Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Canadian Talent Migration And Innovation

I am seeing a shift in the relationship between proximity and innovation. Face-to-face still matters. It's the most important consideration. What's new is the value in being closer to other talent markets:

In recent years, Boston and New York have also become hotbeds of the tech sector, challenging Silicon Valley for talent. While the valley continues to lead the pack, its East Coast rivals have the added advantage of being closer to Canadian talent. The competition for that talent has, as a result, intensified, something that works in favour of Canadian startups.

Silicon Valley is experiencing a talent crisis and Google, to its credit, is staying ahead of the curve. Don't expect the mountain to continue to come to Mohammed. Or, should I write, "Mohammed coming to Mountain View"? I digress. The idea is to move where the talent is, not the other way around.

There is value in locating your startup near where the talent you need is produced. That's a big change from banking on everyone worth her salt relocating to the Bay Area. Every talent migration boomtown should be concerned (e.g. Boulder, Austin, and Seattle). If you need a steady supply of knowledge workers, then you would be better off in Youngstown.

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