5 Reasons to Move a Startup out of the Valley

Over at GigaOM today, Howard Anderson gives us 5 reasons to move a startup out of Silicon Valley and names Toronto as one of his non-Silicon Valley locations.

  1. The weather sucks in some of these towns (not Tallahassee) so your people will actually work instead of bugging out at 5:15 to train for a marathon, triathlon or Ultimate Frisbee.
  2. You can recruit better outside the fishbowl. Every technology company hits the wall — some multiple times. In the Valley your employees will bail at the first sign of trouble and jump to a better job in the next parking lot. That means you will have to spike salaries to rebuild your team. Other places in the world aren’t quite so spoiled – or they come to you already cynical and stay through the rough times.
  3. You won’t get lost in the startup maze. In the Valley, every VC has a portfolio company in each flavor – their own LP’s can’t tell them apart.
  4. In my experience, other startup communities aren’t as pre-occupied with the “exit” as Da Valley. SV VC’s have attention spans measured in picoseconds and will sell/merge your company at the first sign of trouble. I can say that in Boston, at least, we are used to gutting out long “winters.”
  5. Academics make great board members. Each of these cities has a rich educational environment and are great places to recruit sartorial advisors. And unlike at Stanford, you wont have to give up 1 percent of your equity just to put the provost’s name on your board!

Howard Anderson is a founder of The Yankee Group, a cofounder of Battery Ventures, and a professor of business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.