ʻO ka pule i hala, aia wau ma kahi panela ma The Combine - 2010 i kāhea ʻia Hele Komohana: ʻO Midwesterners ma mua i neʻe i ke awāwa ʻo Silicon e kaʻana like i kā lākou mau moʻolelo. ʻO wau kekahi o nā poʻe ʻehā e kūkākūkā ana i kā mākou mau moʻolelo pilikino a ua kau ʻia kahi ahi ma luna o Twitter a ua hele ʻo Cat 4 i ka wā a Doug Karr i kau ai i kāna mau pane i kāna haʻi hou ʻana E hui pū me 2010 ʻaneʻi.
Ua hoʻāpono ʻia kēia mau manaʻo āpau i ke ʻano papau o ke ʻano, i oʻo no ka nahu leo cheeky, akā ʻaʻole lawa no ka hoʻomālamalama maoli ʻana i kahi mea i ʻoi aku ma mua o 10 mau minuke o ke kamaʻilio maʻamau ʻana no kēlā me kēia kanaka. Ua lokomaikaʻi ʻo Doug Karr i ka hāʻawi ʻana mai iaʻu i ka manawa kūpono e luʻu ai i kēia kūkā kamaʻilio ʻana e hāʻawi i kaʻu kuanaʻike - ʻaʻole no ka mea i iho i ka Combine - akā e hoʻolālā hou ia ia mai kahi paio ma waena o West vs Midwest (me aʻu i ke kuleana o Drago) i kekahi e hāʻawi i ka hohonu e pili ana i ka entrepreneurship ma Kapalakiko a ma Midwest (i koʻu hihia Bloomington, IN).
I think there are lessons, based on legitimate criticisms, that can provide opportunities in this for all of us regardless of what side we're on. After-all, isn't this one of the key pillars of entrepreneurship?
Hoʻohālikelike ʻia nā ʻike i kā mākou kaiāulu a me ka moʻomeheu
ʻO ke kaiāulu ma waho o ke Komohana a me ka Midwest he mea nui like ia i nā wahi ʻelua, akā aia kekahi ʻāpala i ka ʻalani ke hoʻohālikelike ke hiki mai i ka ikaika o kā lākou make-up. Kūpono kaʻu moʻolelo me nā mea he nui ma aneʻi: ʻo ka neʻe ʻana i ke Komohana kahi ʻano hoʻohālikelike i loaʻa kahi moʻolelo waiwai a ikaika i ka ulu ʻana o ko mākou ʻāina. ʻAʻole like iā Lewis a me Clark, ʻaʻohe mea i kēia lā e hoe ana i uka, e hakakā ana i nā bea grizzly a ke kūkā kamaʻilio nei me ka hakakā ʻO Indiana ʻO nā ʻōiwi ʻAmelika, akā e like me lākou, kaʻana like mākou i ke ʻano o ka hālāwai - hālāwai me nā poʻe, nā ʻāina a me kā mākou iho a me nā palena i ka wā o mākou i nā pilikia e waiho ana i kā mākou hōʻoluʻolu o ka home a neʻe i West. ʻAʻole nui ka poʻe o mākou mai aneʻi, akā kūkulu mākou i ko mākou kaiāulu mai kēia mau ʻike like ʻole ma mua o nā kuʻuna e like me ka ʻōlelo, ka papa ʻoihana waiwai, kala a me ka inaina iā Kanye West.
In the Midwest, community is one of strongest and most enviable traits of any culture in the world. People in the Midwest value having each other's back, being overly hospitable (unless you're at an Ohio St – Mich football game), and always getting the job done with as little fanfare as possible (If Indiana University ever puts names on the backs of their jerseys, I wouldn't be surprised if Bloomington turns into a pile of smoldering limestone). This sense of community is so powerful, it would be an act of insanity to leave it all behind to move to a place where you can pay $1,700-a-month to live in a shoebox on top of an active fault-line.
No laila, he paʻa paʻa loa nā kaiaulu ʻelua, akā ʻo nā waiwai a me nā ʻike e hana ai i kēlā mau hoʻopaʻa e hana i kekahi mau maikaʻi a me nā maikaʻi ʻole i ka ʻoihana. I ka wā pōkole, aia ʻo Indiana i kahi manawa kūpono ʻole.
ʻO ka pilikia a me ka uku kālā
I ka mea hoʻohaʻahaʻa haʻahaʻa ʻia ʻAʻohe koʻu inoa, ka protagonist "Nobody" (hoʻokani ʻia e Terrance Hill) lawe i kahi mau pōkā ma o kāna pāpale paniolo mai Legendary gunlinger Jack Beauregard (hoʻokani ʻia e Henry Fonda), e hōʻoia i kāna hōʻaiʻē iā ia. ʻO ke kamaʻilio a lākou e kuapo nei:
- Jack: Tell me, what's your game?
- ʻAʻohe: I koʻu wā kamaliʻi, hoʻohālike wau ʻo wau ʻo Jack Beauregard.
- Jack: …and now that you're all growed up?
- ʻAʻohe: I'm more cautious. But sometimes running a little risk, can bring rewards, ya know.
- Jack: Inā liʻiliʻi ka makaʻu, liʻiliʻi ka uku.
ʻO ka ʻokoʻa nui loa aʻu e kuhikuhi ai i nā moʻomeheu ma waena o ke Komohana a me ka Midwest e moe pono nei i kēia axiom. I nā makahiki he 2 i hala aku nei o ke komo ʻana i ka pūnaewele a me nā kaiāulu ʻenehana ma Indy a me Bloomington, hiki iaʻu ke ʻōlelo me ka ʻoiaʻiʻo, ʻo kēia ka pilikia nui loa a Indiana i ka lilo ʻana i Boulder aʻe a i ʻole ke awāwa ʻo Silicon aʻe. Hana kēia aole manaʻo ia ʻaʻohe kanaka is taking risks, or that there aren't any meaningful developments happening in Indiana. But, what it does mean, is that one key component of building a successful tech community hasn't quite bought into the big risk concept yet.
The crucial position in any tech business is a technical co-founder or lead developer (duh). The demand for these types of people far outweighs their supply, and this is true in San Francisco as well. The main difference in Indiana, is that a disporportionate number of people with the technical skills to build a web product have responded to this supply and demand inequality by setting up “dev shops” that “outsource” technical development. This requires non-technical entrepreneurs to dole out all their hard earned capital they've raised and/or equity to pay someone who doesn't have skin in the game. I've spoken with numerous developers from Indy and Bloomington who were making amazing salaries who also think they are entrepreneurs because they solve start-up problems. But they really aren't. You aren't an entrepreneur until you give up your cushion, throw your hat in with everyone else and sacrifice until you've created something that creates value and makes money. If you file a W-2 every year, you aren't an entrepreneur.
Douglas Karr and many others have done an amazing job at establishing Indy as a Marketing Tech hotspot. That is awesome. However, other founders that are looking to build the next Facebook/Google/etc, need some serious engineering talent. It is here, but it isn't being allocated properly and the incentives are not aligned. I know numerous non-technical entrepreneurs in Indiana that desperately need dev talent and can't get it unless they pay cash or give up equity that won't stay in the tent once it is issued. So, Indiana is still losing these extremely talented entrepreneurs to San Francisco and the Valley because that conundrum just doesn't exist in disproportionate numbers out here. I'm not saying that you “can't succeed unless you move West.” What I am saying is that it has been way too difficult for non-technical founders to find technical co-founders they need to compete with start-ups and companies out West that don't have the same issue.
Good news for Indiana, though. Things are starting to move, slowly, and I don't think that this is going to be a problem in the long-run. How long? I don't know, but if I were an entrepreneur in Indiana who doesn't want to move West, I'd be beating this horse until it is reduced to a pile of molecules.