Enough with the Boston Start-up Inferiority Complex

Too many cycles have been spent on the East Coast vs West Coast masochism lately. Sob, Sob, I can’t find funding for my Web 2.0 User generated content, social networking, new media, widgetized “feature company” built using ROR and AJAX.

Wake up people, we have IPO’s and liquidity events popping all over the place.

2Q 2007 Venture-Backed IPO Metro Region Breakdown

                            *Number of  Total              Venture-
                             Venture-Backed             Backed Offering
    Metro Region            IPOs in the U.S.              Size ($M)

        Boston                     6                          548.1
        San Jose                   6                          608.0
        Other US                   3                          545.6
        New York Metro             2                          170.4

See Boston tied with Silicon Valley….. feel better?

Here is a list of IPO’s off the top of my head.

Acme Packet


Starent Networks






Filed for IPO:

Constant Contact


Liquidity Events:

Tabblo purchased by HP

Silverback purchased by Dell

AppIQ purchased by HP

Symantec buys Relicore, Imlogic

Citrix buys Reflectant, Ardence

Microsoft buy Softricity

Oracle purchases Profitlogic

I’m sure I didn’t get them all, feel free to add to the list. So anyway, things aren’t that bad. TheHub does not need to be playing catch up as some have suggested.
The point is, the Boston/Cambridge area has strengths in certain areas such as the old reliables: infrastructure, enterprise software, storage and communications as well as the up and comer sectors of mobile applications, wireless technology, gaming, Rich Media and Video Blogging/Podcasting.

But if you are in the Web 2.0 space, don’t fret, we also have the archetype early stage VC program, so just get picked up by Y Combinator and move to Silicon Valley if you feel compelled to do so.


2 Comments to “Enough with the Boston Start-up Inferiority Complex”

  1. There are also other ways to decide where to work than looking at which place correlates with other people getting rich quick. I lived in San Francisco for a few years, Palo Alto for about 5 years, and Oakland briefly, but in the end I find I’m happier in Cambridge.

    The weather in Cambridge is definitely worse, but in moving to there, my house size doubled while my rent stayed the same. House size and rent don’t matter during the first two years of your startup, but the most likely outcome is that you will fail to get rich in those two years. Perhaps you want to be on your tenth startup in 20 years, still living in a tiny, expensive house, hoping that this one works out. I didn’t.

    I think if I were 22 and starting webbr.com (now with ajax and rails!), I would move to Oakland and start rocking. If that didn’t work, I’d cut my losses and move to Somerville before I ended up working for Oracle and commuting from Contra Costa county to San Mateo every day.


  2. Uh, just to be clear, I’m not *actually* starting webbr.com, though it appears that someone else is. I was just making up a Web 2.0ish name.


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