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Story Behind the Book

It was right after stepping down as Chairman of TriNet in 2010 that I began this journey with the goal of improving the economic vitality of my home region of Upstate New York.

I knew that I’d be taking an unconventional path to bring about change. One that reflected experience I had as a 20 year Silicon Valley CEO familiar with challenges faced by entrepreneurs everywhere who were seeking to create something from scratch – beginning with just an innovative idea the market had not yet broadly embraced.

With that singular focus, I started experimenting with initiatives to attack the problem from a variety of angles. That included founding non profit Upstate Venture Connect, helping others launch startup community organizations and events, bringing investors together to form seed capital funds, investing directly in companies myself, and even running for U.S. Congress as an independent candidate.  

A decade later, I can now look back and reflect on the changes our burgeoning  tribe has brought about across the Upstate New York region.

More Good Jobs: An Entrepreneur’s Action Plan to Create Change in Your Community, is both the story behind that journey and a playbook I hope will equip leaders with a menu of options to consider if they are ready to join or jumpstart change in their own community.

  • Part 1 of the book includes three chapters to help give context behind the problem – What are good jobs? What are Innovation Economy companies and what does the data say about their job generating results for a local economy? Why do some cities experience an outflow of top talent relocating to other cities having a magnetic pull because of their abundance of opportunities in innovation based industries and companies?
  • Part 2 has two chapters that shine a spotlight on cultural elements of places like Silicon Valley rarely understood or appreciated by outsiders. Why is a culture of sharing and paying it forward so critical to growing jobs? What are the secrets behind the Magnet Cities that aren’t due to anything the government does, but more a reflection of a connected local culture? 
  • Part 3 has six chapters devoted to laying menu choices on what specific options exist to engage Highly Influential People, Early Stage Private Capital, Higher Ed, Non Profits, Government and individual community leaders. 

While the book begins with some of my personal background, what brings the journey to life are the stories profiling others who joined our tribe and HOW their specific actions and support made all the difference in building a regional startup ecosystem that now spans seven distinct metro areas spread out over three fourths of New York State.

Table of Contents »

Introduction »