In the Industrial Age, it was useful for the economically ambitious to live somewhere like Duluth, a harbor close to huge iron mines. In the Information Age, nobody wants to live in Duluth anymore, so there is far more money to be made in a place like Palo Alto, which has nice weather and scenery.
Time zones are no doubt a problem. They are a big problem for a night owl like me in the Pacific Time zone, but for Hawaiians, they must be a nightmare. Trading opens on the Wall Street stock exchange at 3:30 AM. in Hawaii.
Perhaps, though, there's something about living in paradise that quells ambition, especially when the price of making it big is leaving Hawaii. Barack Obama, who spent all but four of his first 18 years in Hawaii, is one of the few hyper-ambitious people Hawaii has produced. Others include Bette Midler, Steve Case of AOL, and Hiram Bingham III, discoverer of Machu Picchu and U.S. Senator from Connecticut. (Here's a list of famous Hawaiians, although many are people who retired there, like Jim "Gomer Pyle" Nabors.)
But for world-shaking ambition, they are all pikers compared to an earlier student at Obama's famous Punahou prep school, Sun Yat-sen, first president of China.