It all, always, comes down to the culture of community.
Why does Silicon Valley produce startups differently than elsewhere?
Why does Hollywood have a style and way about their films that really isn’t replicated elsewhere?
Why is Arizona State University a “party school” that produces highly social people?
As entrepreneurs, we like to THINK and BELIEVE that we can all be that next venture the likes of what Gates, Dell, or Musk have spawned.
As founders, many of us are led to believe that if we just follow the “book” (pick your favorite startup book or methodology), we’ll end up just like the author.
Ever wonder why Venture Capital so rarely actually invests beyond where it’s found?? VCs like startups to be close to them? Or some alignment between HOW startups develop and what VC seeks?
Isn’t a startup, a startup, a startup?? Why are European or Chinese startups just a bit different from startups in the U.S.?
Not the idea, not the team, not the opportunity.
Culture dictates HOW ventures develop where you are.
I’ve lived in Austin, TX and Silicon Valley. You know what’s readily obvious when you spend time in both ecosystems?
What mentors, investors, and fellow founders tell one another what matters.
What’s drastically different between Arizona State University, Harvard, Oxford, UT Austin, and Stanford?
So I’ve been around Stanford and I’ve been around UT Austin.
- Stanford never really celebrated nor promoted their incubators, startup programs, and entrepreneurship classes. They may be there, don’t misunderstand that as criticism; it’s an observation that they aren’t overtly promoted as a value of students being there… because the education itself is entrepreneurial?
- Stanford never talked about IP and Commercialization.
- Stanford seemingly spins students OUT of school to start amazing things.
- I lectured at Stanford, in my late 20s, because I was working in startups.
And now I’m around The University of Texas Austin
- UT Austin has more startup programs than I can count… and few collaborate with one another across the University; as though they’re competing with one another.[
- UT Austin has a massive IP and Commerialization office. I’ve known 4 people now who’ve burned out on trying to make that office work and spin out IP. You know why it doesn’t work? Because our economy isn’t built on University IP anymore… but they keep trying. Austin has more Patent Lawyers in the startup scene than anywhere I’ve ever experienced.
- UT Students don’t graduate and start something. Sure, they can (and do) start things during school, but do you know who owns that IP? (diluting the potential and value in the risk the young entrepreneurs are taking…)
- I’ve offered to lecture at UT… I’m not an Alum. They favor their employees. Heck, who knows; I’m more experienced now and have more success under my belt… seems they don’t have as many “executive” roles (i.e. CMO, CTO, etc.) come lecture as they favor former founders.
Because its culture produces them.