World Wide Wade Goes West—Episode V: Minneapolis, MN

7/2/10Follow @wroush

When I hatched this kooky plan to drive across the country to San Francisco, shooting, editing, and publishing videos along the way, I had no idea it would be quite so exhausting. So when we reached the home of Graham’s friend Oliver Zhou in Minneapolis Wednesday night, we were grateful to have a place to eat and crash—and another remarkable person to interview.

Zhou is a software engineer for the pharmaceutical distributor and healthcare technology provider McKesson, which is headquartered in San Francisco but has a major provider technology operation in Minneapolis. Originally from Beijing, Zhou has been living and working in the Twin Cities since 2001. He’s active in the local software community, and has a keen view into the local technology-and-entrepreneurship scene, which is anchored by big companies like McKesson, Target, 3M, and Medtronic. Listening to Zhou’s comments—only a few minutes of which could be included in today’s video, as usual—I was struck by his pride and enthusiasm. It’s myopic to think that people in the “classic” innovation hubs like Boston and the Bay Area are the only ones pouring energy and passion into their work.

This is the fifth episode in our little video travelogue. If you’re just joining now, I encourage you to go back and watch the the pilot episode and our videos from Gloucester, MA on Monday, and Rochester, NY on Tuesday, my autobiographical video from Wednesday, and the Torch Lake, MI episode from Thursday. You can access all the videos in one convenient place at YouTube channel at YouTube.com/xconomywest.

A special shout-out today to the Starbucks on Frontage Road in Savage, MN, where we camped out for a few hours Thursday and used the free Wi-Fi to upload our latest episode. They really should call it Startbucks.

World Wide Wade Goes West is sponsored by Pixability.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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    Minneapolis-St. Paul is also home to the headquarters of Compellent Technologies, ADC Telecom, and Shavlik, and to engineering operations of Cray, Microsoft, Adobe, McAfee, Thompson Reuters, SGI, and Oracle.