Me too. But it's not like it's unfounded advice. The things you need to start a company (time, knowledge, morale) are all significantly more expensive, and therefor less accessible, in SV.
The problem with "how I got successful" advice is, even when its honest, is fairly dependent on that one person's experience. Most success has more to do with getting lucky or being at the right place at the right time, than purely merit. That Kansas startup may have a lot of merit, but a less meritorious startup actively "working the room" in SV will have a strong advantage.
I suspect you'd learn more from the guy who had five failed startups in a row than the guy who hit a homerun on his first time to bat. Again, the "advice from billionaires" format is really a bizarre thing. Its the closest thing secular society has to the Delphi oracle and from what I can tell is usually borderline dishonest or just a lot of pleasantries/PR for said billionaire. It does get ad impressions though, so I imagine this is why we keep seeing this type of format over and over again.
Maybe Brin's advice made sense in the 90s but is questionable today. Or maybe he's woefully out of touch. Or maybe he's being dishonest. Or maybe its just a throwaway comment that he never really thought about too strongly and is being sold by the tech press as "The New Hot Tech Tip!" Unfortunately, its impossible to tell.
I think you mean YC here :)
It's always been more expensive in Silicon Valley.
I would agree that Silicon Valley is probably not a good place to start a low-margin business.
Market participants have chosen to start and grow tech businesses in Silicon Valley, so economic opportunity must exist despite seemingly high costs.