Seattle has not only unfolded as a hotbed of technology, but also a menagerie of restaurants, sports, craft brews, hipsters, outdoor adventure, Bay Area transplants and massive real estate development. Oh, and we’ve just learned the city will likely be welcoming its own hockey team in two years. Yup, Seattle is hot.
Dubbed Silicon Valley North, I’d argue Seattle has a vibe and a charm all its own that has nothing to do with ‘the valley’. “I could live here,” I sigh every single time I am fortunate enough to visit, play or work in Seattle. And, sure, each time we can’t help but comment on how much Seattle reminds us of…well…San Francisco. It’s something about the city on the water and its people. However, there is something so distinctly Seattle about Seattle. Why dub it a city doppelgänger?
There has been much written about the evolution of the Seattle startup scene, including the role of local universities and higher education in technology innovation and the role, of course, of big companies like Amazon and Microsoft who have built out ecosystems supporting a proliferation of local startups. Not to mention the role of local venture capital from leading firms like Madrona Venture Group who are funding the local apex as well as an influx of new innovation from established companies like Qumulo to newer tech upstarts like IOpipe.
Since working on the launch of Seattle darling Qumulo from stealth three years ago and marveling firsthand at the party to end all launch parties, our team has come to know the city. Seattle is vibrant, sometimes cloudy, always friendly, bustling and diverse with a food and sports scene to rival the very best. Did I mention I could live here?
Seattle isn’t the only hot spot metropolis, as we work with many bright stars in cities miles away from the West Coast and Silicon Valley. Austin (Datical), Cincinnati (Paycor), Minneapolis (Jamf), St. Louis (Boundless), Toronto (Vena Solutions) and London (CA Automic and Canonical) are among our clients’ home bases today, to name a handful. It’s been exciting to get to know these cities and communities and companies paving the way for local innovation.
An influx of technology innovation and talent, however, can also translate into an increase in traffic, cost of living and cultural backlash as tech-sters relocate in droves to call Seattle and other growing cities home. A year ago March, there were 250,000 people working in tech-related jobs in the state of Washington. This number is on the rise. And investment and business growth are not limited to just the coasts as technology centers are thriving all across the country. What we get from our friends and colleagues in these and other cities are decidedly mixed feelings about the perks alongside the drawbacks (traffic and real estate prices, hello Silicon Valley?) of living in a high growth city.
We are so much more than a Silicon Valley agency today because business is so much bigger than the possible bubble we are living in. Business is global and we continue to adapt. And along the way, we’ve been honored to be invited into so many communities across the U.S. and around the world to represent truly amazing companies.
Robin Bulanti has spent the past 18 years working closely with high tech clients on communications strategy, corporate positioning and building executive brands. As president, she also oversees the agency’s new business, professional development and services. Contact Robin here.