So over my time in tech I have helped many a CEO in one way or another. Below is the full text of an email that I received from one of them. I found it to be thoughtful and balanced. It is published here with permission as I believe that others will find it insightful. I made some small changes to conceal the identity of the company.
Hey…Saw the going back and forth with TechDrawl. I'm not one to post in the open too often, but it seems that there is a pretty straight forward way (especially in the age of the Internet) to have the best of both worlds. When we were building our company our course of action was to open a small office in the Bay Area. If you look at a 3-year plan, you realize pretty quickly that no matter where you live, you will be on a plane ALOT.
Most of the bizdev and money was on the West coast. Access to lower cost of well trained engineers and living (allowing more money to be put into the business) is a great selling point of Atlanta. Also, in many cases, more customer activity will be East of the Mississippi. I found myself equally busy on each coast, where I called home didn't really matter (other than the cost of living).
By having a presence on the West Coast,it gives credibility that does not exist with a Georgia address. With VC's, with business partners, with customers and especially the press. It also gives access to unique skill sets that may not exist here (strong executive relationships at big tech). By having the Atlanta address, we hired great engineers at half to 3/4 the cost and had less competition to keep them. In the current climate of cheap sub-leases, telecommuting and low-cost video telephony, I see no glaring reason that an Atlanta based start-up can't keep roots here if they want to make the effort. At the end of the day cost and time to execution are going to be the gating factors, and they can both be managed (and improved) with a set-up like this. Managing is the key word. You have to have strong enough leadership to manage people you don't see every day (or you do with a cheap camera and IP phone).