Kelly’s Bennett’s post on comparing San Diego’s tech startup scene to Silicon Valley prompted some interesting comments from readers about what San Diego has to offer:

  • Gaby Dow:

The model of launching a business solely to go public or exit as quickly as possible is valued by many over the “lifestyle” businesses that venture capitalists quickly overlook. However, launching a company based on deep passion and expertise, along with a long view on growing a business for decades makes for a more sustainable and exciting community, in my opinion.

  • Bruce Coons:

Having been in on the ground floor of four different, startup high-tech companies in the 1980s, I can tell you that San Diego is an great place for startups. They were all successful. It is in some ways easier than competing with the talent drain in Silicon Valley. One went from $0.00 to shipping at a $30-million rate in just five years. It was the the 23rd-fastest growing new company in Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest growing new companies. All here in San Diego. You need good ideas, a great business/manufacturing head and a drive to work yourself till it’s done. San Diego may not be Silicon Beach as we called it then, but it can be the very best place to innovate.

  • Benjamin Katz:

I’ve built several successful businesses here in San Diego, one of which I sold to a competitor based in DC. I love building companies in San Diego.

There is no question that we don’t have the same intensity as Silicon Valley nor the same access to capital, but we also don’t have the same problems. Most critical is the problem with retaining quality staff. In Silicon Valley, you hear about startups losing key talent in their first year as they jump to even newer startups. Here in San Diego, people are looking to stay. They’re looking to help build great companies and great places to work. Overall, it might be a bit harder to get to “exit” but it’s a lot easier to build a successful business with real impact.

Some readers voiced similar ideas in the comments section of Rep. Scott Peters’ recent commentary on potential hurdles to innovation:

  • Kelly Abbott:

I find the startup ecosystem here to be thriving. I say that without hesitation. I’m proud of our work. I just wish we were better at marketing it both inside and outside of San Diego. Who knows about our great innovations? The inner circle of geeks who created them and their happy customers. Beyond that there’s very little support we get from the city or local venture capitalists or Qualcomm and Intuit for promoting the ecosystem. We have no identity, no unifying message, to tout. We don’t “kill it” at any one thing and we’re not sharing that far and wide.

  • Jed Sundwall:

I think looking at innovation from the “dot-preneur” perspective is too narrow. I understand what Brant and Brad are talking about re: a community that is more supportive of new kinds of businesses, but there’s much more to innovation than venture capital money and hockey stick growth. Measured Voice is doing great, and we couldn’t care less about venture capital and startup mythology.

Comment excerpts have been lightly edited for style, grammar and clarity. See anything in there we should fact check? Tell us what to check out here.

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Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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