Come on Mr. Dell.

Paul Graham has a post up about how to jump start a rival to San Francisco. I almost went to Google Austin, before deciding to come to SF and Facebook instead.

Part of me, however, prefers Texas to California. Maybe it’s just rooting for the underdog. Or maybe it’s Whataburger over In N Out. Anyway, in the long run, I hope that there exists more than one startup haven in the US. Graham says it might take as little as $30 million to get it going. As he says, that’s not much compared to stadiums. Politically unfeasible, but he points out one interested rich person could pull it off.

It will be easier in proportion to how much your town resembles San Francisco. Do you have good weather? Do people live downtown, or have they abandoned the center for the suburbs? Would the city be described as “hip” and “tolerant,” or as reflecting “traditional values?” Are there good universities nearby? Are there walkable neighborhoods? Would nerds feel at home?

My answers to the question:

  • Austin has pretty nice weather. If you’re a fan of warmth, it’s even better than SF most of the year.
  • I think people live downtown. Can someone who lives there respond?
  • “Keep Austin weird.”
  • As the child of two Aggies, it’s hard for me to admit, but UT is a good school.
  • I guess it’s not that walkable
  • I think nerds would feel at home

So yeah, when’re you going to start, Mr. Dell?

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2 Responses to Come on Mr. Dell.

  1. danvk says:

    Really interesting article. Thanks for the link, Craig!

    I think Austin already has a pretty burgeoning startup scene. UT graduates enough CS major each year who want to stick around to make it possible. No government intervention required!

    Your “$30 million” is low-balling it — Mr. YC also mentions $1 billion in the article. But that’s still in the “ballpark” of a sports stadium. I think the social aspects are the biggest hurdles. You’d have to pay me a lot of money to move to Detroit. If I were running a startup, I’d have to pay any employees a ton of money to move there, too. And none of us would be very happy.

  2. Evan says:

    I wasn’t really convinced by the post. Maybe I’m wrong, something just felt wrong. I guess I’d need to think about it more to sound a little smarter than the previous few sentences.

    also…Whataburger over In N Out? Sadly I can not agree.

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