It's quarter to 8 on a Sunday morning. I spent most of Saturday laying around feeling sick and playing videogames. I'm feeling much better today. That was a really fast bug.
This morning as I sit here and surf, for some reason my thoughts keep drifting back to an idea I once had of a nerd city. I was originally inspired by Ave Maria, the town in Florida that was built specifically to attract Catholics to it. So, what would a planned nerd community look like? It would have to be a smaller town, maybe a couple thousand people at most. Seeing the problems that Thermopolis has getting people to move here, there are basically 2 things you need to get people to move to a town. A place for them to live, and a place for them to work.
To provide a place for all these nerds to live, you need housing. The best way to get that, is to have a developer on board. Someone with a construction team, who isn't too far away. Of course you can't just find a big plot of land somewhere and convince a developer that a bunch of people will move there if he builds houses. To convince the developer that this is a viable money making opportunity, there needs to be another reason for all the nerds to move there.
Which brings us to need number two: Work. The best way to get all of these nerds to move to our little project town, is to have someone wanting to pay all of these nerds a lot of money. If Google took my idea, and moved it's HQ out into the middle of nowhere, then paid a developer to build a town around it's new complex, we would have our nerd town. I don't know that we really want everyone working at Google though. It would be better if there were a couple smaller companies in town. That would give a bit more diversity to the job market in town. It would also help encourage new businesses to move there.
So, how are we going to get multiple businesses that have a serious need for nerd brain power to move to town. It would be important to get a few established companies there to get things rolling. These established companies would need to be the basis for the community. They would probably be the ones putting in the money to get things started. Once they are there, and there is a good population of nerds living in one place, then it would be an ideal place for startups to move to.
Ok, so let's say we've got three big companies looking at moving to our town. We find a location that's nice, but not heavily populated. We're probably looking at a smaller state. There is a lot of grant money to be had from some of these smaller states if you're building new jobs in those states. We're probably looking at the Dakotas, or Wyoming, or Montana. States that only get 3 electoral votes. States that have a lot of open land.
Once we have our location picked, we need to find a developer that is near by. Now, we don't really want to hire some guy from the nearest Metro area to come out and build our town. That's too much money leaving the town. It'd be better to get a developer to move to our town, and get skilled labor in the town. Whoever builds all these houses and commercial spaces is going to make some good money, and we don't want that money to leave town. This is also going to get skilled professionals to move to the town. They usually aren't nerds, but we need these people.
So now we've got jobs, we've got housing, and we've got plumbers, electricians, and carpenters. We'll start seeing some nerds move here to take those jobs. But, what can we do to really set this town apart as a nerd town? What can we have that will get all these nerds motivated to move here aside from jobs?
We need to put fiber going to each house as we build them.
We need to make sure there is good cell coverage. Preferrably from AT&T so all these nerds can have their iphones. At least having one competitor would be good as well.
A community gaming center would be a good thing to have. Some place that's available late in the night with room for both lan parties and table top gaming.
When questioned @jeruvin said a community think center would be a must. A place where you can grab a desk and just work on whatever. It would be free to go to and have free wifi.
What things would you like to see in a nerdy community? We're shooting for realistic goals this morning.