There has been a recurrent question in discussions that I’ve had recently with potential investors, other web executives, and partners. That question is, ‘does an emerging tech company need to be in the Bay Area to have a chance of success?’?
There are two sides to this issue; the first is that there are several advantages to being in Northern California. There is an abundance of funding sources out there and they all seem to prefer to invest in the area. There are also a great number of tech companies already established out there so the opportunity for partnerships may be easier due to location. Finally, because there is a rich business base in tech there is an incredible amount of services and resources that are competing for mind and dollars of the tech community (note SEO/SEM consulting firms – there are only a few in Texas so they are in high demand. In the Bay Area there are so many that they are fighting for clients).
On the other hand there is also a tremendous amount of competition BY the tech firms for technical and marketing employees so wages are high and it appears that turnover may be a challenge there. The area also acts as a fairly ‘small town’ so secrets are not so easy to keep. For example, last week I was at a popular Woodside breakfast place and it was very telling to see who was meeting with whom.
So… what does this mean for us at iTaggit? Well, over the next few months we are going to attempt to build a stronger corporate presence in the bay area while maintaining our base of operations in Austin. We have a fantastic, dynamic workforce and we need to develop the tech infrastructure for Web 2.0, 3.0, 25.0, etc. right here. We believe that we can combine the best of both environments to deliver a better solution for our users and a lower cost of operations for our investors. We’ll see how it goes and I’ll keep you updated as best that I can on my blog.