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TheStreet Open House

Movement to Rename LA's Tech Scene is a Waste of Time

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- In the song Rose Parade, the late, great Elliott Smith refers to the "Duracell bunny." Of course, he made a "mistake." Or did he?

Smith had a series of songs titled No Name #1, No Name #2 and so on. I recall reading Smith say he could not think of a good name for these selections and the names of the songs really weren't important to him anyway. That might have been backlash towards the record industry's way of doing things, but it and the use of "Duracell" instead of "Energizer" also relays the sentiment: What's in a name? Who really cares? Don't I have more important things to concern myself with?

For whatever reason, Smith came to mind when I saw the following Tweet from Pando Daily this past Friday:

Along with thoughts of Smith, I was compelled to respond with:

I know this might seem like nitpicking, but there's something special about the LA startup scene. Based on my limited interaction with it, there's not much pretentiousness. Everybody's cool. There's not a whole bunch of Hey look at me type stuff you might expect from Hollywood. I hope this special group of entrepreneurs doesn't lose that vibe.

But, more importantly, I hope they don't lose focus.

Worry about a name because the companies in Southern California don't make silicon? Please. It's called Silicon Beach because it made sense on some basic level. Let the City of Santa Monica worry about the branding, as I understand they are. They prefer a name that more accurately reflects what companies that operate in the Santa Monica-Venice corridor and beyond do. And, someday, they'll probably pick one.

It's not like the name is hurting anything. People still want to work here. Competition is fierce to hire engineers and such. Most importantly, lots of really fantastic companies have popped up -- and continue to -- doing really interesting things.

A new name will not put the LA startup scene on the map. Accomplishments will. Big ones. More companies that go public like Santa Monica's Demand Media (DMD) did a while back. Try to catch up to the Bay Area -- Silicon Valley -- in terms of the number of companies that can and do go public or get acquired successfully.

When Yahoo! (YHOO), Google (GOOG) and/or Apple (AAPL) start raiding Silicon Beach, it's not going to matter that it's called Silicon Beach. The acquiring companies do not care. The folks driving the startup scene on the west side of LA probably shouldn't either.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

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