Innovation happens at intersections.

Krebs, Cleveland is disconnectedLocal leaders have been thinking about why Cleveland isn’t growing even though it has several industrial strengths and “attractive qualities such as the arts, cultural attractions, recreational opportunities, and professional sports teams.”

So why isn’t Cleveland growing?

Valdis Krebs replies, “Maybe, it is lacking links — the interconnections between clusters of knowledge and ability that make things happen and get things done in today’s economy.”

As illustrated in his ‘social graph’ of Cleveland, the economy is many players, many islands, few intersections…

In contrast, Silicon Valley’s successful economy is many players, no islands, many intersections…

Krebs, Silicon Valley is connectedThe strengths of Cleveland’s economy are disconnected while the culture and infrastructure of the Valley shows that its new economy is growing from the strength of its connections.

As Krebs is comparing Cleveland to Silicon Valley, he’s clearly pointing to the current challenges and the requirements of community leadership, “It’s the connections, stupid!”.