As it turns out, Provo isn’t just the best place for business and careers in America, it’s also a leading technology hub.
Richard Florida and The Atlantic Cities reported today that Provo is the 13th best metro area for technology in the United States. That puts Provo in the company of places like Seattle, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, etc.
One of the interesting things about this list is the presence of both tech hubs and, for lack of a better term, hipster meccas like Austin and Portland. Though things like a vibrant cultural scene and business leadership might superficially seem disconnected or targeted at different demographics, this list suggests that they are in fact quite connected. In fact, this information indicates that successful cities are ones that understand the holistic nature of growth, culture, and economics.
Relatedly, Florida points out that technology is only one of three keys to creating a successful city:
Technology is the first of my 3Ts of economic development, the other two being Talent and Tolerance. Each one on its own is a necessary but insufficient condition for growth. For real innovation and sustained economic growth, a community must offer all three. That means that some cities and metros may still fail to grow at a high rate, despite their deep reservoirs of technology and world-class universities, if they lag behind on the other two T’s – if they are exporting talent or are relatively closed to outsiders. Conversely, the interactive effect of the 3T’s helps explain why some cities and metros may fail to grow at a substantial rate, even though they are lifestyle meccas: they lack the required technology base.
That assessment suggests a clear path to sustaining Provo’s success: increasing tolerance and retaining more talent. Provo wouldn’t be on the list at all if it hadn’t made headway in these areas, but if the city is going to continue to grow, all three will have to increase.