Some fresh advice on identifying and searching for your own community, from business innovator Nilofer Merchant.
In 1990, when students at the University of Pennsylvania were asked if they would consider a career in Philadelphia — where the school is located — only 35 percent of them said yes. By 2010, that number was 60 percent.
Some of that increase might be due to Alex Hillman. Alex’s search for his own people began because he was lonely. As an entrepreneurial-minded web developer, he says, “I just felt alone in my field, in my work, in my city.”
Alex was thinking of moving to the West Coast, where other creative tech types seemed to be heading, and he had a connection there to a tech company for a full-time job. But when that job fell through in January 2006, he decided to give Philadelphia another try — and allowed himself six months to meet as many like-minded people in Philadelphia as he could. “A big part of me thought that this would be fruitless, that what I was looking for didn’t exist,” he says.