Forcing Ourselves Out of the EchoChamber: PandoDaily Is Hitting the Road

By Sarah Lacy , written on February 15, 2012

From The News Desk

If you've read anything I've written the past two years, you know I'm a big believer that Silicon Valley's greatest product export has been its startup culture.

As a result, great ideas are increasingly popping up in uncommon places. Although it's important for PandoDaily to be headquartered in the Valley, we want to make sure we're covering entrepreneurs in other places too. So starting next month, our intrepid reporter Trevor Gilbert is hitting the road to find great stories outside the echo chamber.

Trevor is starting in Chicago. He lands March 3 and will be there for two weeks.

That's right: This isn't some fly-in-do-a-meet-up-and-leave kinda gig. To ensure that Trevor is really getting embedded in the community, he'll be in each place for two weeks. And to ensure we're spending as little money as possible, he'll be couch-surfing with entrepreneurs and working in coffee shops and co-working spaces. He'll be actually living and working in local entrepreneurs' shoes.

The goal is to cover more than just individual promising companies, but to really get a sense of what it's like to start a company in each place. So expect posts about startup culture in each city-- what's good about it and where there are challenges. You may not like everything we write, but you can't say we're ignoring you. And at least you can buy Trevor a beer and hope to change his mind in person, rather than just leaving a nasty comment.*

To start out, Trevor is going to hit a new city every other month. If it goes well, we'll up that to 12 cities a year in 2013. The six cities we're focusing on this year are Chicago, Boulder, Austin, Seattle, Boston and Detroit. Trevor picked the first five because they're all known hotspots that plenty of readers want to know more about. I picked Detroit because there are few US cities that need an entrepreneur scene more. If there's one building there, we want to make sure we are championing it.

If you have leads on companies, couch-surfing and coworking offers in any of those cities flood Trevor with emails. I mean try to break the servers. I want to hear Trevor complaining of an email problem of epic MG Siegler proportions. (More than he does already.) He's Trevor at PandoDaily dot com, or you can follow him on Twitter here.

We might do some casual networking events in each city, if there's demand for it. If you live in any of those places and would be interested in event sponsorship opportunities email Oni at pandodaily dot com.

(*You can't actually buy him a drink, because he's not 21 yet.)

[Image Credit: Cheerful Young Mexican Tourist via Shutterstock. Not actually Trevor Gilbert, just the most absurd representation of him I could find. I love Shutterstock.]