America is experiencing a boom in technology innovation unprecedented since the Industrial Revolution. And like regional dialects and how we like our pizza, this innovation takes unique form and flavor from one region to the next. In this continuing series of in-depth reports, Re/code takes you on an exploration of these emerging hotspots outside of Silicon Valley and to the leaders driving the modern American revolution.
A thriving tech scene isn’t the first thing people think of when they consider Washington, D.C. Squabbling congresspeople? Check. Officious bureaucrats? Check. Millennials coding away in shared workspaces, churning out cool new technologies? Check. Wait, what? Washington reluctantly embraces change -- it’s a risk-averse place. In this Re/code special series, Amy Schatz looks at how some Washingtonians are trying to take advantage of their unique proximity to policymakers to circumvent inefficient regulated industries, as well as those who are embracing new ways of doing things.
Even after bankruptcy, bailouts, massive population and job loss, nightly arson and widespread decay, Detroit still has plenty going for it. It’s a beautiful old city built on America’s original tech industry u2014 cars. In this weeklong Re/code special series, Liz Gannes examines the fast-moving efforts of a hometown billionaire and others to revive Detroit, starting from its center. Sparking this rebirth: Tech startups that draw from the region’s engineering heritage and promise to help restore Detroit’s long-lost claim as a capital of innovation.
The engineers and scientists spilling out of Greater Boston’s world-class universities built the foundations of the modern computing era and amassed the densest cluster of life sciences companies in the world. The region lost some of its most promising startups to Silicon Valley, famously including Facebook. But business is booming — and researchers and entrepreneurs there are aiming far higher than the next social network. This Re/code special series takes a closer look at past, present and future innovation in the region.
Tony Hsieh, the charismatic CEO of Zappos.com, invested $350 million into turning Las Vegas into a startup. Buying 60 acres, setting up his own school, his own medical clinic, his own venture fund and restaurants, Hsieh is creating an innovation city in his own image. It is strange. And it is struggling. But it’s the most ambitious experiment in building a 21st century utopian city in the U.S. In this Re/code special series, we explore what it means to live there -- and why its startups could flourish, or fail.