Silicon Valley has been put on notice: A new startup, Blueseed, plans to set up ship just 12 miles off the coast. These ships will hold hundreds of bold and creative entrepreneurs from countries such as India and China. They will circumvent immigration laws and restrictions by placing their ships just outside of the territorial waters of the United States (though still within the exclusive economic zone).
Apologies for the sensational title: They are not REALLY out to steal your jobs, but you better be prepared for some competition!
The startup plans to begin by setting up a 1000 passenger vessel at the border of the territorial waters of the US. This passenger ship will offer living and working accomodations for driven entrepreneurs, and there will also be a quick ferry hop to the shores of Silicon Valley.
How did this project get started?
Blueseed is an initiative that was begun by former staff members of the Seasteading Institute, Dario Mutabdzija and Max Marty. They saw a problem, and a solution.
There are plenty of bright, motivated and ambitious people in poorer countries, but few opportunities for them to use their skills in these poorly-governed countries. There is so much opportunity for them in places like Silicon Valley where these people would like to come and contribute, but restrictive visa policies and immigration laws prevent them from coming.
The political process is slow, and changing immigration policy may take ages. Instead of waiting for political reform, why not shake up the landscape a bit and create a technology incubator for these ambitious and skilled entrepreneurs? By placing them just 12 miles offshore, most of the restrictive laws can be avoided.
The project soon found funding from billionaire investor Peter Thiel, and things are getting underway.
What challenges will they have to solve?
Even if they are twelve miles offshore, people will likely have to pass through California in order to get on and off the ship, and this is a focus point where problems could occur. The ship will also need to build up crucial infrastructure, such as ensuring that there is a reliable, high-speed internet access link, and having enough amenities on board to compensate for the fact that one is, well, stuck on a ship. If the residents are suffering from cabin fever, then they won’t be as creative as they otherwise could be.
Reader, what do you think about this new startup and their ideas to shake up Silicon Valley? Regardless of the outcome, it will definitely spark a new debate about immigration and globalization!