Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I'm Building Me A Home...

Seesmic's acquistion of was big news, both in these parts and everywhere else, earlier this week. However, less broadcasted were the impending departures of one of OKC's top developers and one of its top social media practitioners. WTF, you may exclaim, are rats leaving the sinking ship? Perhaps you think it figures that they would leave if they were any good. Maybe you think that it's the city or state's fault that they're leaving.

I can't speak for any of the involved parties (or TwitPic or Vidoop or Kord Campbell or anyone else who's ever decided to move away from Oklahoma). I can always share a couple of thoughts. First, there's an overwhelming pressure from both investors and acquisitors to have their assets (and that's what is now, an asset of Seesmic) close to them. For now, we don't have a large player or a large fund that can active as a center of gravity to keep companies here. So, if you want to help keep tech start-ups in Oklahoma, either grow a large tech company (Cisco-sized should work) or raise a $300 million venture fund. Otherwise, a company's gotta do what a company's gotta do whether you like it or not. Let me also be very clear: even though I'm happy for the afore-mentioned entrepreneurs and wish them nothing but success, I'd GREATLY prefer their presence in Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, to be precise).

As far as Jake and Chris are concerned (and even Kord to an extent), let me share this: I'm Oklahoma born and bred. I left...SEVERAL times (well documented here). I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. However, I'm here now. I stayed here this time because I want to build something, and I want to build it here. I think most people are builders at heart. I know the guys I mentioned in this paragraph fit that description. So, I'm gonna keep building right here and right now, because this is where I need to be, on many levels. My hope is that I can call on my friends, whether they're in Dallas or Cupertino or just down the street, to build things with me in ways we couldn't have collaborated just a few years ago.

Homes are very personal places. We design them to fit our own needs, as well as to fit in with our surroundings. Maybe someday we'll be welcoming familiar faces back into the neighborhood. Regardless, let's be good neighbors. That's what attracts people in the first place.

Good luck, Godspeed, and don't be strangers.