Philadelphia’s tech community is special.
It’s hard to have this conversation without appearing to have an inferiority complex. It’s also a conversation that’s been had dozens of times, and dozens of different ways.
Ultimately, nobody comes out on top when cities start comparing themselves to each other.
Besides, it shouldn’t matter why one technology community is “better” than another. It’s not about resources, capital, talent, or government support. It’s not about the cost of living. It’s not about climate. It’s not about how good the food and drink is. It’s not about how good the music is.
And at the same time, it’s about ALL of those things together. Together, we call a set of societal attributes a “culture”.
And every city has a different culture, some more reminiscent of others.
There’s a relatively recent boom of cities that use their technology community as the center of their illustration of culture, and then they compare and contrast those attributes against other popular “tech cities”. But very few self-identify with existing elements of culture.
In Philadelphia, we’re growing what we’re growing organically. We grow what’s needed, not what others have prescribed.
Philly’s tech scene doesn’t care that it’s a tech scene. It cares about making a difference, not just for itself but for future generations.
Philly’s tech scene is full of people who either were artists, or should have been artists. Philly’s tech scene isn’t just tech, but also includes leaders from education, science, government, the arts, business, and more. Philly’s tech scene works towards bettering Philadelphia, not just Philadelphia tech.
And it’s not for charity. When Philadelphia as a whole wins, so do we.
The best thing about Philly’s “tech scene” is that it’s not about supporting tech. It’s about supporting a better version of a real life in Philadelphia.