Tech bros are at it again.
After dominating Silicon Valley in the past two decades, hiking up rent prices in the area and filling the streets with fleece vests and wool sneakers, they’re now spreading into other regions, such as Austin and North Carolina.
But merely setting up shop in a hot new spot just isn’t enough for one group of techies, now formulating a plan to build their very own dream city – away from the US entirely and governed by themselves.
Twenty-five-year-olds Dryden Brown of New York University, and Charlie Callinan of Boston College, co-founded Bluebook Cities in 2019 — described as a “full-stack city builder,” which “partners with communities to develop beautiful, energetic, resident-owned cities,” the website states.
So far, their community remains online, in “the cloud.” But they expect to enlist around 2,000 willing participants (about the size of a small college town) to pack up and move to their yet-to-be-built city. No word yet on where the concept will touch down — but the two hope to land somewhere in the Mediterranean.
Currently, Brown and Callinan are looking to partner with a country in the region who wants to attract a slice of Silicon Valley and is “down to forge a partnership with them,” Brown told YouTuber Justin Murphy in an interview.
“Whereby they contribute land, perhaps for equity in the project and the terms will obviously be negotiated,” Brown explained. “We are not trying to be a total sovereign nation or something like that. We want to partner with a government and build something really cool that works with us and works for them and is mutually beneficial,” he said, adding that they want a government that will stop blocking people with “dumb regulations.”
With the backing of angel investor Peter Thiel, who has already invested nearly $9 million in Pronomos Capital — a venture capital that focuses solely on startups like Bluebook Cities — the company is expected to soon morph the online community into a private city reality.
But membership is even more limited than the already cost prohibitive Silicon Valley real-estate scene.
“Praxis applicants are carefully vetted with a written application and numerous phone calls with current members. New members are rare because membership is sacred,” the application states.
Their move follows the crippling pandemic, racial tensions and a controversial election — all of which has mounted talk of secession in what was once the tech capital of the world. The Silicon Valley techies are looking to take matters into their own hands by exploring ways to build an apolitical private city run by private residents without US government control.