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Screw the Valley: A Coast-to-Coast Tour of America’s New Tech Startup Culture: New York, Boulder, Austin, Raleigh, Detroit, Las Vegas, Kansas City Hardcover – January 13, 2015

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Timothy Sprinkle is a longtime business journalist whose work has appeared in Wired, Entrepreneur, Outside, and on Yahoo! Finance, among other outlets. He has covered the technology space—and tech startups, in particular— for more than a decade as a reporter and editor and is widely published, both in print and online, on the subject of entrepreneurship and small business.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: BenBella Books (January 13, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940363306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940363301
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is one of those books that you might not have thought you wanted to read but you feel a lot more enlightened afterwards.

The reader is taken on a tour of seven “new” technology cities that are spread around the United States, all showing that there is life for high-tech orientated companies away from Silicon Valley. It is also a great overview about the changing face of American cities, the development of high-technology companies and the emergence of so-called technology clusters.

It is an easy-going, light read that packs a powerful punch – especially to an outsider. Written in a non-judgemental style (other than the general acceptance that Silicon Valley is an expensive, possibly counter-productive place to do business) the author gives a great mix of travel and regional business/sector guiding to the reader. It is quite surprising to note that, for example, Boulder, Colorado is a high-tech centre in its own right, accounting for nearly one in four jobs. The city hasn’t managed to compete just on price however, with it having a reputation as being one of the so-called “nicer” cities in tech, which isn't something you often hear about towns in Silicon Valley. Perhaps the old-style American “community feel” helps as certainly it has something going for it.

Some of the other areas also specialise within given vertical sectors, such as Minneapolis-St. Paul is becoming “medical device valley” and Raleigh, NC is a hub for biotech startups. The author takes the reader behind the scenes and gives an access-all-areas introduction to what is happening there.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Hyperbolic title notwithstanding, Sprinkle isn’t out to cut down Silicon Valley. Rather, he wants to show how much is happening outside of SV (and Boston) in cities less known for their tech startup scenes, like Detroit, NYC, Las Vegas, Austin, Kansas City, Raleigh, and Boulder, each of which gets a chapter. SV is still the king—it accounted for over half the largest startup exits over the past couple of years, and well more than New York, Massachusetts, Southern California, and Illinois combined—but there is more and more happening elsewhere. Each of those elsewheres has its own culture and strengths and weaknesses.

DETROIT. The focus is on the urban core, driven by the billionaire founder of Quicken Loans, Dan Gilbert. (Wrong I think, to criticize Detroit for needing “private police forces”—police have always been private in large part. Conversely, he doesn’t touch on how difficult it is to start a business in Detroit, one of the common criticisms of a bankrupt Detroit that still put its faith in big public spending projects rather than small businessmen.)

NYC. The Big Apple ranks only behind SV and Boston in terms of metro areas by VC investment. Where others see the challenges, NYC entrepreneurs see the opportunities, including in Brooklyn, which by itself has outpaced almost every other large startup area in the country. And should we be surprised there is ample opportunity in the center of the finance, media, fashion, and advertising worlds? NYC has the advantage of being better integrated into the larger economy than SV.

LAS VEGAS. Casinos are king there and it shows. A major hurdle is lack of office space due to construction focus on hotels and casinos, leading to tight commercial real estate market and thus expensive rents.
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Format: Hardcover
I love this book as it tells the new and emerging story of entrepreneurship outside the valley. (Full disclosure - Tim interviewed me for the book and my view of the Raleigh/Durham tech scene.)

Tim shares with the reader a nicely detailed and comprehensive view of some of the emerging ecosystems in the US. If you don't believe going in that great companies can be built outside of the valley then you will miss the point. As a journalist, Time takes an objective stance and delivers almost a behind-the-scene view. For those curious, take a read - I promise you will enjoy it.
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Format: Hardcover
Such a great read - Silicon Valley has always been labeled as a "start-up hotspot" but this book really shows how you don't have to move to California to become successful. Recommended for entreprenuers and those who wish to share their ideas with the world.
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