Detroit. That city never recovered from the 1968 race riots. It could never re-discover its message of success.

If a city as a culture (not just a political entity) does not value something, then it provides no guidance to the immigrant (“new hire”). The resources to be successful are not visible nor readily available.

In SV, I would say the message is not “power” but action. Specifically, “Great idea. Have you built it yet?” This is why Cambridge as an “idea” center will not overtake SV. SV is about doing – and more importantly accepting failure as a step toward success.

For this reason, I do think that Silicon Valley must be the place to be in software — because software is the ultimate DIY tool.

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