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Thinking of cities in terms of hardware and software

Ted Serbinski is a Partner at Detroit Venture Partners. He works with billionaire Dan Gilbert. And obviously lives in Detroit. 

On Monday of this week he wrote a post called, 24 Business Insights I’ve Learned from Billionaire Dan Gilbert. It was clearly inspired by a blog post Gilbert did last year called 27 Things I’ve Learned in 27 Years. They’re both great reads.

But in particular I liked Ted’s 22nd point called “balance the hardware with software.” It goes like this:

“Another interesting insight is Dan’s approach to rebuilding Detroit. You need to balance what buildings you own (e.g., the hardware), with what companies lease them (e.g., the software), along with properly connecting building to building via placemaking (e.g., more software), to create a truly vibrant area.”

It’s an interesting analogy and I think it’s incredibly relevant to Detroit. The City of Detroit has great hardware. As I said before, the city is filled with gorgeous historic buildings. The bones are there. But hardware is useless without the right software. 

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