Michael at VREAA 13 Jun 2011 11:15am –
“I have been here now five years, I still can’t figure out what all the people here do. The Tech people I know all seem to hope for the big break or work for a US company that once upon a time decided it was cheaper here than in the US, but that seems to be changing quickly too.
Anything, at least in the computer field, that has proven successful has moved to other places, mainly the US, either on it’s own power or being sold to a US company.
Having hung around the “startup” world here in Van for a bit I think what is happening is that this is the place where quite a few smart people come to play, mainly outdoors. On the side they develop an idea and because wages here are low (comparatively) they start their business here.
They soon realize that the cost of doing business here is high, that the good employees want to have money they don’t have so they either move or sell the business (Flickr comes to mind) and the cycle repeats.
There really isn’t that much high-tech success here, it’s mostly a lot of self celebrating of the “high technology” field. Vancouver was a small border town with a large rail yard and some industries that lived off of the interior (e.g. sawmills, tanneries in False Creek). Once those industries were “cleaned up” there wasn’t really a lot left.
Interesting times ahead for Vancouver, and BC as a whole, that’s for sure.”