Zed Shaw’s NYC VCs Can’t Do Math poses a theory on why California has so many tech startups:
There are several reasons why technology just doesn’t take off [in NYC] the way it does in Silicon Valley. The primary reason in my mind is that California has laws that protect employees from their employers stealing off-hours work. In California, tech workers have no problem working on the next hot start-up in their spare time because they know Megalo Corp won’t own it when they’re done. I believe California is the only state in the US that has this law, and wow look, it’s the only state with a rampant churn of startups and innovation that now rivals the banking industry in capital.
I had no idea California’s law was so unique. How the heck do you start a tech company these days1 if not in your off-hours from work!?
When the .com bust happened, there were a lot of startups funded by severance pay and savings, but those heydays are gone. ↩︎