Friday, August 20, 2010

Youth And Innovation In The City

My loyal readers (yeah, all three of them) could have found me imbibing at a happy hour in my attorney friend's workspace tonight.  Props to Adam Bier of bierLegal for being a generous host and mixologist.  I was probably one of the senior citizens there at the ripe old age of 37, but one of the attractions of private happy hours is the proximity to the flower of youth without music that destroys your ears.  Youngsters have so much spunk and feistiness, ya know?  I never had it but I'm probably a late bloomer . . . or perhaps a reverse bloomer a la Benjamin Button.  Nah, scratch that second option.  I'm definitely getting grayer. 

The youngsters at the shindig weren't gray yet.  One was a social entrepreneur who had raised money for a relief project in Cambodia (I think, my memory's hazy as I was in the middle of a nectarine cocktail).  Another guy owned a bicycle repair business and had a retired investment banker as a mentor.  One gal was hosting comedy performances in her home and was planning to exhibit experimental films.

None of them needed bailouts or stimulus money to get these projects going.  They just scraped some resources together, found a niche, and launched.  That's the kind of thinking that built America into what it was before the entitlement mentality made it prematurely senile.  It's the kind of phenomenon that will eventually get us out of Great Depression 2.0 once we realize that entrepreneurship is the only thing left to try once all of the wasted stimulus money is gone. 

This is why I won't live anywhere besides San Francisco.  Urban collectives like Noisebridge are hacking their way into future technologies while soccer moms worry about whether their Social Security checks will cover their SUVs' hydrocarbon fuel bill (hint: they won't).  Creative spaces like ARK221 are spawning artists and filmmakers while Hollywood shovels the same formulaic baloney onto Joe Six Pack's plate. 

Count on San Franciscans to show the world how technology and culture are done.  The kids are all right.  :-)