We continue our examination of the business book "The Rise of the Creative Class," which helped people understand the identity of their cities, with an interview of author Richard Florida. How did the book come about and where is the creative class congregating today?
Entrepreneurial communities grow up around smart people. Whenever someone in government asks me what they can do to accelerate entrepreneurship, I always tell them to put as much money and energy as they can into education. If you build a broad base of smart, inquisitive, curious people that are long term members of your community, you'll be delighted with the results.
Cisco, Microsoft, IBM, Google -- it seems everyone is in the smart-grid fray, trying to transform our electromechanical power grid into a digital network that saves energy, taps alternative sources, lowers costs, and boosts reliability. But Boulder is the first U.S. city to pilot a large-scale smart-grid system, allowing residents to monitor use and control appliances remotely. Xcel Energy has installed 21,000 meters since the $100 million program started in 2008. Early adopters cut energy use by as much as 45%.
When Brad Feld moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 1995, he found a college town that was best known for its rock-climbing and meditation centers. Using a pile of cash from two acquisitions, Feld pioneered a thriving startup scene that now includes 171 fledgling companies (and a city campaign that proclaims "Boulder is for startups").