High and low: what RIM's failure is doing to the people of Waterloo →

Jesse Hicks, The Verge:

Though less well-known, Waterloo, Ontario, is another city stamped by the accomplishments of a tech giant. Research in Motion began there in 1984, and with its era-defining success came an influx of talent and a growing community. But RIM has stumbled, and lately the signs have been especially grim: the all-or-nothing BB10 has been delayed until early 2013, and the company lost a half-billion dollars last quarter. It can be easy to treat the news from Waterloo abstractly, as just another unfolding corporate drama. But RIM’s fate affects real, actual people — and not just those buying (or not) its phones. It remains one of the area’s largest employers, a source not just of local pride, but Canadian pride as well. As Google is to Mountain View or Apple is to Cupertino, Research in Motion is more than just a company. It’s a symbol of accomplishment, a defining feature of the community’s self-image.

Another great feature article from The Verge. I wonder how accurate the comparison to Mountain View and Cupertino is, though: the point Hicks is making about companies defining their town belies that these those two cities are only six miles apart. Another few miles up is Facebook in Palo Alto; a few miles the road is Intel in Santa Clara, and Adobe in San Jose. These companies are very important to their individual cities in terms of tax revenue, perhaps, but for most citizens—at least in my admittedly small and non-random sample of friends and co-workers over the years—we’re all in Silicon Valley.