Decentralized cities

One of the favorite past times of tech twitter during the pandemic has been predicting the next Silicon Valley.Austin, with its natural beauty, weird-chill vibe, flagship university, killer BBQ, and long history of technology companies is an obvious choice. Francis Suarez, with the hustle of a direct-to-consumer CBD salesman and the political savvy of a future president, has been miraculously tweeting Miami into existence as a tech hub. And, of course, you can never count out San Francisco to be the next San Francisco.We know the players and we know the game. It’s comforting. And the best part is, there are no wrong answers! Just wrong questions.

Wrong questions

People still refer to the “tech industry” as if every industry wasn’t getting eaten by software. I advise and invest in companies tackling problems in education, real estate, banking, media, fitness, construction, and healthcare. The only reason I can help this range of companies is because they are all using the same principles of software development to accomplish their goals.

Internet-enabled software is in the deployment phase, where it becomes so ubiquitous as to be second nature. Asking which city will be the next tech hub is like asking which industry will use software.

Of course, all industries use software. And any city that wants to stay economically relevant will need to figure out how to attract people that build it. San Francisco and Austin and Miami are some of the best positioned places to do this. But the “tech industry” is too big for one city.

What’s a better question?

The most interesting industries are not the ones software is eating, but the new ones it’s creating. Things that weren’t possible or economically feasible before. Autonomous cars. Virtual reality. Social networks.

So, what new types of cities might the internet create?


Categories: Activism, Secession, Strategy

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