Hello, it’s Cody your summer intern (and a Kanye West fan). Last Wednesday, Rylan’s negotiation skills helped me dodge a $90 student ticket price and set me up to volunteer handing out registration badges and running microphones at Xconomy’s Xsite summit on innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship. The stated theme for the day was: The Recovery Starts Here.Before attending, I thought this title was an attempt to give legitimacy to the various startups to be showcased at the event.Afterwards, I realized it was a rallying cry to the entrepreneur and venture capital community to reestablish Boston as the center of innovation and technology it once was. (That title moved out west to Silicon Alley after the boom in the 80’s as did many MIT grads and the deep pockets that funded the next wave of innovation).
Boston still has the best schools in the nation and the second biggest venture capitalist community, so how is it we are so easily overshadowed by the Valley? Although many people at the summit proposed answers to this question, the new media guys offered the most interesting one: buzz. People in Boston aren’t talking about the hot new website, the growing video game industry, and the dominant robotics cluster during the Sox game or while waiting in line at Dunkin Donuts. Why not? Not everyone in Boston works for a technology company. Many work in financial services, health care, or education. It’s not like the valley where local restaurant owners make investments decisions in the tech sector using the mood of their customers as a leading indicator.
The panel also suggested that Boston entrepreneurs are more conservative than their counterparts in the Wild West.They don’t put themselves in the eye of the public as much or hype their company up to anyone beyond venture capitalists. Although I would agree that culturally New Englanders are more conservative, it’s hard to get anyone who’s not a geek excited about a new enterprise cloud computing solution.
Here at RUNmyERRAND we are devoting a lot of time thinking of ways to create buzz in Boston. Initially, I thought it would be easy since our company is so unique and consumer facing, but it is indeed more challenging than I anticipated. Not to worry, we have a couple things up our sleeves. Don’t be surprised to see people in green RUNmyERRAND T-shirts out on the streets promoting the site or me in a Gumby costume riding the T!
If you have any ideas for us, we would love to hear from you. In the meantime, talk us (and other Boston startups) up!