I forgot to mention that Innovation was misspelled on the poster you have been having everybody sign.
It's kind of funny how brilliant Waterloo could be if the weather was just a little better.
Quothe Tim Sweeney:
TS: In 1997, we had started Unreal. We were well into the project, and we weren't making the progress we needed because everybody was all over the place -- it was a very complicated project.
So we got everybody together in Waterloo, Canada for a year to finish the game, since some of the guys already lived up there. It was really nice for about six months, and then it froze over and didn't thaw again for another six months, so we got really annoyed at the cold there.
After that we decided to set up a permanent office and bring everybody together so we could be a more efficient developer. We looked all over the country, decided on Raleigh, and moved here in 1998.
It was funny to relocate here because absolutely nobody working with Epic at the time had been born here. It was just a random place that we chose after looking at the cost of living here, on the west coast, and all over the country.
( http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/132426/from_the_past_t... )
I respect what Litt, Pebble, Bufferbox are trying to do, but I don't think young talent is the reason their doing it. I think that the cost of living, tax credits and familiarity are the reasons they're back in Waterloo.
All the power to me, but for me, California sunshine seems too good to pass up when there's three feet of snow on the ground in the middle of February.
Reasons I'm in Waterloo = Availability of Talent, Retention of Talent, Cost of living, Quality of Life
We've never had an issue with young, technical talent and I firmly believe that we have the best. That's more that can be said for our Californa based batch-mates.
Some people like the snow ;).
Why do you think you can you get better talent? Less competition? People want to be closer to home? You can offer more in perks, salary, ect compared to local companies?
Ps. Sick boots in that lederhosen picture.
Yes, Maybe, Yes. Great Engineers tend to be focused on solving interesting problems with great people over warm-weather that they'll rarely enjoy.
Thanks - they're actually long socks :P
The other thing is regarding familiarity, startup focused folks don't strike me as being too fond of familiar environments just for the sake of familiarity, though I realize this is a generalization on my part.
K-W has always been about innovation and engineering, and smart people with access to top technology and just simply people are willing to chat about ideas without the worry of it being 'stolen'. We are thought of a "small-town community" - 500,000 if you include Region. If you compare this to the US, we would rank in the top 30 of populated 'cities'. K-W is a community of people who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty to build great things. Personally, I've been involved with technology and the Internet since 1998 - from small 4 person startups, to being #4,000 of 20,000 at RIM, who did create the first smartphone, the iconic BlackBerry.. The impact successful people have had here is astounding.
(RIM's founders' money stays in K-W, look at the Perimeter Institute, and Institute for Quantum Computing - $100MM donated). At the end of the day no matter how big or small, its all about innovation, and smart people. UW put K-W tech on the map with one of the top engineering co-op programs in the world, and startups are doing big things.
So it's natural so many software/internet startups have started and thrive here, Communitech & the Accelerator Centre are the best kept secret outside of our community and the world is finally taking notice. $500MM and 164 new startups.. more everyday.. (http://www.communitech.ca/half-billion-dollars-in-tech-compa...).
This is happening b/c of perfect storm of things coming together, great schools who foster students ideas - WLU, UW, Conestoga, (55,000+ students) companies who further foster this talent, RIM, OpenText, Desire2Learn, and 400 other high-tech firm, that encourage entrepreneurship, giving people opportunities
to see their ideas come to reality, and in my opinion is the best place in the world to start, & build a technology business.
Now about people defecting to Sunny california,. Call us crazy Canucks, but some of us love 4 full seasons, including the snow! More opportunity for us here to build a company, & raise a family (median house price is $250,000), with median family income of $90K,. (2005),.. I could go on and on here, but people who are here know this..:)
If not mistaken, Communitech even claimed that "one new startup comes out from there every day".
(I work for Communitech, but not in VSG so my understanding is likely to be only slightly more refined than noirman's, and could have a hole or two)
(edit to add: we're working on fixing the site!)
in a way, it's in line with your desire to advise SV guys to leave their cozy warm place. You may feel "safe" going to the valley, but you can (potentially) achieve just as much breaking ground in a different locale.