“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
-Vincent Van Gogh
It is interesting commentary and I appreciate the attention it brings to the quality of life in the Midwest, but like so many other issues in our country, it creates a binary choice between two things that aren’t opposed, but offer different opportunities and face unique challenges.
The Columbus 2020 team works with companies in our area – the Columbus Region – as well as firms from Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, London, Shenzhen, Tokyo and other cities with large technology clusters. We do so in order to build relationships and help companies grow, employ people and attract investment. Silicon Valley has a value proposition for many people and companies, but it also has growing expenses and disparities. The Midwest has great start-ups, major headquarters, universities and private institutions focused on commercialization, and we have an enormous talent base, including 12 of the top 50 engineering colleges. But, the Midwest seeks the dynamism of Silicon Valley and its risk-taking culture.
Silicon Valley is an international center of innovation that our country should be proud of and leverage. However, it cannot stand alone. Technology is only useful when delivered to customers, and in our just-in-time, internet of things economy, it is increasingly important to pilot and prototype with consumers, and within the large industrial supply chains that exist in the middle and eastern parts of the country.
By finding ways to work together, Silicon Valley and the Midwest can solve their biggest issues and move the entire country forward.