Last week marked the one-year-anniversary of Amazon opening up its search for HQ2. To mark the occasion, quite a few news outlets rolled out opinion pieces on what it has all meant.

Axios wrote that what’s even more important than where Amazon will locate its headquarters is the fact that the company now has a “database chock-full of granular details about the economic development prospects of every major metropolitan area in the United States … that database could help it make expansion decisions that go way beyond the new headquarters.”

In my own piece, I wrote that big tech’s quest to spread more tech jobs across the U.S. is likely going to be unsatisfying in many regards. It’s going to take longer than we hoped, and it’s not going to be as fair as we would have liked. If companies like Amazon choose to keep the process as secretive as possible in order to maintain the upper hand while negotiating tax breaks, it’s going to erase a lot of goodwill in their new hometown.

One other point I mentioned — in the past year, it seems more tech workers and founders than ever before have expressed interest in leaving Silicon Valley or expanding beyond it. I think that is in large part due to HQ2 — because if one of the world’s largest tech companies is thinking of going elsewhere, why aren’t you?

So, I’d like to hear from you — likely a founder, investor, or tech worker outside of Silicon Valley — about how the conversations in your tech community have changed in the past year.

Are more Valley folks expressing genuine interest in your city’s tech community or is their interest surface level? Is your city having more conversations about what it will take to build a tech community following the HQ2 contest or has your city’s government already moved on?

Send me your thoughts and feedback via email, and as always, thanks for reading. You can also sign up here for VentureBeat’s Heartland Tech newsletter to get this column in your inbox weekly.

Anna Hensel
Heartland Tech Reporter

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