The Lottery Mentality

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

The Lottery Mentality

"Girls star and generational lighting rod Lena Dunham made her big debut in New York City politics yesterday," according to the MIami New Times.

""Recent college graduates, she said, are 'struggling to find jobs and pay the rent and if they struggle for too long, they're leaving New York' for other cities, 'even Tampa,'" reports Capital NY on Dunham's remarks."

In Tampa Bay, there is always someone squawking about how to build a startup community, a Creative City, or how to get people to stay. Then I find out that just about every county in the US is facing the same dilemma. Strange, right?

At TEDx Manchester Village, some discussion centered on the image of Vermont. The population was getting older, while the younger people - the Millennials in particular - the 20 to 39 year olds - were leaving. That tilts the economy away from sustaining the older population. Welcome to Vermont or Florida or Arizona or Detroit!

There is also the national discussion about graduating more STEM degrees to maintain our innovation.

I think the big problem is the Lottery Mentality in the US. We are an impatient populace. We have ADD. And these are not good traits by any means.

Most people in tech want to be in Silicon Valley or Washington state. Musicians and actors want to be in LA (Hollywood). Bankers want to be on Wall Street. Politicos and journalists want to be in DC. Everyone gravitates to the epicenter of their industry.

It's about density. These epicenters have more of your industry. More equates with more opportunity. It also equates with way more competition. It also means less outside influence. Just look at DC. Talk about an epicenter with its head up its arse.

The lottery ticket mentality is about not just wanting it now but wanting to be a big winner. Being Picked.

There is no patience for building slowly. There is the thinking that moving to the hive will somehow jump start the career, the business, the stardom.

Our Celebrity culture may be a small influence here as well. Hoping to be re-tweeted by our favorite celeb or bumping into them in Starbucks ... WOW! The Oprah Effect. Unfortunately, it is forgotten that it doesn't work all the time. In fact, it doesn't work most of the time.

Dunham thinks that NYC is getting too expensive to sustain a starving artist. That's okay, Grunge started in Seattle. There will be another hive. In tech, there is NYC, Boston, Austin, RTP, Boulder and even Tampa and Vegas. You don't have to chase the mother ship. You can just ship your Art from where you are.


In Tampa Bay, the talk is of the lack of active VC (venture capital) being a hurdle to the growth of the startup community. I think that it isn't about VC money; it is about sustainable business models. Remember the Internet bubble of 2000 where every dot com got funded without a business plan? No one learned the lesson. Waiting for a VC is like waiting for a publisher or a record deal or a modeling contract. It's this mentality that results in lottery being the number one retirement plan.

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