in Raleigh, X-Geek

Game over for Raleigh software startups?

I thought this recent Triangle Tech Talk column by Chris Heivly was interesting until I got to this part (emphasis mine):

So what’s my point and where do we go from here? First, notice that we refer to this as Triangle Tech Talk and Triangle StartUp Factory. We support the entire area and we will support any initiative to help Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Cary and other local communities embrace entrepreneurship. But not around software companies. Let’s support each community to identify their industry niche. Let’s rally companies in that niche to build a critical mass in a neighborhood. And then let’s celebrate and market that niche.

So, Tech Talk is declaring “game over” for software startup companies and Durham is the winner? Durham has had success with software startups, no question about it, and I don’t want to take anything away from that. Still, to imply that Raleigh should just close up shop is a bit ridiculous, don’t you think? Raleigh’s been home to Red Hat,, Misys, Allscripts, Da Vinci Systems, Q+E Software, HAHT, Accipiter, Oculan, Lobbyguard, and many, many others. That’s not exactly a dearth of talent. To say that Raleigh should cede it’s startup software scene to Durham is ridiculous.

How about this: Raleigh can be Raleigh and Durham can be Durham. Each city can go with whatever works for it. There are plenty of smart, creative people in both cities and plenty of room to grow and compete. Both cities can enjoy success with software startups. To declare a “winner” and divvy up who should get what is absurd.

  1. exactly, Mark….They act is if it’s a zero-sum game. It’s not. What will probably happen is Durham will start taking notice of all these start-ups and see it as a revenue opportunity and drive ’em away. It’s what usually happens in these situations. I think Raleigh will be fine.

  2. That’s what I’m saying: it’s not an either/or thing. To say that Durham’s doing well in software so Raleigh should do something else doesn’t make sense.

  3. You’re right it doesn’t need to exclude all opportunities. However, it wouldn’t hurt Raleigh to explore ALL avenues of entrepreneurship including software. It’s a great city with a great ability to succeed. Don’t discount anything…

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