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Hey, Tech: You'd Do Well to Stop Ignoring Smaller Cities

WIRED

The lack of diversity at tech companies is well-established: Less than 10 percent of workers at Google and LinkedIn are non-Asian minorities, for example, and only 31 percent of employees at Google are women. But the technology industry is guilty of another serious blunder that hasn't spurred the same volume of national conversation: a lack of interest, and failure to invest, in the capacity of small and mid-sized cities to shape technology's evolution. Adrian Perkins (@Diplomatofthe8) is a third-year student at Harvard Law School, founder of the marketing tech company E.merge, and strategic technology advisor to his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana. Many of the best-known tech companies were launched and remain headquartered in Silicon Valley, a region that's home to 3 million people. Tomorrow's tech ideas are also being tested in larger cities: witness AmazonFresh Pickup (Seattle) and Uber's autonomous vehicle trials (San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Tempe, Arizona); although smart city initiatives are taking off in smaller cities, the larger cities still have more than their share of smart city projects, not to mention the media coverage that perpetuates larger cities' market advantage.