Learn from how Boulder did it

My friend Ben Casnocha wrote an article which was recently published in The American called Start-Up Town. The article focuses on the rise of the entrepreneurial scene in Boulder over the last 15 years.

I’m often called by would-be “catalysts” in other cities and asked how Boulder managed to successfully put itself on the map as a legitimate startup town. They ask what they key thing was: was the bloggers, Techstars, the angel groups, or something else?

I’m reminded of Matt Mullenweg‘s words during his recent visit to Techstars, where he explained that WordPress, like many startups, looks as if it had sudden success. He explained the the reality is often that what appears to be a sudden success is simply the result of a tipping point that comes after a long, long uphill battle.

Ben does a great job in this article of showing the sustained effort of entire community over a long period of time that was required to get here. It may look instantaneous but like anything worth doing, it’s difficult and it takes time.

So what do I say to the would-be catalysts? Start blogging, start highlighting your successes, and encourage early-stage investment. Be what you want to be – entrepreneurial. Just start doing stuff, but just like in a startup, do it with passion and long term commitment or don’t bother.

Boulder, we’re proud of you. You too Ben!

file under: Blog, Startups