Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson said he chose Wyoming to base Input-Output Global (IOG), and not Silicon Valley, because of the Valley’s “unhealthy” environment.
The comments dispel the notion that tech firms need Silicon Valley to “make it.” What’s more, his candid account of trying to integrate into that culture delivers a humbling that some say is long overdue.
Work Life Balance and the Valley https://t.co/RSGSLnjADb
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) April 14, 2021
Silicon Valley Fosters “Unhealthy” Living
Silicon Valley is found in the San Francisco Bay Area’s southern region and acts as a global center for technology and innovation.
It’s home to many established high-tech companies, including Google, Apple, and Adobe, to name a few. As well as thousands of startups looking to benefit from proximity to these giant megacorps. In particular, the venture capital money that’s flush in the region.
“In 2020, $156.2 billion of venture capital was raised in the U.S., PitchBook reports. Of the total, 22.7% of the dealmaking occurred in the Bay Area, and 39.4% of deal value was invested in Bay area-headquartered companies.”
Having said that, Silicon Valley, and the VC industry, have not been immune to the panic situation. A report by Pitchbook on the VC outlook for 2021 states the Bay area’s share of total VC count will fall below 20% for the first time in history.
Add to that the rise in remote working and the subsequent exodus from the high cost of living cities, and there are fewer reasons why tech firms would want to set up base in Silicon Valley.
When asked why IOG, formerly IOHK, didn’t locate in Silicon Valley, Hoskinson said he felt the pull when starting as an entrepreneur. But having spent a week there integrating into the culture, his experience was far from positive.
“… What I saw over eight years ago was a very, for the lack of a better term, unhealthy environment. There was copious drug use, a lot of people were sleep-deprived. And there was this endless desire to be something. And most of the people I met were so thoroughly fake, there was just no notion of a genuine person…”
Cardano Benefits From Slow Pace of Wyoming Life
IOG relocated its headquarters from Hong Kong to Wyoming in 2018. The state economy of Wyoming is heavily tied to mineral extraction, tourism, and agriculture, especially cow and sheep farming.
But in 2019, Wyoming enacted 13 blockchain laws making it the only U.S. state with a welcoming legal framework for blockchain companies to flourish.
Speaking on why Wyoming is preferred over Silicon Valley, Hoskinson said the lifestyle and work-life balance are more in line with his way of being, which can be summed up in one word, authentic.
“What’s so magical about that lifestyle I have is that after my workday ends, I go to my farm. A farm is like the ultimate truth factory. There is no bullsh*t when you’re in agriculture.”
The panic situation has forced many to reconsider what is wanted and important in life. And living in nature is a lifestyle trend that’s gaining favor among those done with big city living.
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