Boston is a Silent Lake of Innovation

Innovation Chart

McKinsey Digital has a fascinating chart describing the state of innovation in cities around the world. It works on 3 axes: the diversity of innovation, the speed of growth, and the size of the innovation cluster.


Boston is chilling out in the mid-range with LA and Minneapolis-St Paul.


The chart appears to have been constructed mainly from records of patent grants, though they mention the number of publications and rates of productivity. Each city analyzed is labeled as a Hot Spring (high recent innovation rates in a few fields), Dynamic Ocean (high innovation rates across a broad range of industries), Silent Lake (diverse industries, but only moderate development) or Shrinking Pool (not so good).


McKinsey Innovation Chart


The obvious points:

  • The big winner is the SF Bay area, sitting there all supernova-style (although some cities, like Sydney, Australia, and a few in China, have apparently spiked off the chart in the Hot Spring zone).
  • The US appears to be, in itself, a Dynamic Ocean.
  • Europe is playing catch-up.


It would be great if there were a way to search for a specific city, outside of random mouseovers.