One of the fantasies that comes from living online is that it doesn’t matter where you are based if you’re hooked into the net. But in the process of disentangling my online address book — arguably essential to living life online — I came across a great interview with Stefan Fountain of Dutch startup Soocial, who beautifully paraphrases Paul Graham on why and how where you live does still matter:
One of Paul’s articles talks about the main message a city or region sends out. In a hundred subtle ways, the city sends you a message: you could do more; you should try harder. For example London is always saying: “Bring more money”, New York tells you “Dress better, or work harder”, the Valley says “you should be more powerful”. In that light I feel that Holland and Amsterdam in particular says “Be more creative”. So in that sense I think for startups Holland is a very good place to be. But you do have to be in a place where you interact with other startups.
Does the place where you live nourish what you’re trying to do? If not, have you been able to find what’s missing online? Those are questions I ask all the time about life here in Vancouver. I’ll look forward to reading Graham’s article and stewing some more.First posted on April 9,2010