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Old 12-05-2015, 09:57 AM
 
Location: North Charleston, SC
295 posts, read 201,058 times
Reputation: 145

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Quote:
Originally Posted by le roi View Post
i disagree pretty strongly.

they are choosing primarily based on the quality of local government, and the willingness of local elected officials to move things forward. There are no insurmountable barriers to getting google fiber here, just personal ones.

if berkeley, dochester, charleston county, city of charleston, town of james island, city of north charleston, town of mount pleasant all pushed for it, it would happen.


South Carolina is at a disadvantage in this process because our annexation laws encourage small core cities and big suburbs. That's a lot of politicians to get moving in the same direction.

If Google hasn't thought of their next 50 cities already, I would have fired a few people by now. No offense, but you post screams of homerism. There are a ton of other cities withtthe same qualifications. We have a new mayor of Charleston. Who knows where the city is headed? What exactly is this quality of local government you speak of? Not saying it's bad, just saying it's vague.
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Old 12-05-2015, 12:49 PM
 
289 posts, read 203,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsNull View Post
I'm not sure I 100% agree with this. Charleston has done nothing to build a lot of the infrastructure that tech companies look for. Network infrastructure and ISP offerings aren't where they need to be. If Charleston and surrounding communities really are interested in attracting these types of businesses, they need to look at trying to get Google fiber or rolling a municipal like Chattanooga.

Educationally, the computer science degrees are lacking as well. Training for Information Security is even weaker. If Charleston wants to be a tech leader, it needs to invest in education centers for technology just like it needed to for Aerospace. Getting a local school to offer the NSA Info Sec curriculum would be a easy place to start: https://www.nsa.gov/ia/academic_outr...ae/index.shtml. The article claims that we're offering that now through the College of Charleston.. let's not kid ourselves on how good that program really is. We've worked with interns from the local offerings... nice kids, not well trained and typically have no knowledge of the frameworks and managing IT in a business. If you really want to be a tech center, you need higher education in the area that can compete with the GA Tech's.

Having a handful of successful tech companies in your city doesn't make you the tech hub of the South. It's a nice puff piece, but I don't feel it's really realistic.
Not only is it not realistic, it's downright laughable. The wages offered for tech employees are absolutely pathetic. Even when you adjust for cost of living, they are so far below industry standards that the only people moving to the city for tech jobs are people who were either born in the area and are too terrified to cut the umbilical cord and grow up, or people who can't get tech jobs anywhere else (which, lets be honest, is absolutely pathetic in this economy). I mean, I can think of four or five spoke cities for tech that have much better income to cost-of-living ratios, have more tech companies and tech jobs available, and have a better class of talent.

As much as Charleston has desperately tried to position itself as "Silicon Harbor", the reality (as you mentioned) is that it's utterly lacking in everything it needs to attract and retain tech talent and companies. At best, it will emerge as a minor spoke city for the hub that is the NC research triangle. At worst, it will continue to chug along without drastically changing the number of tech workers as a percentage of total employees while maintaining drastically sub-par wages.
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Old 12-05-2015, 01:40 PM
 
289 posts, read 203,507 times
Reputation: 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by driftaway123 View Post
One of techs best attributes is the ability to be diffuse and work anywhere you want. So I think the era of building a central tech hub is over.

There is not going to be another Silicon Valley in Charleston or anywhere else. The tech sector here will remain scattered around the metro mixing with other businesses which is a good thing. No need to silo it all and put a " hub" sign on it.
That's not entirely true. Tech hubs are still a thing because a true tech engine requires a couple of things in close proximity to get going. First, as several people mentioned, it needs talent. Talent that wants to stay in the area and that will produce innovations at a respectable pace. That means local kids who start a company and stay in the area where it was started, and local kids who graduate with a tech degree who want to stay to work in an area. To get that, you need a top-notch tech program at local schools (and the CS program at CoC is pretty awful, despite what some people say. I've met CoC CS grads - they definitely fall on the left side of the tech talent bell curve), and you need attractive wages OR an attractive cost of living (which as I mentioned in an earlier post just isn't there. Charleston is relatively expensive to live in if you want to live downtown, and the wages .

Second, it needs ready access to relatively easy capital. This one is huge. The reason so many startups move to Silicon Valley even though financially it makes no sense is because Silicon Valley is one of the few places where you can literally run into 10 people willing and able to fund your startup while getting coffee in the morning. The importance of this can't be overstated enough. This is why Silicon Valley exists, and why other otherwise affluent and cash-flush areas have difficulty cultivating a strong startup scene. Places like New York and DC and Chicago and Boston have been desperately trying to build up the kinds of innovation engines that the Bay Area has become, and they all fail to one degree or another largely because even though there are a lot of investors with a lot of money in those areas, they tend to be a lot more conservative with investment choices. Charleston barely has an investment class to begin with, and the few people and institutions with the money to make tech work are INCREDIBLY conservative with their funds. So now, any company started in Charleston almost has to go elsewhere for capital. And if you're fielding 5 pitch meetings a week for three months straight to get your seed round or series A closed, it makes no sense to be constantly flying to SF or NYC or STL or AUS - you're better off packing everything you own into a car and just driving out to where the money is.

And on a more minor note, you also need an established support community - mentors, employees/co-owners/customers/etc. This is why tech hubs tend to be fairly narrowly focused outside of the Bay Area. NYC, for example, is basically the heart of marketing tech (including news/publishing platforms) - that's what the tech community in NYC knows, that's what investors in NYC like, and that's what customers in the area are looking for. Boston tends towards biotech and DOD stuff. Austin is big on lifestyle. DC is big on public policy and non-profits. The NC tech triangle does education and legacy/enterprise type stuff. Charleston doesn't really have a focus, and it doesn't have enough of an established scene to help anyone find that focus. All it has is Boeing, a non-profit marketing platform, and an HR outsourcing company. That's not enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imagineskyscrapers View Post
If Google hasn't thought of their next 50 cities already, I would have fired a few people by now. No offense, but you post screams of homerism. There are a ton of other cities withtthe same qualifications. We have a new mayor of Charleston. Who knows where the city is headed? What exactly is this quality of local government you speak of? Not saying it's bad, just saying it's vague.
They haven't, as they've made quite clear over and over again. Each city is still being considered a "pilot program" and while they have a list of potential cities, the final decisions don't seem to be worked out until about a year before roll-out. Your assessment might be correct is Google Fiber was a typical business unit concerned with returning large profits, but it's been made very clear that Google is ok breaking even or even losing money on this venture in the short term. It's essentially the Walmart loss-leader strategy, but in telecom.

As far as why it will never come to Charleston, the answer is simple - the board of architectural review will never let it happen. Have you ever wondered why internet connectivity is so terrible in the heart of downtown? It's because the infrastructure hasn't been updated in decades. Hell, even the sub-infrastructure that would allow for improved infrastructure hasn't been updated in forever. This is also why the city floods every time it sprinkles - the historic preservation groups/BoAR simply refuse to allow any of the major upgrades necessary, since that would involve tearing up entire streets.
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Old 12-05-2015, 04:00 PM
 
3,034 posts, read 2,917,435 times
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I would add an airport with good service. Ours is improving.

And I'm in the IT field.

Lizardspock, I don't expect a CS intern to know how to manage IT, but a college grad (or soon to be grad) should grasp the role IT plays in a business. If you're just in it to get into tech, get a certification. The college degree is supposed to be wholistic and not simply tech. In the InfoSec field, I expect you to at least understand the principles of Information Security and how the major frameworks manage risk.
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Old 12-05-2015, 07:08 PM
 
Location: North Charleston, SC
295 posts, read 201,058 times
Reputation: 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusiphur View Post
They haven't, as they've made quite clear over and over again. Each city is still being considered a "pilot program" and while they have a list of potential cities, the final decisions don't seem to be worked out until about a year before roll-out. Your assessment might be correct is Google Fiber was a typical business unit concerned with returning large profits, but it's been made very clear that Google is ok breaking even or even losing money on this venture in the short term. It's essentially the Walmart loss-leader strategy, but in telecom.
I just don't buy that. As someone who was an executive, you plan on the next 5 years. Yes, things change, but you have your stuff together and if it was identifying sites, you'd have that 5-10 years ahead of time. A company like Google with shareholders would be absolutely asinine to do otherwise.

They can say what they want, but I think they're smarter than that. Next 50 cities are set, unless infrastructure changes.
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:39 PM
 
3,034 posts, read 2,917,435 times
Reputation: 1327
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagineskyscrapers View Post
I just don't buy that. As someone who was an executive, you plan on the next 5 years. Yes, things change, but you have your stuff together and if it was identifying sites, you'd have that 5-10 years ahead of time. A company like Google with shareholders would be absolutely asinine to do otherwise.

They can say what they want, but I think they're smarter than that. Next 50 cities are set, unless infrastructure changes.
And yet track records run contrary to your beliefs, cities that just applied were placed on the list.
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Old 12-06-2015, 02:49 PM
 
Location: North Charleston, SC
295 posts, read 201,058 times
Reputation: 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by IsNull View Post
And yet track records run contrary to your beliefs, cities that just applied were placed on the list.
"List"
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Old 12-06-2015, 03:43 PM
 
3,034 posts, read 2,917,435 times
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Because Google has a list of cities they have announced doesn't mean that list is maintained 5 years in advance.
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Old 12-06-2015, 05:16 PM
 
2,866 posts, read 4,018,700 times
Reputation: 1989
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusiphur View Post
As far as why it will never come to Charleston, the answer is simple - the board of architectural review will never let it happen. Have you ever wondered why internet connectivity is so terrible in the heart of downtown? It's because the infrastructure hasn't been updated in decades. Hell, even the sub-infrastructure that would allow for improved infrastructure hasn't been updated in forever. This is also why the city floods every time it sprinkles - the historic preservation groups/BoAR simply refuse to allow any of the major upgrades necessary, since that would involve tearing up entire streets.

This is the one part of your post I must disagree with. The city and BAR would love to greatly improve infrastructure- putting utilities underground, improving drainage, increasing networking, etc. The simple truth is there is not adequate tax money to achieve that. Correcting drainage on the Crosstown took a lot of planning and grant money.


And sadly SC politicians have proven themselves idiots time and again. They do not understand the difference between good and bad tech jobs. We actually have people crow about call centers or warehouses for big name companies as if those are anywhere near comparable with the actual engineering and development centers. And to top it off the state legislators/bean counters are more focused on keeping tuitions down and more in-state students admitted than allowing the colleges to provide more worthwhile/comprehensive degrees. You would be shocked at the constraints state colleges are under in terms of funding or even allocating money towards any program outside what the folks in Columbia feel necessary. CofC really takes that on the chin because they are deemed comparable to the Winthrop level liberal arts colleges and are told point blank they cannot use a USC or Clemson program or facility as a bench mark. The same is true for facilitates even though land and construction cost in Charleston dwarfs the costs of what the folks in Columbia consider CofC peer institutions. And it only gets worse because CofC is not turning out the types of graduates/business owners/high skill-income folks who would then raise alumni donations.


I think its great Charleston is getting a toe-hold but every friend I have ever had in the tech fields has basically either decided to stay in Charleston for lifestyle or moved for advancement with the exception of three who successfully scaled the ladder. But two of those still acknowledge their is more opportunity elsewhere and one had his ship come in when a national company bought the local one he works for and his shares ballooned in value.
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Old 12-06-2015, 06:41 PM
 
Location: North Charleston, SC
295 posts, read 201,058 times
Reputation: 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpeatie View Post
This is the one part of your post I must disagree with. The city and BAR would love to greatly improve infrastructure- putting utilities underground, improving drainage, increasing networking, etc. The simple truth is there is not adequate tax money to achieve that. Correcting drainage on the Crosstown took a lot of planning and grant money.


And sadly SC politicians have proven themselves idiots time and again. They do not understand the difference between good and bad tech jobs. We actually have people crow about call centers or warehouses for big name companies as if those are anywhere near comparable with the actual engineering and development centers. And to top it off the state legislators/bean counters are more focused on keeping tuitions down and more in-state students admitted than allowing the colleges to provide more worthwhile/comprehensive degrees. You would be shocked at the constraints state colleges are under in terms of funding or even allocating money towards any program outside what the folks in Columbia feel necessary. CofC really takes that on the chin because they are deemed comparable to the Winthrop level liberal arts colleges and are told point blank they cannot use a USC or Clemson program or facility as a bench mark. The same is true for facilitates even though land and construction cost in Charleston dwarfs the costs of what the folks in Columbia consider CofC peer institutions. And it only gets worse because CofC is not turning out the types of graduates/business owners/high skill-income folks who would then raise alumni donations.


I think its great Charleston is getting a toe-hold but every friend I have ever had in the tech fields has basically either decided to stay in Charleston for lifestyle or moved for advancement with the exception of three who successfully scaled the ladder. But two of those still acknowledge their is more opportunity elsewhere and one had his ship come in when a national company bought the local one he works for and his shares ballooned in value.
Thank you for saying it. I struggled with saying it for a couple of posts. If you answer the phone for a tech company, sorry, you're not in the tech industry.
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