LaunchDFW asked Alex Muse, “True or false: You have to be in the valley to build a meaningful tech company,” looking to answer a question many startups ask. Alex’s response suggests that startups do not need to be in Silicon Valley to be successful so long as they leverage the talent pool in their community and then to look to fill in the resources that are missing.
Alex admits that every location has benefits and challenges, citing a serious entrepreneur struggling to find talent in the South Park area. The struggle to find talent by this experienced entrepreneur was the same sentiment of a first-time entrepreneur at Highland Park Village. Quality talent is important, without the right people contributing and collaborating with your startup, success is much more difficult.
Relocating to Silicon Valley does have its perks, there is an abundance of talent and money but then there is also the downside of the cost of living. Alex’s childhood was spent moving, and he set down roots in Dallas, leaving the San Francisco Bay Area. Having been in Dallas for several years Alex has seen the region grow but has also experienced the struggle, years ago it took him six months longer to raise capital in Dallas than it would have in Silicon Valley. Granted, this is not the trouble today, but back then, that could have been the difference between life and death for his startup.
Alex makes a great point, just because a person decides to live in Dallas, that does not make Silicon Valley out of reach for commuting. He offers up his sister’s experience as an example. She recently finished her MBA in San Francisco’s Wharton campus commuting weekly from Dallas. Alex is also considering commuting to Silicon Valley as well, and is looking at some cool, vintage Airstreams to call home. There is no perfect answer, for some Silicon Valley will be the best spot for their startup, but for others, in cities with a good talent pool and the necessary resources, there is no reason they will not have success.