Ian Faith: The Boston gig has been cancelled…
David St. Hubbins: What?
Ian Faith: Yeah. I wouldn’t worry about it though, it’s not a big college town.
– Spinal Tap (1984)
There has been lots of chatter in the last few days about how southern California is set to supplant New England dollarwise as a recipient for venture capital investment. Similarly, I keep hearing from colleagues about how bored Boston VCs are, that they just can’t find interesting deals anymore, and are mostly spending their time on planes back-and-forth to California.
What should we make of it all? On the one hand, given Boston’s MIT, etc., it runs in the face of the romantic idea that venture capital is linked to university startups — or was Ian Faith right about Boston not being a college town? — but on the other hand it isn’t altogether surprising.
It is increasingly clear that, far from being assailed by other would-be technology clusters, the Valley has increased its entrepreneurial lead. There are more startups, there is more dynamism, there is more money, and there are more exits. It increasingly seems like technology has tipped, and it is becoming more concentrated, not less.