Being from the Midwest, I am all for agricultural analogies. So to continue with the Seed Corn theme and adding to the meme, I offer the following:
Reading an a blog focused on Start-up Ventures in India I came upon this excerpt about a " farmer whose corn won top awards year after year. When a reporter asked about the secret of his success, the farmer attributed it to the fact that he shared his corn with his neighbors. Why, the reporter wondered, would the farmer want to share his seed when those neighbors also competed with him for the prize? The farmer’s reply was, “The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grew inferior corn, cross-pollination would steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors do the same.”
Boston has not been known as a place where the start-up community 'shares the seed corn'. However that is changing and anyone involved will attest to an increased energy and camaraderie within the early stage venture populace.
One important issue that directly relates to cross pollination (non Compete agreements) is being Championed by Bijan Sabet a VC with the Newbury St. venture firm Spark Capital.
Evidence of entrepreneur community is all around us: BetaHouse PodCamp WebInno OpenCoffee Andala TechCocktail Boston Boston Media Makers Techcrunch Boston Meetup
Social Media Breakfast Cambridge Enterprise WEb 2.0 Meetup and many more.
More sharing, communication, cooperation and networking will strengthen our start-up DNA and propagate future companies. So I look forward to 2008 and seeing the results of the rising energy and cross pollination taking place in the early stage community here in theHub. Get out there and rub some anthers! Happy Holidays to All