Here [in Arizona], we develop products and services that rock, but more importantly, they solve problems. And then we effectively price and market the hell out of them. Now, there are tech companies everywhere that do this. But there’s a big difference between the companies here and those in Silicon Valley: We have to focus on a solid business plan right from the beginning. Because there are little to no institutional investors here, tech companies worry about revenue from the beginning. We hone in on profitability and scale. And because it’s a struggle to get funded, businesses are forced to be scrappy and run lean. We don’t have the luxury of focusing only on top-line growth, and we could never be short-sighted enough to burn significant cash in the name of acquisition or IPO. Because of this environment, startups here have a patience, passion, and dedication unlike those found in Silicon Valley.
I’ve always looked at the Arizona tech scene as barely-there, mostly because we don’t produce many super shiny billion dollar tech companies. But I’m starting to come around to the idea that we just do things different. In fact, it seems a lot like the tech industry may be starting to embrace our approach, as it swings back toward the idea of simple, honest work.