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RCP's Guide to Setting Up Shop in Seattle

Your editor can remember, quite distinctly, his first trip to Seattle. It was 1983, and the city back then was known for vistas that involved mountains and the Puget Sound, not questionable sales figures and widespread customer dissatisfaction. (Sorry. That was just too easy.)

But seriously, in 1983, the first thing people thought of when they thought of Seattle was rain, or maybe the Sound, the mountains or even the Washington Huskies (who were good back then, for those who have forgotten or just never knew). Today, though, the first thing that races to a lot of folks' minds when they hear the word "Seattle" is Microsoft.

OK, granted, Starbucks would be right up there, too, and a few fading devotees might go with grunge or even Nirvana, but the Microsoft software juggernaut made an impact. It actually helped change the profile and culture of this city over the last two decades. No longer do we think of rugged mountain men when we think of the hub of the Pacific Northwest. Now, Seattle is synonymous with rich software geeks, along with double frappawhatevers and people in flannel who pine for the early '90s. Oh, and "Frasier."

If you're a partner, especially a smallish one, chances are you don't get a lot of chances to have serious heart-to-hearts with the folks who are now so influential in Redmond. Maybe you've thought of ways to change that -- and maybe you've wanted to get closer to Microsoft, especially if it's your primary (or only) source of revenue.

Well, one way to do that is to actually get physically closer to Microsoft by establishing a presence in Seattle. Being near Microsoft could lead to all sorts of benefits, as those of you who have an office out there know. There's a lot of risk-reward stuff involved with that idea, though, so you'd better read Rich Freeman's guide to setting up an office in Seattle before you start pricing real estate. Rich's story is in the July issue of RCP. And if you do go to Seattle, bring an umbrella -- it's a beautiful city, but it does still rain a lot out there, after all.

FYI, we're taking a break from reader e-mails this week due to a compacted holiday schedule, but we'll be back with your rants and raves next week, especially next Friday. Keep sending them on any topic that tickles your fancy to [email protected].

Posted by Lee Pender on July 06, 2007


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