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todd

has written 2 SperlingViews. Currently, todd is living in Saint Petersburg, FL and has a little something to say:



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Tampa Posted On: 8/21/2009 4:35:54 PM

I agree with what most everyone says is wrong about Tampa. The biggest problem here is the economy. In opinion, the economy is linked with the overall poor status of our schools (individual schools can be great).

There are almost no modern service or valued added manufacturing businesses in Tampa. The largest industry is call centers, with tourism, contract manufacturing (low margin), and real estate next in line. To make matters worse, these low intellectual valued added businesses are cyclical. The shallow economy depresses wages and discourages highly educated people from settling in the area. Sadly, I see nothing that changes this phenomenon.

If you really want to understand Tampa and how it fits with the modern economy, study Minneapolis/ St. Paul, a metro area roughly the size of Tampa/St. Pete. Despite high taxes and frigid weather, Minneapolis is home to hundreds of corporate headquarters in retail, advertising, money management, tv production, drugs, medical devices, medical service companies, chemical and packaging companies. Why? Minnesota has some of the best public school systems in the US, no doubt helped by the relative lack of urban ghettos and rednecks.

The bottom line is the following: if you are ambitious, this is a tough place to move. Forbes ranked us the worst MSA in the US for young professionals. A high priced MBA is of dubious value when the only jobs are running call centers.

If you are not ambitious, like warm weather and can put up with crime, you can carve out a niche here. If you are talented and have a good job, you might enjoy being a big fish in a small pond. Never forget, that your escape velocity might be quite high, however.

Tampa Posted On: 8/21/2009 4:34:33 PM

I agree with what most everyone says is wrong about Tampa. The biggest problem here is the economy. In opinion, the economy is linked with the overall poor status of our schools (individual schools can be great).

There are almost no modern service or valued added manufacturing businesses in Tampa. The largest industry is call centers, with tourism, contract manufacturing (low margin), and real estate next in line. To make matters worse, these low intellectual valued added businesses are cyclical. The shallow economy depresses wages and discourages highly educated people from settling in the area. Sadly, I see nothing that will cause changes in this phenomenon.

If you really want to understand Tampa and how it fits with the modern economy, study Minneapolis/ St. Paul, a metro area roughly the size of Tampa/St. Pete. Despite high taxes and frigid weather, Minneapolis is home to hundreds of corporate headquarters in retail (Target, Best Buy) , advertising, money management, tv production, drugs, medical devices (Medtronic), medical service companies, chemical and packaging companies. Why? Minnesota has some of the best public school systems in the US, no doubt helped by the relative lack of urban ghettos and rednecks.

The bottom line is the following: if you are ambitious, this is a tough place to move. Forbes ranked us the worst MSA in the US for young professionals. A high priced MBA is of dubious value when the only jobs are running call centers.

If you are not ambitious, like warm weather and can put up with crime, you can carve out a niche here. If you are talented and have a rare good job, you might enjoy being a big fish in a small pond. Never forget, that your escape velocity might be quite high, however. As someone who got lucky enough to be a big fish, I never forget that my business has to compete against national standards, not Tampa standards.