Coming [to Silicon Valley] is not that productive in general.
You’re actually better off, on a probabilistic basis, staying where you are to start a company. You’re much better being a large fish in a small pond, [for example] in Toronto. There’s a lot of people that don’t want to come to the valley, that don’t want to live with the high cost of living. Particularly if you are wanting to start a family, and buy a house.
There’s a practical reality that makes Silicon Valley unattainable for many extremely talented people.
Being in Toronto, or Vancouver, or Winnipeg, or Ottawa, is actually great because if you actually have a good idea and it gets any amount of escape velocity, you can attract some fantastic people because they want to be in those cities. And the economics are much more rational.
Shopify started in Ottawa, and stayed in Ottawa, but still has tremendous capital that came from New York and Silicon Valley. It is possible. That will get easier once there’s a broader class of venture investor in Canada that actually understands product and are willing to take true product and venture risk, versus what I called in that op-ed, “product market fit risk.”