In 2011, Paul Graham published an essay titled Why Startup Hubs Work. There he wrote about what makes a startup hub, like Silicon Valley, works. Here is an excerpt:
… it is a particularly valuable thing when the atmosphere around you encourages you to do something that would otherwise seem too ambitious. In most places the atmosphere pulls you back toward the mean.
I flew into the Bay Area a few days ago. I notice this every time I fly over the Valley: somehow you can sense something is going on. Obviously you can sense prosperity in how well kept a place looks. But there are different kinds of prosperity. Silicon Valley doesn’t look like Boston, or New York, or LA, or DC. I tried asking myself what word I’d use to describe the feeling the Valley radiated, and the word that came to mind was optimism.
Optimism. That’s the key attitude that the Valley has. That’s the key attitude behind creative ventures such as Google, Facebook, and many others. That’s what makes the people in the Valley dare to work on things that are normally considered too ambitious.
I believe that optimism is an attitude that you, as an individual, must also have. If you want to get the most out of your life, optimism is key. Optimism here means a sense of unlimited possibilities about your future. It’s the belief that, when it comes to your future, nothing is impossible. Your surroundings might not be ideal, but that won’t hinder you from being what you’re supposed to be.
Optimism will change the way you work. You will be energized. You will approach your days with enthusiasm. You will be more creative since you believe there must be a way.
The road won’t be easy. You will have to go through difficulties. But having the right attitude is key. Put optimism in your arsenal. Believe there are unlimited possibilities about your future. Then, and only then, will you start making things happen.
Photo by Purple Sherbet Photography