Ryan Carmelo Briones

mostly harmless

Chicago, don't go a-changin' June 01, 2012

Dear Chicago Startup Scene,

Things are getting pretty crazy, aren’t they? Chicago has been simmering for the last few years with some nice-sized startups making waves on the global scene. Now with people like 1871 investing heavily into Chicago’s tech entrepreneurs and Built in Chicago talking about the fantastic work that’s going on the city is vibrating with excitement. But I write to you with a few words of caution: Chicago, please don’t go a-changin’.

We’ve got something awesome going on here and there’s a lot of pressure to prove it wasn’t just a flash in the pan. The easy way to do it would be to get the attention the people who have been successful before and have them help us do it. We could build the products that get us a star spot in the blogs or makes us the talk of the coffee house. We could build X, but with a twist, or a niche. We could take our super-secret private beta launch page subscriber list and raise a couple million dollars.

Or, we could build companies that matter. We could work hard and be proud of what we produced, not what we’ve gained. We could build things that are useful to people in the real world not things that take them further from it. We could make a difference.

The truth is, we already are. I’ve seen it. Now let’s try to hold on to it.

You’re friend and neighbor,