Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine made comments at this week's U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting about tech hubs and how he thinks Miami Beach becoming a tech hub is "[…] the dumbest idea in the world." This made some noise on the Internet thanks to an egregiously titled blog on the Washington post: “Miami Beach mayor: Take your tech start-up gospel, and shove it”.
The fact is, and where he is coming from, is that he is mayor of Miami Beach and not the greater Miami area. And he’s right….Miami Beach is not going to be a tech hub and shouldn’t strive to be just like a landlocked town shouldn’t try to be in the cruise ship industry. To make his point clearer, he probably should have prefaced his comments by comparing Miami Beach to Sausalito, CA, the gorgeous town just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. They are not a tech hub but they don’t have to be since just 20-30 minutes south for them is a true tech hub, San Francisco. And Saulsalito residents are the beneficiaries from that tech hub.
Hopefully the mayor continues to speak the truth like a true entrepreneur (he is one by the way) but he should also be sure to support the greater Miami area, what it is becoming, and how Miami Beach fits into the entire community. Miami Beach isn’t what it is today because of it’s isolation. They are connected to the growth of Miami and its corresponding areas like Coral Gables (where BrightGauge is headquartered). Our entire community has grown it’s tech industry and that includes Miami Beach. This has been thanks to many great leaders and also what we offer as a community which is a great quality of life, great universities, phenomenal cost of living, and warm beaches!
I'm with the Mayor in that we don’t want to be anything we are not but on national stage we should always remember we are one town and need to promote our entire efforts nationally in that light.
Here was his response on twitter:
Tech quote taken out of context. As an entrepreneur, I support all business startups. MB is a boutique tourism & conference destination.
— Mayor Philip Levine (@MayorLevine) January 22, 2014