September 2nd, 2008 by Rajiv Patnam, Sales Engineer
The late 90’s IT boom represented everything great about the American dream. If you had a brilliant idea, knew how to put it into production and had some idea on how to market said idea, you could make it and many were indeed making it big in Silicon Valley.
This chance to “get rich quick” prompted many talented young entrepreneurs and IT specialists to move to the Valley, and in turn helped establish the area as a hip young center for the most talented people in the field.
The Beltway, (a.k.a. Washington, DC area) has always been known as a home for those wanting to enter into public service, or at least a career in grand gestures, however with the rapid growth of government-based IT needs, and the success of many IT companies in the area, it is slowly transforming into an IT hub of its own.
[Note: Dave and Julia disagree with my perspective on the slow growth of DC as a tech hub. In their opinions, it always has been with many great IT companies founded and run out of the DC area, including AOL, UUnet, and The Motley Fool, to name a few. The area was properly positioned as the “Silicon Valley of the East” in the 90’s and was able to successfully cultivate a large and prominent IT culture. BUT it’s interesting that Silicon Valley dominates in terms of popular perception, as I believe and so do many friends I’ve discussed this with.]
But perhaps that is changing. Dave wrote an earlier post about the lack of local tech coverage in the Washington Post. Recently, however, we’re seeing more relevant articles in the paper that highlight the growing DC young IT scene. Case in point, this article about LaunchBox, a DC tech incubator that will hopefully only serve to grow and enrich the community with more talented young IT professionals and big thinkers.