Not every city is New York. Intrinsically, most people understand this fact, but developers have been doing anything in their power to attempt to emulate big city feeling in all cities–which is not only excessively expensive, but impossible. Smaller cities have their own flavor, and many of them need opportunities to sustain their populations as well. Since every person deserves a reasonable chance at life, more investment needs to be made into unexpected venues which could improve the quality of life for the residents without the money to lure the latest trends.
For start-up companies, many decision-making parties want to be where the action is; unfortunately, most of those places are really expensive and people have difficult times networking because of fierce competition. The beauty of the current era is that many things can be started anywhere–and some of the smaller places can offer bigger, better venues which could mean more jobs for local residents. Often, what keeps people in poor working conditions is a lack of exposure to the right people. If decision-makers were willing to open their minds to different types of venues, it would be easier to give chances to hidden jewels.
The cost of living is also cheaper for employees in areas with smaller cities. Recently, it was reported that a programmer making six figures was still living in her car because of the cost of living in San Francisco. In a city like Buffalo, New York, or Jefferson City, Missouri, it is easier to maintain a decent standard of living without needing a strong network. Additionally, it is easier to make an impact, be involved, and start new ideas while working with the local population when the population is smaller. The younger generations want more than jobs; they want intimacy with where they live, and if companies could be enticed to smaller municipalities, this would be possible.
Finally, putting small to moderate companies in unexpected places would mean a diversity of exposure to life in the United States. If half the companies located in Silicon Valley spread out into the Midwest or places in the South, that would lessen the digital divide–after all, since more people listen to private industry, that would be a chance to use a voice for the populace. Instead of descending upon unsuspecting communities, companies could simply rent available space and build more fluid transitions for employees rather than holding the local governments hostage.
The country is large, and there is a plethora of good choices. Looking at the past in sepia tones is unrealistic, but there could be much more done with the land that is already developed. If private industry is willing to be more interactive, it could learn that not all communities need makeovers. Some just need recognition that their decision to remain in community was reasonable, and that the neighborhoods can continue.