ポール・グレアム「ピッツバーグをスタートアップ・ハブにするには」を翻訳しました。原題は How to Make Pittsburgh a Startup Hub で、原文はココです。英語に強い皆さま、メール(takeuchi19@mail.goo.ne.jp)でのアドバイスを、よろしくお願いいたします。


How to Make Pittsburgh a Startup Hub



April 2016



(This is a talk I gave at an event calledOpt412 in Pittsburgh. Much of it will apply to other towns. But not all,because as I say in the talk, Pittsburgh has some important advantages overmost would-be startup hubs.)



What would it take to make Pittsburgh intoa startup hub, like Silicon Valley? I feel like I understand Pittsburgh prettywell, because I grew up here, in Monroeville. And I understand Silicon Valleypretty well because that's where I live now. Could you get that kind of startupecosystem going here?



When I agreed to speak here, I didn't thinkI'd be able to give a very optimistic talk. I thought I'd be talking about whatPittsburgh could do to become a startup hub, very much in the subjunctive.Instead I'm going to talk about what Pittsburgh can do.


私が考えを変えたのは、ニューヨーク・タイムズの食べ物コーナーの記事を読んだからだ。 タイトルは「ピッツバーグ、若者中心の食品ブーム」だった。ベンチャー関連の人どころか、ほとんどの普通の人は、つまらなさそうと思うかもしれない。だが私はそのタイトルに衝撃を受けた。自分で選んでも、もっと希望の持てるような記事を選ぶことはできなかったと思う。記事を読んでさらに興奮した。「25歳から29歳の人々が、現在、全住民の7.6%を占めており、10年前の7%から増加している」と書いてあったのだ。「あ、ピッツバーグは次のポートランドになるかも」と私は思った。ピッツバーグは20代なら誰でも住みたがる、クールな地域になる可能性がある。

What changed my mind was an article I readin, of all places, the New York Times food section. The title was"Pittsburgh's Youth-Driven Food Boom." To most people that might noteven sound interesting, let alone something related to startups. But it waselectrifying to me to read that title. I don't think I could pick a morepromising one if I tried. And when I read the article I got even more excited.It said "people ages 25 to 29 now make up 7.6 percent of all residents, upfrom 7 percent about a decade ago." Wow, I thought, Pittsburgh could bethe next Portland. It could become the cool place all the people in theirtwenties want to go live.



When I got here a couple days ago, I couldfeel the difference. I lived here from 1968 to 1984. I didn't realize it at thetime, but during that whole period the city was in free fall. On top of theflight to the suburbs that happened everywhere, the steel and nuclearbusinesses were both dying. Boy are things different now. It's not just thatdowntown seems a lot more prosperous. There is an energy here that was not herewhen I was a kid.



When I was a kid, this was a place youngpeople left. Now it's a place that attracts them.


それとベンチャーと何の関係があるの? ベンチャーは人でできており、一般的なベンチャーの社員の平均年齢は25歳から29歳の間だ。

What does that have to do with startups?Startups are made of people, and the average age of the people in a typicalstartup is right in that 25 to 29 bracket.



I've seen how powerful it is for a city tohave those people. Five years ago they shifted the center of gravity of SiliconValley from the peninsula to San Francisco. Google and Facebook are on thepeninsula, but the next generation of big winners are all in SF. The reason thecenter of gravity shifted was the talent war, for programmers especially. Most25 to 29 year olds want to live in the city, not down in the boring suburbs. Sowhether they like it or not, founders know they have to be in the city. I knowmultiple founders who would have preferred to live down in the Valley proper,but who made themselves move to SF because they knew otherwise they'd lose thetalent war.



So being a magnet for people in theirtwenties is a very promising thing to be. It's hard to imagine a place becominga startup hub without also being that. When I read that statistic about theincreasing percentage of 25 to 29 year olds, I had exactly the same feeling ofexcitement I get when I see a startup's graphs start to creep upward off the xaxis.



Nationally the percentage of 25 to 29 yearolds is 6.8%. That means you're .8% ahead. The population is 306,000, so we'retalking about a surplus of about 2500 people. That's the population of a smalltown, and that's just the surplus. So you have a toehold. Now you just have toexpand it.


そして「若者中心の食品ブーム」は、ささいに見えるかもしれないが、決してちっぽけな話ではない。レストランやカフェは街の個性の大部分だ。パリの通りを歩いていると想像しよう。周りに何がある? 小さなレストランやカフェだ。どこかのさびれた郊外をドライブしていると想像しよう。周りに何がある? スターバックス、マクドナルド、ピザハットだ。ガートルード・スタインが言ったように、「どこにでもにある、はどこでもない。どこだっていいから」。

And though "youth-driven foodboom" may sound frivolous, it is anything but. Restaurants and cafes are abig part of the personality of a city. Imagine walking down a street in Paris.What are you walking past? Little restaurants and cafes. Imagine drivingthrough some depressing random exurb. What are you driving past? Starbucks andMcDonalds and Pizza Hut. As Gertrude Stein said, there is no there there. Youcould be anywhere.



These independent restaurants and cafes arenot just feeding people. They're making there be a there here.


だからピッツバーグを次のシリコンバレーにしたいなら、最初の具体的なアドバイスは、この若者中心の食品ブームを推進できることなら何でもやれ、だ。市には何ができるだろう? こういった小さなレストランやカフェを始める人々をお客様として扱い、必要なものを尋ねよう。彼らが望むかもしれないことを、私は少なくとも1つ推測できる。スピーディーな営業許可だ。この分野では、サンフランシスコに大差で勝つ余地がある。

So here is my first concrete recommendationfor turning Pittsburgh into the next Silicon Valley: do everything you can toencourage this youth-driven food boom. What could the city do? Treat the peoplestarting these little restaurants and cafes as your users, and go ask them whatthey want. I can guess at least one thing they might want: a fast permitprocess. San Francisco has left you a huge amount of room to beat them in thatdepartment.



I know restaurants aren't the prime moverthough. The prime mover, as the Times article said, is cheap housing. That's abig advantage. But that phrase "cheap housing" is a bit misleading.There are plenty of places that are cheaper. What's special about Pittsburgh isnot that it's cheap, but that it's a cheap place you'd actually want to live.



Part of that is the buildings themselves. Irealized a long time ago, back when I was a poor twenty-something myself, thatthe best deals were places that had once been rich, and then became poor. If aplace has always been rich, it's nice but too expensive. If a place has alwaysbeen poor, it's cheap but grim. But if a place was once rich and then got poor,you can find palaces for cheap. And that's what's bringing people here. WhenPittsburgh was rich, a hundred years ago, the people who lived here built bigsolid buildings. Not always in the best taste, but definitely solid. So here isanother piece of advice for becoming a startup hub: don't destroy the buildingsthat are bringing people here. When cities are on the way back up, likePittsburgh is now, developers race to tear down the old buildings. Don't letthat happen. Focus on historic preservation. Big real estate developmentprojects are not what's bringing the twenty-somethings here. They're theopposite of the new restaurants and cafes; they subtract personality from thecity.



The empirical evidence suggests you cannotbe too strict about historic preservation. The tougher cities are about it, thebetter they seem to do.



But the appeal of Pittsburgh is not justthe buildings themselves, but the neighborhoods they're in. Like San Franciscoand New York, Pittsburgh is fortunate in being a pre-car city. It's not toospread out. Because those 25 to 29 year olds do not like driving. They preferwalking, or bicycling, or taking public transport. If you've been to SanFrancisco recently you can't help noticing the huge number of bicyclists. Andthis is not just a fad that the twenty-somethings have adopted. In this respectthey have discovered a better way to live. The beards will go, but not thebikes. Cities where you can get around without driving are just better period.So I would suggest you do everything you can to capitalize on this. As withhistoric preservation, it seems impossible to go too far.


ピッツバーグを全米一、自転車や歩行者に優しい都市にしたら? そうできたら、サンフランシスコをはるか後方に引き離せる。そうなって後悔することはまずないだろう。あなたが引き寄せたいしたい若者にとって、街は楽園に見える。就職のために他の街に行くなら、そのような場所を去ることを彼らは残念に思うだろう。じゃあ欠点は何? 「自転車に優しい街にしたせいで街は台無し」なんて見出し、想像できる? ありそうもない。

Why not make Pittsburgh the most bicycleand pedestrian friendly city in the country? See if you can go so far that youmake San Francisco seem backward by comparison. If you do, it's very unlikelyyou'll regret it. The city will seem like a paradise to the young people youwant to attract. If they do leave to get jobs elsewhere, it will be with regretat leaving behind such a place. And what's the downside? Can you imagine aheadline "City ruined by becoming too bicycle-friendly?" It justdoesn't happen.


さて、クールな古い界隈とクールな小さなレストランのおかげで、ピッツバーグがポートランドのようになったとしよう。それは十分に良いだろうか? いや、ポートランドよりも良くなる。というのは、ピッツバーグにはポートランドにはない、一流の研究大学があるからだ。カーネギー・メロン大学に小さなカフェ群を足すと、ラテを飲むおしゃれな人々以上のものになる。つまり、分散システムについてお喋りしながらラテを飲むおしゃれな人々。もうほとんどサンフランシスコだ。

So suppose cool old neighborhoods and coollittle restaurants make this the next Portland. Will that be enough? It willput you in a way better position than Portland itself, because Pittsburgh hassomething Portland lacks: a first-rate research university. CMU plus littlecafes means you have more than hipsters drinking lattes. It means you havehipsters drinking lattes while talking about distributed systems. Now you'regetting really close to San Francisco.



In fact you're better off than SanFrancisco in one way, because CMU is downtown, but Stanford and Berkeley areout in the suburbs.


ピッツバーグをスタートアップ・ハブにするのに、カーネギー・メロン大学にできることは? さらに良い研究大学になることだ。カーネギー・メロン大学は世界でも最高の大学の一つだが、それが本当に世界一になり、そのことが知れ渡ったらどうだろう。世界一の場所ならどこだろうと、たとえシベリアであれ、行かずにはいられない野心的な人々がたくさんいる。もしカーネギー・メロン大学がそこだったら、彼らはみんなピッツバーグに来るだろう。いつか必ずピッツバーグに住みたいと夢見る子供たちが、カザフスタンに現れるに違いない。

What can CMU do to help Pittsburgh become astartup hub? Be an even better research university. CMU is one of the bestuniversities in the world, but imagine what things would be like if it were thevery best, and everyone knew it. There are a lot of ambitious people who mustgo to the best place, wherever it is—if it's in Siberia. If CMU were it, theywould all come here. There would be kids in Kazakhstan dreaming of one dayliving in Pittsburgh.



Being that kind of talent magnet is themost important contribution universities can make toward making their city astartup hub. In fact it is practically the only contribution they can make.


いや待てよ、名前に「イノベーション」とか「起業家精神」といった言葉が入るプログラムを大学が始めたら?  いや、やめたほうがいい。この種のものは、ほぼすべてが失敗に終わる。目標の設定が間違っている。イノベーションを起こしたいなら、イノベーションそのものを目指すのではなく、電池や3D印刷の改善といった、より具体的なものを目指すことだ。起業家精神について学ぶには起業するしかない。学校で教えることはできない。

But wait, shouldn't universities be settingup programs with words like "innovation" and "entrepreneurship"in their names? No, they should not. These kind of things almost always turnout to be disappointments. They're pursuing the wrong targets. The way to getinnovation is not to aim for innovation but to aim for something more specific,like better batteries or better 3D printing. And the way to learn aboutentrepreneurship is to do it, which you can't in school.



I know it may disappoint some administratorsto hear that the best thing a university can do to encourage startups is to bea great university. It's like telling people who want to lose weight that theway to do it is to eat less.



But if you want to know where startups comefrom, look at the empirical evidence. Look at the histories of the most successfulstartups, and you'll find they grow organically out of a couple of foundersbuilding something that starts as an interesting side project. Universities aregreat at bringing together founders, but beyond that the best thing they can dois get out of the way. For example, by not claiming ownership of"intellectual property" that students and faculty develop, and byhaving liberal rules about deferred admission and leaves of absence.



In fact, one of the most effective things auniversity could do to encourage startups is an elaborate form of getting outof the way invented by Harvard. Harvard used to have exams for the fallsemester after Christmas. At the beginning of January they had something called"Reading Period" when you were supposed to be studying for exams. AndMicrosoft and Facebook have something in common that few people realize: theywere both started during Reading Period. It's the perfect situation forproducing the sort of side projects that turn into startups. The students areall on campus, but they don't have to do anything because they're supposed tobe studying for exams.


ハーバード大学は数年前に試験をクリスマス前に移動し、読書期間を11日から7日に短縮したので、この抜け道を閉ざしてしまったかもしれない。だが大学が本当に学生のベンチャー企業を支援したいのなら、時価総額により重みづけした経験的証拠からは、文字通り、何もしないほうが良かっただろう。Harvard may have closed this window,because a few years ago they moved exams before Christmas and shortened readingperiod from 11 days to 7. But if a university really wanted to help itsstudents start startups, the empirical evidence, weighted by market cap,suggests the best thing they can do is literally nothing.


The culture of Pittsburgh is another of itsstrengths. It seems like a city has to be very socially liberal to be a startuphub, and it's pretty clear why. A city has to tolerate strangeness to be a homefor startups, because startups are so strange. And you can't choose to allowjust the forms of strangeness that will turn into big startups, because they'reall intermingled. You have to tolerate all strangeness.



That immediately rules out big chunks ofthe US. I'm optimistic it doesn't rule out Pittsburgh. One of the things Iremember from growing up here, though I didn't realize at the time that therewas anything unusual about it, is how well people got along. I'm still not surewhy. Maybe one reason was that everyone felt like an immigrant. When I was akid in Monroeville, people didn't call themselves American. They calledthemselves Italian or Serbian or Ukranian. Just imagine what it must have beenlike here a hundred years ago, when people were pouring in from twentydifferent countries. Tolerance was the only option.



What I remember about the culture ofPittsburgh is that it was both tolerant and pragmatic. That's how I'd describethe culture of Silicon Valley too. And it's not a coincidence, becausePittsburgh was the Silicon Valley of its time. This was a city where peoplebuilt new things. And while the things people build have changed, the spirityou need to do that kind of work is the same.



So although an influx of latte-swillinghipsters may be annoying in some ways, I would go out of my way to encouragethem. And more generally to tolerate strangeness, even unto the degree wackoCalifornians do. For Pittsburgh that is a conservative choice: it's a return tothe city's roots.



Unfortunately I saved the toughest part forlast. There is one more thing you need to be a startup hub, and Pittsburghhasn't got it: investors. Silicon Valley has a big investor community becauseit's had 50 years to grow one. New York has a big investor community becauseit's full of people who like money a lot and are quick to notice new ways toget it. But Pittsburgh has neither of these. And the cheap housing that drawsother people here has no effect on investors.


ピッツバーグに投資家のコミュニティが育つとしたら、シリコンバレーと同様、ゆっくりと有機的に育つだろう。だから私は、短期間で大きな投資家コミュニティができると請け合うつもりはない。だが幸運なことに、昔ほど投資家が必要でなくなっている3つの傾向がある。一つは、ベンチャーの起業にますますお金がかからなくなっているため、昔ほど多額の外部資金がいらなくなっていることだ。もう一つは、Kickstarter (訳注:2008年にアメリカで設立された、クラウドファンディングのサービス)的なもののおかげで、ベンチャーはより早く利益を得られるようになったことだ。Kickstarterへの投稿はどこからでもできる。3番目はY Combinatorのようなプログラムだ。 世界中のどこからでもベンチャーは3ヶ月間 Y Combinatorに参加して資金を獲得し、必要なら街に戻れる。

If an investor community grows up here, itwill happen the same way it did in Silicon Valley: slowly and organically. So Iwould not bet on having a big investor community in the short term. Butfortunately there are three trends that make that less necessary than it usedto be. One is that startups are increasingly cheap to start, so you just don'tneed as much outside money as you used to. The second is that thanks to thingslike Kickstarter, a startup can get to revenue faster. You can put something onKickstarter from anywhere. The third is programs like Y Combinator. A startupfrom anywhere in the world can go to YC for 3 months, pick up funding, and thenreturn home if they want.



My advice is to make Pittsburgh a greatplace for startups, and gradually more of them will stick. Some of those willsucceed; some of their founders will become investors; and still more startupswill stick.



This is not a fast path to becoming astartup hub. But it is at least a path, which is something few other citieshave. And it's not as if you have to make painful sacrifices in the meantime.Think about what I've suggested you should do. Encourage local restaurants,save old buildings, take advantage of density, make CMU the best, promote tolerance.These are the things that make Pittsburgh good to live in now. All I'm sayingis that you should do even more of them.



And that's an encouraging thought. IfPittsburgh's path to becoming a startup hub is to be even more itself, then ithas a good chance of succeeding. In fact it probably has the best chance of anycity its size. It will take some effort, and a lot of time, but if any city cando it, Pittsburgh can.



Thanks to Charlie Cheever and JessicaLivingston for reading drafts of this, and to Meg Cheever for organizing Opt412and inviting me to speak.