Robert Scoble isn't one to mince words, so it was no surprise when he tweeted Monday that you can't succeed in tech without a connection to San Francisco. That message was directed at Hillel Fuld, a Huffington Post/GigaOm blogger who'd previously tweeted about buying a Playbook/Z10 and kind of regretting it.
That exchange was friendly enough, but soon the two were debating whether San Francisco is truly integral to tech start-ups' success or Scoble is overlooking other hubs such as Tel Aviv, Israel, and Silicon Alley.
Here's a snippet of their conversation:
@HilzFuld the app ecosystem starts in San Francisco. It's funded from there. Much of the best developers live there. Etc etc.-; Robert Scoble (@Scobleizer) August 12, 2013
@HilzFuld Even Waze had to open an office in San Francisco.-; Robert Scoble (@Scobleizer) August 12, 2013
@HilzFuld innovation can be anywhere, but it's centralized in San Francisco. If I don't see geeks on street with your stuff you won't win.-; Robert Scoble (@Scobleizer) August 12, 2013
Other pundits jumped in the fray, with one Apps Fire product manager saying, "People in SV tend to overestimate its essentialness to a venture’s success; people outside underestimate it," and Dave Cutler, a start-up show host, telling the bloggers, "This reeks of Yankees fan-like arrogance."
This isn't the first time Scoble's stood up for San Fran. In a recent post on Business Insider's Australia edition, the ex-Microsoft technology evangelist and current start-up liason for Rackspace argued that while the start-up scene Down Under is visionary, the true "big thinkers" reside in the Valley. Without access to them, he believes those start-ups will falter.
"But [in Silicon Valley] a lot of people around you are like Mike Cannon-Brookes, are big thinkers, are taking over the world, changing the world, disrupting the world. And you go to conferences and that reinforces the idea that you need to think bigger," he said. Australian start-ups "need to get to a place where they can really dream big and Silicon Valley is good at that because there are so many people who have done it."
Do you agree with Scoble or is Silicon Valley overrated? Let us know in the comments.