Tag Archives: start ups

In 5 years, the Midwest will have more startups than Silicon Valley

Shared from From Venture Beat (VB)
chris-olsenBy Chris Olsen the cofounder and general partner at Drive Capital.

Four years ago, I was a partner at Sequoia Capital, where Drew Houston, Brian Chesky, and a daunting parade of dent-making founders routinely proved that disruption happens in Silicon Valley like nowhere else. But things were changing, and fast.

We saw cloud access to cutting-edge technology sprout fast-growing companies in geographies far away from our epicenter. We, in fact, came to believe (as I still do today) that while the majority of the value in technology was built in Silicon Valley over the last 15 years, a disproportionate amount of the returns over the next 15 will be built elsewhere.

At Sequoia, we took to running around the world, opening offices and funds in India and China. We were investing in Sweden, Brazil, and Scotland. We were, by the way, the firm that was at one time known for only investing within a bicycle’s ride of Menlo Park.

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Michigan’s Economy

I have come to wonder, particularly since the recent recession,  of  what is lacking or better what needs to be done in Michigan to cushion some of the up and downs of the Auto industry and the inevitable reductions in employment created by ever increasing automation incorporated by large manufacturing corporations.

I have made the following observations:

1)    We have in recent years entered a new economy, one whose core is fundamentally different from its predecessor’s, say the automobile age was from the agricultural era.

2)    The economy is barely chugging along and there is apprehension about employment levels . . .

The reality we have is very troubling, because what is disappearing is not just certain number of jobs or jobs in certain industries, or even jobs in America. What is disappearing is the very thing itself: The Job. The job is becoming a vanishing species an antiquated notion of employment.

3)    Nationally the manufacturing sector is employing an ever decreasing percentage of total labor; currently I believe at 11%.

4)    The civil service, etc employs approximately another 20%.

5)    Unemployment is at 9.1%

6)    Therefore approximately 60% must be working in other sectors of the economy.

Now what do these observations tell me, a non-economist?

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