Why are so many tech companies locating in downtown cores and older buildings? Richard Florida looks at the question in the Wall Street Journal and comes up with a couple of reasons, including the usual ones about young people giving up cars and wanting to live near bars. Changes in the way businesses work has a lot to do with it too.
The changing nature of technology—cloud-based applications in particular—enable new start-ups to succeed more quickly, with smaller teams and much smaller footprints. The speed of technology has also accelerated. The companies that succeed are the ones that stay in the closest contact with their end-users and first adopters, as MIT's Eric Von Hippel has shown. When a company is located in a city, many of those end-users can be found right on its doorstep.
He concludes with a bang that summarizes it all.
Cities are central to innovation and new technology. They act as giant petri dishes, where creative types and entrepreneurs rub up against each other, combining and recombining to spark new ideas, new inventions, new businesses and new industries.
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