Detroit became the center of America’s automobile industry largely for logistical reasons: its midwestern location, high population density and proximity to raw materials were just a few factors that assured investors it was an optimal spot for building an industrial hub.
Silicon Valley’s tech ecosystem, on the other hand, was initially seeded by military research and a surge in college admissions after the Second World War that fostered a community of technologists and investors.
But those aren’t permanent geographic traits like being close to ports or large deposits of iron and copper ore.
Decades after Palo Alto’s first garage startup, talent and capital has become more evenly distributed: This year, Bay Area startups only attracted 27% of all U.S. seed- and early-stage venture dollars.
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“It’s been more than 10 years since that percentage fell below 30%,” reports Mary Ann Azevedo, who analyzed “Beyond Silicon Valley,” a report released by investment firm Revolution and PitchBook.
She identified several factors pushing investors in major tech hubs to venture outside their own backyards in search of opportunities. Many readers may be surprised to learn which city is now the top destination for dollars from NYC and SF-based investors.
“This momentum we’re seeing now? You ain’t seen nothing yet,” said Revolution founder and CEO Steve Case.
Some might think “Silicon Valley’s share of US VC funding falls to lowest level in more than a decade” is a scary headline, but from my perspective as a resident, it’s great news. The San Francisco Bay Area has received tremendous benefits from making itself a magnet for technology talent and money, but it’s also had unintended impacts on the region’s infrastructure, housing and income inequality.
I mean, we have the best food and weather, but we certainly haven’t cornered the market on good ideas. If more people are starting up in cities like Cincinnati, Portland and Buffalo, not only will those communities benefit directly, we’ll also see new products and services that reflect a greater diversity of thought and location.
Thanks very much for reading, and I hope you have a great weekend.
Senior Editor, TechCrunch+
3 disruptive trends that will shape marketing in 2022
Since the pandemic began, the rules of the game for growth marketing have changed considerably.
Consumers are embracing Apple’s iOS 14.5’s privacy changes, regulators are taking a greater interest in browser cookies, and The Great Resignation are just a few X factors, but there are many others.
“What worked yesterday may not work today and likely won’t work tomorrow,” write Jonathan Metrick, chief growth officer at Sagard & Portage Ventures, and Simon Lejeune, user acquisition lead at Wealthsimple.
Here’s what they’re preparing for:
- Less data, more privacy and the return of growth hacking.
- TikTok, influencers and the dominance of native creative.
- The Great Resignation and the Gettysburg for growth talent.
How to acquire customer research that shapes your go-to-market strategy
A marketer is one of a startup’s most important first hires, but finding out just who your end users are and what they want from your product is even more important.
“You must first get to know your potential customer and what is going on in their life that will ultimately trigger them into using you,” writes Lucy Heskins, an early-stage startup marketing adviser.
Heskins shares three key questions that will help you better understand target customers, along with recommendations for how to apply the data you’ll gather in future marketing campaigns:
- Why would a customer subscribe to your product?
- What triggers your customer to decide your product is the one?
- Who else are you competing against?
Dear Sophie: 2 questions about resuming consular appointments
I sponsored my fiancé for a K-1 visa last year right before the pandemic. Unfortunately, the consulate canceled my fiancé’s visa interview and he hasn’t yet been able to get his visa.
Now that travel restrictions to the United States have been lifted, what’s the status of visa interviews?
— Pining in Pittsburgh
I’m in the U.S. on an approved H-1B petition, but I don’t have an H-1B visa stamp in my passport. I want to visit my family in Mumbai.
Will I get a visa stamp in time to return to the U.S. within a month?
— Hankering for Home
The peculiar investment management industry
Investment management is one of a few industries where a manager’s win comes at another’s loss, writes Versatile VC founder David Teten and Katina Stefanova, CIO and CEO of Marto Capital.
“If you eat a great steak dinner, it doesn’t imply that others have to eat hot dogs. In asset management, each new money manager who generates alpha (returns above the passive benchmark performance) does so at the expense of other managers who underperform.”
In the first post in a series that examines investment management, Teten and Stefanova give us a look at the current state of the industry and explain why it is primed for disruption.
Usage-based pricing is a company-wide effort
In his latest guest post for TechCrunch+, OpenView partner Kyle Poyar explains why usage-based pricing “is a company-wide effort” that “requires ditching the old SaaS metrics playbook.”
It’s no fad: UBP went mainstream because SaaS companies that use it see dramatically higher growth and retention rates.
Citing examples from powerhouses like Twilio, Stripe, AWS and others, Poyar explains how UBP companies “share their customers’ success” and reduce their risk of ending up with a CRM packed “with lots of unprofitable customers.”