Sunday, February 11, 2007

Global Neighborhoods or does geography really matter?

Shel Israel of Naked Conversations fame is working on a new book entitled Global Neighborhoods, premised in large part on the precept that with the advent of the Internet, geography no longer matters. Today, I read an article in The New York Times by G. Pascal Zachary entitled "When It Comes to Innovation, Geography Is Destiny" which posits that geography does matter, saying that "Yet the inescapable lesson of the iPod, Google, eBay, Netflix and Silicon Valley in general is that where you live often trumps who you are." Grrrr... so, which is it. And don't tell me... "it all depends", even though that may in fact be the correct answer.

My own answer is that network communications technologies simply allow us to "be" in any geography we want to be. You don't need to "be" in Silicon Valley, you simply need to engage in network contacts or conversations with those who actually are in the Silicon Valley environs... or at least you think they are, since in the online world, illusions are the only reality.

I await Shel's answer. I am not communicating this question to him directly, but through the miracles of modern, Global Neighborhood technologies, he will, as if by magic, know that I just posted this query.

Incidentally, I have a cousin down in LA who has a new Internet venture called BuzzDash. Check it out... unless you are one of those dinosaurs who believe that geography really is everything. Hey, LA is in the same time zone as Silicon Valley; isn't that close enough?

-- Jack Krupansky


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