Bob has just returned after three months in San Francisco and was telling me how the city is setting up public areas of free WiFi access all over the town.
If you go onto the San Francisco municipal WiFi site you find there are 32 of these areas designated “free Wifi in Parks, Plazas and Open Spaces”.
The brilliance of this is that it totally enables the young entrepreneur.
You don’t need an office or an incubator to get started, all you need is an accessible WiFi signal and you’re connected to the world and the world’s knowledge.
You see this happening all over the US. Coffee shops are full of youngsters working.
A taxi driver taking me through Del Mar last autumn pointed this out to me saying “they make their money in the morning then surf for the rest of the day.”
This seems to me a very fine way to live.
And the lesson San Francisco is giving the world is that you don’t need subsidised office blocks, incubators and workplace co-sharing to spawn a start-up culture – in fact you don’t need buildings at all when you’re developing and selling ideas – all you need is a free public WiFi signal.