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Network Weaving

Monday, July 24, 2006

From a "quiet crisis"...

... to a very loud "You Suck!"

Wow.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer, the last major paper in town, used to write about the "quiet crisis" in NE Ohio -- how the economy was fading, and no one was doing anything about it. Sunday, they took the gloves off. BAM! A right hook to formal Economic Development [fED] in Cleveland.

As usual the mainstream media, gets the story, but gets it late. The local grapevine was questioning the mission and performance of these ED organizations years ago. The whispering grew louder and has now been sufficiently amplified for the whole region to hear.

I am glad the mirror has been cleaned off to reflect more accurately.

All is not lost in Cleveland. Just like after a forest fire, new sprouts emerge and start a new ecosystem. Entrepreneurship is on the move in NE Ohio. From many bootapped home-based businesses to locally funded start-ups, the economy is still alive. But, no large companies [yet], to replace the auto, steel and rubber industries that have died, or move south to retire.

When we lived in Los Angeles, one of the things that amazed me was all of the entrepreneurial activity there. I worked for some very good corporations in LA [Toyota, TRW, and Disney] and everywhere I went my colleagues were either planning a start-up, or actually had one working in their garage [no basements there]. I started my software business in a garage in Redondo Beach, CA.

That activity is starting to appear here in Cleveland. The sprouts are peeking through. The fEDs don't see them yet -- and actually step on quite a few. But the roots are down and the young vegetation keeps growing. A new forest is growing in Cleveland!

2 Comments:

  • Valdis:

    Your comments are right on target. The opportunity here is to focus on the emerging Second Curve economy in Northeast Ohio.

    This focus on new networks requires discipline.

    The Chinese have an important saying: "Don't waste time playing piano to the ox."

    By Ed, at 7/24/2006 2:11 PM  

  • What a great Chinese saying! I guess we all know who the oxen are, eh?

    Another eastern thought: it is easier to ride the horse in the direction it is going! So... let's find the horses that are heading in the direction we want to go!

    By Valdis, at 7/24/2006 3:02 PM  

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