The East Coast Silicon Valley

Almost all anecdotal evidence will tell you that if you want to make it in tech, you have to be on the west coast. That’s where Google, Apple, Microsoft, Cisco and thousands of start-ups call home. Silicon Valley is a mythical place where cutting edge technology is born and people wear sandals and ironic t-shirts to work but do you really have to go cross-country to find a rich technology culture? I say no. 3,100 miles away, about as far from Silicon Valley as you can get in the continental US, is Boston and Boston is giving the west coast a run for its money. The Bay Area spends a whopping $1.3 billion on academic research and development. Boston spends $4 billion. The west coast is known for attracting programmers but the MIT neighborhood has the highest number of developers per capita in the entire world. Boston Skyline
Despite this, Boston isn’t likely to overcome Silicon Valley anytime soon in the venture capital market. While Massachusetts is second only to California in venture capital spending, the Golden State still attracts a solid three times more. But what we have here on the East Coast is patience. Entrepreneurs and technologists in the Bay area are notoriously impatient and will fold a business if it shows the first hints of trouble. They demand immediate returns, and big ones. Boston start-ups are marked by their willingness to grind through growing pains and come out with a resilient and high quality product. While that isn’t the best culture for an app developer or someone looking to quickly sell off their business, Boston has the perfect mix of elements that will ensure it remains a serious and stalwart player known for no-nonsense development and big ideas. But don’t just take my word for it; ask Mark Zuckerberg who started out in a Cambridge dorm room and said that if he had it to do over again, he would have kept Facebook in Boston.