Why my startup would never leave Chicago.

“Please no more California songs…. And fuck New York too.” – Local H.

Ever since I started working on Landlord Advisor and now RentSpek I have been reading articles on Internet startups, app developers and all the other businesses that take root on the coasts to try and make it happen.

I don’t know why, but the coasts have always bothered me. I have no good reason for it either. I’ve only been to New York once. And I think I was too young to remember visiting Cali.

Almost everyday I check out AngelList and I can’t help but feel like Chicago is neglected. It appears that if your not in CA or NY you don’t matter.

The same goes for TV. When I was producing and editing for NBC, our team (the Chicago Bureau) pitched an idea for a story about the Cubs.

Now I’m not a baseball fan, but if I was I’d go Sox.

It was the New York office who approved the stories for our show, and to this date I will never forget their reason for shooting down our pitch…

“The Cubs aren’t a team everyone cares about like the Yankees or even Red Sox.”

Wow, way to shoot down one of the most valuable teams in baseball. Even without a championship in the last 100 years.

I feel that same attitude transcends in to any business. The feeling is Tech and Movies go west, Business and TV go east, and everyone in between can eat it.

Now to be fair. RentSpek is in it’s infancy… Or maybe fetus… Or that awkward stage where you’re thinking about it, but your not sure how your spouse will react.

But the size of your startup shouldn’t matter. RentSpek has gained 22 users in it’s 7 days of life. We got mentioned in blogs by Crain’s Chicago Business and ChicagoNow.

As far as I’m concerned we’re rolling. But l know where I’m from and where I want to be.

At my part-time job (hey I have to fund this startup somehow) I cover Chicago’s Mayor Raham Emanuel a lot. He likes to talk about small business and job growth (and education… 100% college ready, 100% college bound).

And every time I sit in the back of the room and take notes for the TV stations I think about how I want my startup could help create those jobs.

The quote at the top of this post is from the Chicago band Local H, who apparently had the same feeling about music as I do about startups.

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