Silicon Canals

It’s fairly rare you find a good article in an in-flight magazine, but the Holland Herald (from KLM) just had a great peice entitled Silicon Canals, the ‘grass-roots’ movement started by entrepreneur Mike Lee to create a hub focussed on app development.

Lee, also a US expat, has some familiar reasoning as to why he chose to relocate to Amsterdam instead of staying in Silicon Vally:

As an app builder, it’s true that you can theoretically do what you do from anywhere. So why stay in the place that your parents, or your last boss, decided you should live? I wanted to know which place on the planet had the best quality of life versus cost of living.

Of course, Amsterdam is not the only place which is trying to profile itself as a new Silicon Valley.  London, New York, Belfast, even Mumbai are all trying to attract app developers in a serious way.  The difference?

They’re all trying to attract people using money. The problem is, the only people you’ll attract that way are people who are motivated by money. What you really need are people who are driven by passion – an organic, grass roots movement building a community that supports itself and isn’t just there to collect tax credits from the government.

Turns out he’s set up a weekly ‘Appsterdam’ meetup at a cafe around the corner… can’t wait to check it out!