This article was published on May 18, 2017

Kevin Rose: It’s a myth that startups need to be in Silicon Valley

Kevin Rose: It’s a myth that startups need to be in Silicon Valley
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Taking the stage during day one of TNW Conference, Kevin Rose dished on life as a post-40 tech nerd. Rose, the founder of Digg, and partner at Google Ventures, sat with TNW’s co-founder Boris to shoot the shit about technology killing human interaction, buying socks based on Instagram ads, and why startups don’t need to be in Silicon Valley.

“It’s where the highest concentration of startups are,” said Rose, “but it’s a myth that startups need to be in the Bay Area.”

His own meditation app, Oak (coming later this year), was developed mostly outside of The Valley with Rose living in New York City at the time (although it’ll be launched and possibly funded in The Valley once Rose returns to San Francisco in coming weeks).

Aside from Rose’s own app, it’s easy to point to the emergence of booming startup economies both inside the United States (Austin, Portland, Los Angeles) and elsewhere. The startup scene in Tel Aviv, for example, rivals that of Silicon Valley. Other emerging scenes include Singapore, Dublin, and even Kazakhstan. And while Rose’s words are echoed by many, it perhaps overlooks why startups flocked to The Valley in the first place: funding.

According to Harvard Business Review, building a startup outside of The Bay Area, New York, or Boston is “stacking the deck against yourself.”

This may be true, but it won’t be for long. In fact, it’s starting to change already.

Global networking events — like TNW’s own conferences in Amsterdam and New York — crowdfunding, and the constant hunt for the next big thing (which now, more than ever, happens on a global scale) are narrowing the advantage Valley startups have over those in booming tech landscapes around the globe. With any luck, Silicon Valley will be one of many hotspots just like it around the world, but it’s hard to think we’ve reached parity just yet.

Safe to say, however, that with each passing year, we’re inching closer.

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