Wayne Sutton: 19 reasons why Raleigh is better than Silicon Valley

I met Wayne Sutton about 18 months ago when he agreed to help me stage a conference on the newsroom of the future at Duke University. We briefly worked together at The News & Observer in the 1990s, but didn’t know each other at the time. Since he had left, Sutton had gone on to be become a social media leader in the Triangle, as the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill is known. (Sorry Wayne, but yes, I do have to explain that out here).

Since leaving the newspaper world, Sutton had become a leading voice in the Triangle’s multimedia and social media scene. He was one of the folks who initially got me hooked on Twitter.

Last night, I was on Twitter, when I heard folks I follow in the Triangle talking about an Ignite Raleigh event. If you haven’t been to an Ignite event, basically, someone gets up and speaks for 5 minutes with 20 slides on any topic. Naturally, he helped organize the event, and got things rolling with a talk called: “19 reasons why Raleigh is better than Silicon Valley.”

Here’s the video:

Now, I like Sutton. And I have great affection for the Triangle, having lived there for 12 years before I moved to Silicon Valley. But I feel the urge to respond. So I want to hear from you: How should we respond (in good fun)?

I asked the question on Twitter as well, with responses appearing below:

jaycadmus: Well you&#39ve lived in both, Chris, so I would think you&#39d know better than most.

about 42 minutes ago

AllieWag: Simple. Work to live (in Raleigh, hence the “quality of life” themes), or live to work (SV, where we eat, breathe and live tech)

about 43 minutes ago

sjcobrien: Last night @IgniteRaleigh, @waynesutton gave 19 reasons why Raleigh is better than SV: http://bit.ly/gWHic . How shall we respond?

about 50 minutes ago

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  • What?

    This video makes people from the Triangle area look bad.

    First, its not “silicone” valley. Its siliCON valley.

    Second, “Research Triangle Park is the largest Research Triangle Park in America”. Well, duh!


  • Gloria

    What? has no sense of humor. At this event, the presenters had five minutes to talk and 20 slides which move at intervals, so in other words, no corrections and no slowing down to make your point. No notes.

    Sorry, but one mispronunciation and one mistake does not make an entire area look bad. I’d say that What? makes SiliCON Valley look bad, but I’m not that petty.

  • Thanks for the post Chris, it was all in fun… I’ll make it over the “SiliCON” valley soon.


  • AP

    We don’t need to respond.

    It’s like the rivalry between Auckland and Sydney. You go to Auckland, and they talk about what they have and how it compares to Sydney.

    You go to Sydney, mention Auckland, and they respond “who?”

    There is no comparison.

    But of course, I’m biased. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • RC

    The reason why you don’t have to respond is because the Silicon Valley has its own dedicated PR flacks that constantly keep us in the news. Often for doing nothing of note.

    I honestly thought Wayne was making a subtle joke by saying silicone as in artificial, but lacking any sense of humor What? attacks it as unintelligent.

    Also we have no really defined ‘Silicon Valley’ since we stretch it as far as required to claim some resource. Neither Oakland, Santa Cruz or SF are not in the valley yet we include them when we see fit because there is much lacking at this end of the bay. If the south bay is so wonderful why are we continually trying to get multiple sports teams to relocate here?

    Well all I have to say is that people here spend more time trying to convince themselves and everyone else how smart they are while the rest of the country is pretty satisfied to let their work/life speak for itself.

  • Ha Ha! Chris, looks like you need to give Wayne a grand tour of Silicon Valley here, REAL soon. This poor chap is SO sadly misguided LOL.

    I’ve lived here my entire life, and I just don’t think I could live anywhere else. Why? Because you have the beaches, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe–you can do short day trips. Plus, the weather. I admit I’m spoiled. Just don’t think I could live anywhere else. Sure, we have our share of uber-snobs and techno centric workaholics, but it seems far more people I come across are more tolerant and open-minded and there is such an energy. (Not saying we are perfect here though, far from it.)

    RC, lighten UP dude. Most of us here are pretty laid back IMO. It’s mostly the media who bashes us–but we can take it ๐Ÿ™‚ This is nothing new. They’ve been doing it forever.