My ex-business partner Maf and his wife Tara came over from LA this week and it was fantastic to spend an evening with them reminiscing about getting drunk in various cities around the world and talking about the various business pursuits we’ve both been involved with since closing the record label down.
I had a real burst of “Silicon Valley Envy” (although it was strictly speaking “California Envy”). I’ve written before about the superior environment and attitude that exists for entrepreneurs in the States. And while I’m in the enviable position of having good contacts at the likes of Creative Business Wales, nothing really makes up for the general positive atmosphere that exists over there. I run a network for creative entrepreneurs and businesses in South Wales (new website being built as we speak!) and as far as I’m aware it’s the only one of its kind. And yet in pretty much any area surrounding San Francisco, Silicon Valley or LA that’s an equivalent size to South Wales there will be countless networking opportunities for those of us that sit outside the mainstream of business. I’m not a huge fan of networking (in the traditional sense) but, provided there’s an opportunity (online or offline) for people to get mutual support and ideas, I think it’s essential to business success.

In related news, Project Pinewood is “one of the most unique and ambitious projects ever undertaken in the UK for the creative industries. It’s a living working media community, set within a collage of permanent film and TV locations”. Apparently it will have permanent sets of all the world’s major locations. I just hope it fosters young talent and gives opportunities to up and coming film makers, and doesn’t just become a playground for the big studios. I also hope it avoids the curse of the beleaguered Valleywood. More projects like these (and smaller ones like the fantastic hub DigitalCity) are just what we need to keep the creative industries growing at a faster rate than the average for the UK economy.
p.s. The last Bond movie was shot at Pinewood studios, hence the Daniel Craig pic…. 🙂