March 25, 2009

“Is California setup for a brain drain?”

Scobleizer: Technology, innovation, and geek enthusiasm » Blog Archive Is California setup for a brain drain? «
But that’s just my stories. For California as a whole I’m sensing that the whole state is primed for a major brain drain.

Why? Our state is bankrupt. What was the response? Lay off a bunch of teachers. Our education system is already in the toilet, but this will make it worse. Other states, like Texas, that aren’t bankrupt and aren’t laying off teachers, are looking more and more attractive to parents. It’s that, or spend 10s of thousands on private schools.

There’s a general feeling that crime is getting worse. That’s part a PR problem due to four Oakland police officers getting killed last week, but how will we solve those problems if we don’t have any money to hire more cops, build more prisons, etc, etc? Callers to KGO radio yesterday made it sound like the crime problem is getting worse. Rubbed into the wound is the fact that as a state we’ve decided to stop spending money on education and I predict we’ll see the problem get even worse as uneducated kids hit the job market and find no one is willing to hire them. The crime rate is about to head up big time because of this.

Finally, entrepreneurs are figuring out that they can start companies elsewhere and do just fine. A month ago I visited Tatango up in Bellingham Washington. If you can start a startup in Bellingham you can start it anywhere. I have to admit that the small town life of Bellingham has many advantages for a startup. For one, your employees are going to be more loyal. For two, they will need less pay because housing costs 1/7th to 1/12th what it does in Palo Alto. For three, the whole community is vested in helping you out (they are the only tech startup in town).

Egad! Is Robert Scoble, eternal optimist going to give up on California? Will he move to Texas? Is this a sign of tech trends? Will Silicon Valley be doomed?

Nah. Don’t be silly!

Here’s your relief!

In California’s defense, it’s still going to be hard for someone like me to leave because of the ecosystem that exists here, the weather, and generally the ability to ask anyone on the street what their Twitter address is and get back more than just a blank look, but the Texas Governor made it clear he was going to come after California’s entrepreneurs and what he’s offering workers and entrepreneurs is more and more attractive every day.

Which is backed up by this comment:

I can say our Golden State has qualities that Texas, RTP, Colorado, and the rest cannot match. First is the weather. It’s more pervasive and important than people realize. Try being productive on a hot, humid day. Or bone-chilling one.

And there you go folks. The reason why Silicon Valley will always be the king, the center of the universe, the most important place in the world?

The Weather.

Can you imagine trying to develop a ground changing, economy shifting service like FaceBook when it is 100 degrees outside, and you’re in your 72 degree fishbowl/cube/”open plan”? Or trying to develop an earth shattering, populace empowering service like Twitter when it is 30 degrees outside, and you’re in your 72 degree fishbowl/cube/”open plan”?

It’s impossible!

Phew. Close call there!

Comments (6) -- Posted by: burbed @ 4:00 am

6 Responses to ““Is California setup for a brain drain?””

  1. nomadic Says:

    I’m glad you made the “72 degree” comments because “Try being productive on a hot, humid day. Or bone-chilling one.” is one of the stupidest things I have read in awhile.

  2. anon Says:

    And by “a while” you mean “since the last thing re wrote, right?”

  3. Real Estate Raj Says:

    I’m with you on the one. It makes NO sense to cut education. Non at all.
    What about all the money that supposed to come from the lottery?

  4. UnrealAlex Says:

    Actually Silicon Valley’s greatness has only been masked for a while, and will emerge again: You can grow great prunes there. The official cake should be prune cake. And the official pie prune pie.

    Lots of good arable land here in the Bay Area.

    I’ve been outside of California and it SUCKS. Long winters, nothing grows all that well, etc. Northern Californa is one of the birthplaces of modern organic gardening (the other is England) and for the financial Apocalypse we’re heading into, you want to be in a place where you can grow stuff, raise stuff, etc.

    I was outside the BA for a year. I HATED it. I had to get Food Stamps. Everyone where I was, was on Food Stamps. All Republican and all sucking on the gov’t teat, and not a damn thing would grow outside of a greenhouse. I knew I had to come back here because of the ecosystem, and this huge estuary system it’s built around. Once all this idiotic high-tech stuff is gone, and we’re growing prunes again we’ll be fine.

  5. nomadic Says:

    food stamps? why? The cost of living is a lot cheaper just about anywhere, compared to here. There are LOTS of farms in the plains states where winters royally suck. You can grow wheat, corn, sugar beets, all kinds of things.

  6. DreamT Says:

    in French a prune is slang for a bullet. How apt.


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