Quality of life. Part of what makes Denver so popular is the undeniable quality of life benefits that come with living in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Biking to work. Hiking on weekends. An hour and ten minute drive to Vail for skiing in the winter.
Fewer distractions for talent. For tech start-ups in Denver, the less concentrated start-up density tends to draw a more committed employee. "When you look at hiring talent and bringing people on, especially for a tech start-up, you know, the story has always been, 'It has got to be the Bay, or it has got to be in Flatiron [New York City],' or something like that. And there is great talent there, no question about it. But it is just a different dynamic," says Myers. In The Valley and New York, "you have a lot of people bouncing from one thing to the next to the next to the next."
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"Been-there-done-that" sentiment. The laid-back, outdoor oriented, environmentally-friendly culture of Denver is extremely attractive to burned-out, overworked employees. "You get the people who have 'been-there-and-done-that' in the Valley and New York, and they are ready for just a change of pace," says Myers. "You are still getting top notch talent, but you know, you move quickly in those areas, and people want a different pace of life."
Developing entrepreneurship community. "It is getting there," says Myers. And that it is not already there is precisely one of the benefits to being part of it. In Palo Alto or Mountain View, Calif., "there is an established community, which is good and bad. Breaking into that community can be hard. It is like cliques in high school. There is an unspoken set of rules of how to interact and things. I think there are benefits with that, but a lot of times there are drawbacks," says Myers.
Constantly working to position yourself can be distracting. "You are not really focused on the business that you are building, you are focused on how you fit into this ecosystem of start-ups and VCs and who is cool and who is not and who is growing and who is not," says Myers, who also in the same breath added that he was not disavowing that there are benefits of a developed and sophisticated entrepreneurship community.
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