The Silicon Valley Transplant CEO

I’m extremely busy these past few weeks, and you’ve noticed a slow down in my posting (have you met our other analysts?), so I’m going to do a series of short blog posts, unlike my longer meaty posts.

I met with Ali Partovi, CEO of iLike today, who told me about a recent trend of what I call “Transplant CEOs” that have addresses in Silicon Valley, are often here for meetings, but their company is located in other tech hubs like Seattle, Portland, Texas, Canada and beyond. Why this pseudo address? two reasons:

1) Running a company in silicon valley is expensive, talent tends to be flighty, and cost of living is high. In other cities, take Seattle for example there’s only a handful of web companies, keeping churn to a minimum.

2) Clients, investors, and prospects tend to want their leaders to be connected to silicon valley so having the CEO in the area makes sense, even if he or she just has a second house here.

It’s amazing that even in this day an age of the digital natives, that location still is important. Well for some this isn’t anything new, way back in 2006 (I know many of you weren’t even born then) the NYTimes had a article showing that most startups had to be 20 minutes driving distance from VCs.