Startup Founders: Stop Worrying About Your Local Startup Scene, Focus On Your Business

Written by Paul on May 22nd, 2012

This post was inspired by a discussion on Facebook where I started a comment with this: in 2012+, why does it matter where anyone’s located anymore?

It used to be that startups had to chase the money/investors and, because travel was usually expensive, they had to look in their backyard or move elsewhere. These days, that balance has shifted: cross-country flights can be obtained for <$500 roundtrip and capital is following the talent, regardless of location. In the case of 500 Startups, we’re deploying everywhere – domestic and international – and you’re going to see even more investors like us over the next 3-5 years.

So, here’s a thought for the founders out there: focus on building the best business you can – regardless of where you’re located. The money will find you, I can promise you of that.

Founders *shouldn’t* be wasting time consciously trying to make their city better – they should focus on building fantastic businesses that will attract other founders to do the same. After all, hackers attract hackers.

Leave the city/regional stuff to investors and politicians – not because they’re better at building community but because they’ll be *forced* to figure it out when the smartest founders start threatening to leave (or when savvy investors try to lure the best startups away).

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6 Responses to “Startup Founders: Stop Worrying About Your Local Startup Scene, Focus On Your Business”

  • 100% totally agree

    — 05/22/12 at 9:58 pm

  • And stop supporting bad businesses just because they are from your city. Supporting mediocrity doesn’t help anyone.

    — 05/23/12 at 12:14 am

  • It has never been about money. It is about support and culture. Absolutely location should not stop you from building your business. You should be far more focused on your business than your surroundings. However, it is foolish to think that a culture that fosters innovation, learning and risk taking isn’t a competitive advantage.

    — 05/23/12 at 3:45 pm

  • I agree & disagree. Location doesn’t matter. We live in an incredibly connected world where anyone can connect with anyone be it in person via travel or over the internet. And yes, a founder should be focused first on making the business the best they possibly can.

    At the same time, they should contribute at the very least by picking up their heads and be interacting with those around them. Otherwise you risk living in a bubble and missing out on opportunities. For example, I think Aaron Batalion has done an amazing job of being a visible part of LivingSocial. His contributions to the community have helped both the DC tech community and LivingSocial.

    Plus, when you help your community that builds up that social capital and the community helps you, whether it be through things like recruiting or using/testing out your product. I’ve seen that COUNTLESS number of times between Clearspring & HelloWallet.

    — 05/25/12 at 1:11 am

  • TK

    I agree 100%. If you are an entrepreneur, your 100% focus should be on building your company.

    Community and ecosystem building should be left to the supporting organizations.

    At Wasabi Ventures, we see one of our roles as helping to build community in an area.

    But we do this so we can provide a better infrastructure in the companies we want to invest and help build.

    — 08/21/12 at 3:50 pm

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