A couple of days ago, a young guy penned an article on the start up scene in the midwest, particularly focusing on its biggest city, Chicago. I linked to it in Breakfast Links yesterday, and wanted a day to ruminate about it before I posted anything. It’s my pragmatism coming out. Unlike some, I was not insulted by his post. I did a Pinterest board to illustrate that.
My pal Matt Moog, who has done a couple of start ups and runs the Built In Chicago website tweeted, “It is insulting because it over generalizes and stereotypes. Is is unrepresentative and a mischaracterization of who we are.”.
I am not going to disagree with Matt, whom I respect very much. I tweeted back at him that it made me more “DETERMINED”, deliberately using caps. Matt points out in his tweets that several people that spoke to the reporter were misquoted. My personal experience is reporters misquote me all the time. Or, they utilize the things I tell them for their own agenda. I think that is what happened here. The reporter started out with some pre-conceived notions of the midwest and instead of using the scientific method to prove or disprove them, he wrote a story that affirmed his biases. I think Matt makes some excellent points. We midwesterners sometimes have a chip on our shoulder. That’s not a bad thing. Makes us work harder, or at least 9-5.
The weather in the midwest isn’t what it is in the Valley. We get that. But people are generally nicer, and the cost of living is a heckuva lot cheaper. The schools are better and its a good place to raise your kids. Midwesterners tend to embrace rather than grouse about their situation. When you shovel six inches of snow and as soon as you put your shovel away, six more inches fall on your freshly shoveled driveway, it makes you see things differently! It’s why we invented the concept of “dibs”.