Tech Industry Looks to the Sea

It is apparently a fad for rich tech company owners to purchase islands. The most recent of these is Oracle CEO Larry Ellison who purchased most of Lanai, an Island in Hawaii. Often these purchases aren’t just for the purpose of building a really cool house and getting away for a private vacation. Sometimes these tech CEOs have other things on their mind.

There has also been a history of business ventures that had the idea of creating their own nation. This was usually with the intent to avoid taxes. More recently Peter Thiel, a tech investor, has plans to create his own nation just off the coast of San Fransisco. This is being done to avoid a variety of laws. One thing in particular getting on the nerves of American tech companies are a few immigration and labor laws that keep foreign programming talent from being of use. Thiel’s plan is to build something called the “Seastanding Institute” to provide some sort of non-profit, worldly beneficial sounding education. He talks about the ways of winning the good graces of the UN and other nations — it seems like he is pretty serious.

Whether that works out for Thiel or not, it looks like someone is going to go off shore in the tech world. Not all of us will be satisfied with pulling an Eduardo Saverin. America might want to look into easing up some of the laws it has on business and tech companies if they don’t want to see a big floating silicon valley on the coast sometime in the next ten years.

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