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Almost Isn't Remarkable

Fast Company came out with its annual Fast Cities list, profiling cities that are hot spots for business growth, tech explosion, and the places that are pretty cool to be in.

Nashville was on the 'almost' list. It was 'almost' one of the Culture Centers.

How neat. I live in a city that is 'almost' important.

Granted, Nashville has gotten its above-average share of recognition. Nashville has been recognized as a great place to live whether you're single or have a family. It's seen as a good city for businesses to relocate to. It's growing fast, and there are a lot of good things happening here.

The online version of the 'so close' list only has a roster of city names, and not an explanation as to why they didn't make the final cut. And, while I agree that Nashville is an emerging hub of global diversity, it could just have easily been 'almost' a place for startups, R&D, and a Creative Class Mecca.

But at the same time, 'almost there' is still 'not there.'

In a month, we get to pick a new mayor. I've heard a lot about Nashville being a 'city on the verge.' That's fine and dandy, but a 'city on the verge' still isn't quite on the map. I'd like for candidates to lay out a plan to take Nashville off of the verge and to plant it on the map of remarkability.

Remember: it's great that Middle Tennessee attracted Nissan, but Southern California did something to make Nissan start looking elsewhere. If you want to get rid of the 'almost' moniker, you've got to do something to make people come, and to make them stay. Because when people stay, they're able to dream and create.

And that's what puts you on the map.