Fred Wilson, one of the most successful venture capitalists on the planet, recently wrote a blog post regarding efforts to revitalize urban areas. Thought it might be fun to take a look at his argument and see how it matches up with the situation on the ground here in LA.
The money lines:
“I’ve been asked by civic leaders from places like Newark, Cleveland, Buffalo, and a number of other upstate NY cities that have suffered a similar fate how they can do the same thing. They all talk about tax incentives, connecting with local research universities, and providing startup capital. And I tell them that they are focusing on the wrong thing.
You have to lead with lifestyle. If you can’t make your city a place where the young mobile talent leaving college or grad school wants to go to start their career, meet someone, and build a life, all that other stuff doesn’t matter.”
Now, it’s inarguable that LA absolutely does fit the description above, as evidenced by the fact that young people flock here every single day. But I wonder what the implications of Fred’s point are for individual neighborhoods, as opposed to the city as a whole.
Maybe we ought to be thinking of each neighborhood in terms of how it measures up to Fred’s criteria. Does your neighborhood have the ingredients necessary to attract the kind of talent that itself attracts investment, jobs, etc? What are those ingredients? How do you gather them?