Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hot idea: Phoenix AZ as new innovation hub

Silicon Valley is iconic, as they like to say--but Chandler AZ, where I landed (boy is that a long story), is trying to become Silicon City--and it is the home of Intel, the chip people.

But now, the Valley of the Sun (brought to you by the letters U and V) is going through a nonprofit called Seed Spot (, trying to rebrand this desert burg as an innovation capital.

A culture of startups, a culture of creativity--these are terms being promoted, according to a story by Eugene Scott in the Arizona Republic, Apr 18, 2013.

All this will take is...investment...the new buzzword for MONEY. And--the founders of Washington Row (don't know where that name came from) in downtown Phoenix are already worried about competition from LiL Ole Silicon City (Chandler) over here.

They think creative types need a place to hang out--such as a converted warehouse.

Creative people want to be around other creatives, they theorize. They also said people need to be aware of "best practices" in innovation.

I would say an innovation "best practice" would exist before anyone decided whether it was a best practice or not.

Lose the jargon.

As for the meetup warehouse idea, a grungy bar is good. In DC, we also used to have "salons." We would bring liquor over to a design firm's offices every Friday evening--and drink and compare notes.

Now that was a good practice.

I would say, smart people, geeks, apps people, inventors, big talkers, artists, weird little quiet people, and thinkers out of the ordinary--maybe a few cocktails or shared office space, grants, and excitement--and something could happen even here in horse country.

For all I know, the horses may surprise everyone.