I was at a networking meetup last night where the speakers talked about their fairly new business and how their famous app made it to market. Oh you might have heard of it: Hipstamatic. They dialed in via Skype to talk with a room full of burgeoning entrepreneurs staring at them half way across the US. It was quite humbling hearing their story & their attitude towards their newly found success & how it started. They are all from Wisconsin, the Midwest, and just decided to move to San Fransisco a few months ago after the app took off. (p.s. It was their FIRST app they ever attempted…so here’s to hope for each of our million dollar ideas.)
Someone asked the question, “Why move out to California, why not stay in the Midwest?”
It was a good question, especially for this group, whose competitors all live in NY or Cali & believe that’s the only way you’re gonna make it. Well, truth is, they were successful & were able to grow their business in the Midwest before they ever got to Cali. There’s a ton of talent here & it’s been a centralized theme as of late to help the Midwest grow it’s creative economy.
This sign has been up in my neighborhood for years. Funny how people adorn their small piece of green in a city. I happen to take this photo 2 days ago. Although humorous, it points to places mere blocks away to miles away, even Easter Island. (Canada & Hell are pretty funny too). But Milwaukee is the center, it’s in the middle of these arrows pointing everywhere but here. It’s the center of all the places listed.
I was given a magnet a few years ago that I keep in front of my desk. It says:
“The Great Opportunity is where you are. Every place is under the stars, every place is the center of the universe…”- John Burroughs
So here’s to growth in the Midwest, and the little reminder that you can create success wherever you are, and to believing that you can put yourself on the map & not have to live in Silicon Valley.
…and to the homage of Ace of Base. :)