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The natural state of a business is to become known to its target market, but keep its secrets and success hidden to avoid competition. Growing up in an entrepreneurial family for the first 15 years of my life I learned to never brag about my successes, but to show vulnerability and connect/help the vulnerability shown by fellow founders, because your network is a lot more likely to help you that way. In silicon valley that impetus is reversed. Desire for investors flips the publicity of most SV companies in an unnatural way. You see a market, you lift it like a big juicy steak in the air and you announce to everyone how much money you have to go after it. That instantly gets everyone else interested in the game and everyone has a big public race to burn as much money as possible until the last one or two standing get to public offering. Consumer startups are the exception as they inherently need the exposure. Hidden Champions pick niche, perfect a product that wins it, and own it quietly.

I think this also applies to nice, affordable towns. I’ve googled “best places to live” a couple times, but every time I do I can’t help but think all the places that show up are either trying to engineer a revitalization/aren’t as nice as advertised or must be at least somewhat swamped and overpriced. Any true gems with affordable prices and great atmosphere/people are only that way while they’re still hidden. If people widely advertise the quality of their neighborhood, they’ll get more money when they sell, but they’ll ruin the atmosphere and affordable entry prices. So any neighborhoods out there that still actually care about the quality and affordability of the town will advertise themselves very quietly and remain mostly hidden.

Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part, idk. I’d like to think there are really nice, affordable small towns with a real sense of community out there somewhere.

Totally agree! Being listed as a top town is a death sentence for the town's charm and community but a boon to real estate developers.

I think there are plenty of "really nice, affordable small towns with a real sense of community" but it's constantly in flux and fragile.

This is the best take on sv business culture since Mike Judge. Thanks for that steak image.

This is a fantastic insight. I have included it in my "quotes for entrepreneurs collected in Feb 2020." https://www.skmurphy.com/blog/2020/02/29/quotes-for-entrepre...

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