I've been following this community for a while, and in fact I attended the first Startup School conference -- and was almost certainly the only person to have arrived via a Greyhound bus. (I pestered a couple of very nice SFP alums about what they would do if they lived in a small town and had no co-founder ... I know, I know).|
Startup School changed my life in an unexpected way: it finally clicked that I could change my location to make my life better.
This did not result in me moving to Silicon Valley.
Instead, for the next 7 years, I spent 9 months of each year in remote Pacific South America, doing volunteer work with friends - and surfing, quite a lot during the good season! Each year I'd return and do about 3-4 months of contract programming on-site with great teams, mostly in Ruby/JRuby and early Node.js in those years.
In 2014 I moved back to the States, married someone from my hometown, and I continue to work remotely (writing code mostly in BEAM languages, with a smattering of native app dev in React Native) and travel.
Like pg says, lots of good projects, to really do them right, have to be companies. For that reason I can't rule out doing a startup some day. But ... it has a lot to compete with, in every sense.