Tipping Points


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


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Momentum is a funny thing in entrepreneurship.  It’s really hard to sustain in the early days.  But, there is a point where the momentum tips, and you grow faster than ever.  We talk about hockey stick graphs.  That’s not how it works.  It’s more once you climb the foothill and go up the side of the mountain a big, all of a sudden a big tailwind pushes you up to the top.

I was thinking about this the other day when I saw this tweet.

Certainly, people are moving out of because of the high cost of living, high taxes and other reasons. However, the entrepreneur community continues to grow. If you look around the US, places like NYC have climbed the foothill and are gaining momentum. Chicago, still in the foothills and trailing cities like LA, Seattle, and Boulder.  But, all are climbing and with the right mix of capital and talent, they will eventually find that momentum point and accelerate even faster.

Jason Rowley tweeted this and it’s good news for the Chicago ecosystem.

However, I never look at entrepreneurship in terms of a fixed pie. It’s an expanding pie with a lot of room to expand. Very few dollars targeted to investment in the US find their way into venture capital.  I think the figure is something like .02%.  But, VC backed companies create 21% of the new jobs.  It’s sort of crazy to think about that sort of leverage.

Why are people moving to places like Silicon Valley and NYC despite the gigantic costs of living?  Alpha and open networks.  It’s one of the few places on Earth anyone from anywhere can go, work on an idea and become a multi-millionaire or billionaire in a short period of time.  Chicago used to be like that with the trading floors but not so much anymore.  Chicago also has a very tightly closed network.

Given the amount of new cutting edge technology in all fields I cannot help but think the next fifty years will see advancement in standards of living like we haven’t seen since the Renaissance or Industrial Revolution. Only it will be faster and more far-reaching. If we let it….