* If you want to run a successful startup, and don't quite care where you live, then go to SF and learn at another startup while building your own on the side
* If you care about living in Michigan, and don't want to uproot yourself, pull some consulting gigs (referrals, craigslist, etc.) or search HN for how to score them and build your startup on the side - FAIL if you have to, in order to learn, and keep at it.
* You can't have everything. Startup, a stable life, and money - chose 2.
The SLM theorem?
Where "S" is really "have fun while working, do exciting stuff" more than "startup".
Btw I think that there is hardly a bigger mistake of running away from a place where you feel good.
Doing different types of mental work all day and the constant context switching really wears people down. On the other hand, after a few hours of physical work you really feel eager to get down to hacking.
Life is quite cheap in MI! I don't need a SF salary to live like an adult around here.
You are able to fully handle your work, you can work hard 15 days and relax the other 15, and so forth. Just don't try to build a success application that is hard/long to develop in the initial stage. Build a few small reasonable applications (I suggest the productivity area).
With one reasonable application in the productivity category in the US store, priced around 5$, is simple to earn $500/month. If you have a decent number of this applications, and keep pushing new ones from time to time, this is going to work well.
There isn't really anyone locally who understands much about the tech/startup scene; I am very grateful for any advice or perspective
There are some significant psychological benefits to walking into a random coffee shop and overhearing other people talk tech - it's a good reminder that you are not alone.