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San Francisco Poaching Tech Talent From Silicon Valley

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the leap-seems-small-from-space dept.

Businesses 282

jfruh writes "Silicon Valley, including San Jose and the chain of suburbs running north from it along the San Francisco Peninsula, has long been the epicenter of the tech business and startup scene. San Francisco itself, just a few miles to the north, has always been in the Valley's orbit — but now, more and more, the center of gravity is shifting to San Francisco, and the move seems to be hitting a tipping point. The reason: the young talent companies want to attract would rather live in a hip city than in suburban sprawl, and don't want to commute 45 minutes to work."

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won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (4, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#40751699)

It takes about 45 minutes to commute between places actually in San Francisco, if you don't pick the right ones, thanks to SF Muni having barely had any improvement since the Market Street Subway was built in 1980. Could easily spend 45 minutes on the N-Judah...

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40751799)

Thats what you get when you designing your city around pedestrian activity. Very green and very convenient for those near existing transportation hubs, but a pain in the ass for everyone else. New York City is the same way. Downtown Manhattan isn't too bad, but in Queens you either get a car and deal with parking or ride the bus and spend the time waiting for and packed inside overcapacity buses.

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (2)

Trepidity (597) | about 2 years ago | (#40751873)

I don't think SF is even really designed around pedestrian activity. If it were, it might have good transit! It's been sort of non-designed, really, with quite a bit of de-facto design for cars, despite their green image opposing them in theory.

It was a medium-sized city with an extensive streetcar network, and that worked ok. But then the population increased, the number of cars greatly increased (which also slowed down the streetcars), and nothing much was done to fix it. The only two real improvements were around 1980: BART made it so that you could get between the Mission and financial district easily, and the Market Street Subway cleared out a little street-level congestion in the worst area.

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (3, Informative)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40752253)

I don't think SF is even really designed around pedestrian activity. If it were, it might have good transit! It's been sort of non-designed, really, with quite a bit of de-facto design for cars, despite their green image opposing them in theory.

It was a medium-sized city with an extensive streetcar network, and that worked ok. But then the population increased, the number of cars greatly increased (which also slowed down the streetcars), and nothing much was done to fix it. The only two real improvements were around 1980: BART made it so that you could get between the Mission and financial district easily, and the Market Street Subway cleared out a little street-level congestion in the worst area.

I disagree. The Sunset and Richmond are kinda suburban all right, but the rest of the city is quite compact and the bus service is pretty comprehensive. Shame about the surly drivers though. Something needs to be done about them.

I used to live in Nob Hill and I was able to walk downtown, to North Beach, to Pacific Heights, and to the great little strip of bars and eating houses along Polk. I never used my car all weekend. It was my commute to the valley that forced me to move back down here.

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (1)

fredrated (639554) | about 2 years ago | (#40752507)

Please post your evidence that modern San Francisco, designed mostly after the 1906 earthquake, was build around pedestrian convenience.

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (4, Interesting)

andymadigan (792996) | about 2 years ago | (#40751809)

At least you're not driving, on public transit you get to read while someone else does the driving. I moved to San Jose six months ago and I explicitly picked a location where I could take the Light Rail to work, most of my coworkers drive and live nowhere near transit along the peninsula. I plan to move to SF (along with all the other "young talent") where it might take a bit longer to get to work, but you can go around the whole city without a car, instead of just certain areas. (I do have a car, I just hate driving).

Of course, the real reason to move is that even San Jose, with a larger population than S.F., feels like a suburb compared to City.

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40751965)

San Francisco probably feels more city-like because it has three times the population density of San Jose (which is only about as dense as the average Midwestern city).

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752631)

Besides S.F.'s higher density, it also feels this way because the population of San Francisco plus that of Oakland is greater than San Jose and its near suburbs.

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#40751891)

That's why all the people are moving to South of Market, right next to the companies.

Also, I'm not sure San Francisco is really a distinct region from Silicon Valley, at least when talking about tech.

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752133)

Chances are if you're working in tech in SF like I am you'll be able to afford to live within 20 minutes of your employer or at least the SOMA/Financial District areas where a great deal of the tech jobs are. Without getting into the details of the public transportation infrastructure, you'd have to be an idiot to live where you take the N-Judah line and work downtown (or just dirt poor). I bike to work and own a car (only 4 years out of college) while living here with all sorts of student loans and some pricey rent, but hey... I don't have a family and not anxious to save for retirement. I'm just saying, my story may not be too far off from other young talent we're talking about.

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40752205)

It takes about 45 minutes to commute between places actually in San Francisco, if you don't pick the right ones, thanks to SF Muni having barely had any improvement since the Market Street Subway was built in 1980. Could easily spend 45 minutes on the N-Judah...

That would imply that you live away out in the fog in the Sunset. Why would anyone without kids want to live out there?

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752417)

because (a) the rents are lower, (b) street parking is almost a viable option, and (c) the 5 and 38 buses run all night

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40752543)

because (a) the rents are lower, (b) street parking is almost a viable option, and (c) the 5 and 38 buses run all night

Might as well live in Oakland then.

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40753037)

except for the life expectancy issue

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752595)

If you own a car in San Francisco and don't want to live closer into the city, you're either a) easily frustrated by looking for parking for more than 5 mins at any tim, b) you drive a tank or c) can't let go of the fact you don't need a car anymore... use zipcar for those times you're feeling remorse.

I live in the NOPA/panhandle area and I own a 4 door sedan. fin.

Re:won't necessarily solve the 45-min commute (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752903)

Could easily spend 45 minutes on the N-Judah...

Or you could get a bike.

As long as you're not a hipster with a fixie (*), and as long as you're not ridiculously wealthy and living up in one of the various Foo Hill neighborhoods, and as long as you intelligently use a copy of the San Francisco Bike/Pedestrian Map that shows block by block inclines, SF is a reasonably navigable city by bicycle.

(*) In this case you're probably living in the Mission and working in SOMA, and your commute is flat, so a fixie is probably okay for that. As long as you have some brakes, and if that's not the case, then you're just a fucking irresponsible idiot.

And the cost (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40751719)

Not to mention younger people are less likely to stop and think of the financial ramifications of living in the city. Who needs money when you can just walk to work?

Re:And the cost (2)

spazdor (902907) | about 2 years ago | (#40751757)

WTF are you talking about, exactly? Cars are a pretty immense financial outlay.

Re:And the cost (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#40751769)

Only crazy people own cars in San Francisco.

Re:And the cost (0, Troll)

allston (788267) | about 2 years ago | (#40751969)

Only fucked up and crazy people live San Francisco, If I were a start up and the only thing I needed was an internet connection, I would setup in Riverside --- Palm Springs or any where in the Coachella Valley--- where office space and housing is dirt cheap. Fuck paying to live in a "hip" city, it not hip is is just disgusting and expensive.

Re:And the cost (3, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40752275)

Only fucked up and crazy people live San Francisco, If I were a start up and the only thing I needed was an internet connection, I would setup in Riverside --- Palm Springs or any where in the Coachella Valley--- where office space and housing is dirt cheap. Fuck paying to live in a "hip" city, it not hip is is just disgusting and expensive.

If you want to employ gun-toting rednecks then by all means set up in Hicksville. If you want the brightest and the best then you have to go where they want to live whether you like it or not.

Re:And the cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752889)

Santa Barbara is fantastic!

San Francisco is fabulous.

Riverside CA is viable ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 2 years ago | (#40753171)

Riverside CA is viable. It has a University of California campus and good computer science, engineering and bio programs (probably others as well). It's location is convenient for recreation. The mountains are about 1-1.5 hours away, so is the beach, so is the desert. There are nice communities with housing at a small fraction of the cost of LA and Orange County (OC). A lot of very talented and skilled people working in LA and OC actually live in Riverside or one of its neighboring towns. If you were to open shop in one of the industrial/research parks next to the UC campus you will have access to students and many industry veterans currently working in LA/OC but living in/near Riverside who would love to ditch the long commute.

Re:And the cost (1, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40751837)

>>>Cars are a pretty immense financial outlay.

Yes they are but still cheaper than having to pay two bus or train tickets everyday. Over the longterm the car is less expensive, especially if you keep it over its full 300,000 mile lifespan (400,000 for diesels).

Re:And the cost (3, Informative)

Fwipp (1473271) | about 2 years ago | (#40752023)

SF bus tickets are, IIRC, $2 each. $4 a day for roughly 200 days a year ~= $800 a year. Even if you keep an $8000 used car for 10 years, you've still got to pay for gas, insurance, and repairs.

Unlimited passes for a month in SF are about $75, or $900 yearly.

Re:And the cost (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40752093)

Even if you keep an $8000 used car for 10 years, you've still got to pay for gas, insurance, and repairs.

You also get to go anywhere you like, at any time. Is that worth nothing?

Not having a car is fine if you plan to never do any significant travel. But the rest of the country is worth seeing.

Re:And the cost (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#40752145)

You can rent when you go on a long trip. That's what I do.

Re:And the cost (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40752283)

Even if you keep an $8000 used car for 10 years, you've still got to pay for gas, insurance, and repairs.

You also get to go anywhere you like, at any time. Is that worth nothing?

Not having a car is fine if you plan to never do any significant travel. But the rest of the country is worth seeing.

Zipcar.

Re:And the cost (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40752097)

$900 times 30 years (how long my first car lasted) == $27,000. So yeah I guess the bus ticket would be cheaper overall.

Re:And the cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752615)

If you bought a fast pass every month for the past 30 years you would have paid only $12,240, which, if you get commuter checks is actually pre tax, ergo more like a net of $8000. Not bad for 30 years transit.

And how do you pay for gas and insurance for a year?

Re:And the cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752655)

They are actually $62 without BART access

Re:And the cost (1)

Burning1 (204959) | about 2 years ago | (#40752747)

Unlimited passes for a month in SF are about $75, or $900 yearly.

Most high-tech employers offer commuter checks, which are pre-tax. So the actual cost goes down to about $45/mo.

Re:And the cost (4, Informative)

CFTM (513264) | about 2 years ago | (#40752401)

I live in the East Bay. I take BART to work everyday. From my stop in the East Bay to my stop in SF, it costs $4.15. Parking at the BART station costs $1. I live 2.4 miles from the BART station. Round trip, it costs me $9.30 to go to and from work.

Were I to be driving, my commute would be nearly 30 miles. I'd be driving across the Bay Bridge ($5 a day) and then parking in San Francisco would cost me a MINIMUM of $10 a day. This isn't even taking into account opportunity cost of time, wear and tear on the car or fuel.

The car is not cheaper in San Francisco. Ever.

Re:And the cost (1)

sabri (584428) | about 2 years ago | (#40752731)

I live in the East Bay. I take BART to work everyday. From my stop in the East Bay to my stop in SF, it costs $4.15. Parking at the BART station costs $1. I live 2.4 miles from the BART station. Round trip, it costs me $9.30 to go to and from work.

Were I to be driving, my commute would be nearly 30 miles. I'd be driving across the Bay Bridge ($5 a day) and then parking in San Francisco would cost me a MINIMUM of $10 a day. This isn't even taking into account opportunity cost of time, wear and tear on the car or fuel.

Now the big question, how much time does it cost you to commute? I live in south San Jose (Bernal exit of 101), and work next to Hwy 237, Zanker exit. My commute is exactly 20 miles. Using public transport it would take me at least 1.5 hours. Using a car it would take me approx 40 minutes. Using my motorcycle it costs me 25 minutes (carpool lane joohoo).

With a 9 month old daughter that I'd like to see grow up, I could not care less of saving $200 a year on using public transport, but losing 2 hours a day. Time is also cost, and public transport is almost always more costly than your own transportation.

Same thing will apply in San Francisco. Live next to Golden Gate park, work downtown and you are not happy with your bus/train/subway/lightrail.

Not to mention that I'd never move to San Francisco, the most visitor unfriendly city I've ever seen (and I used to live in Amsterdam).

Re:And the cost (1)

spazdor (902907) | about 2 years ago | (#40752425)

Since I don't know a damn thing about San Francisco public transit I won't argue any of that stuff, but I will point out that that's all irrelevant because the GP comment specifically said:

walk to work

Re:And the cost (1)

magarity (164372) | about 2 years ago | (#40751931)

It's not the cost of a car, it's the cost of living in that city. Housing (renting or owning) is more, sales/income/property taxes are at higher rates, etc. etc. Thus the comment that if all your money is spent on city expenses, the benefit is getting to walk to work.

Re:And the cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752391)

t's not just walking to work, its walking everywhere. Hell I have some of the best restaurants in the world within 10 blocks of my house. I never have to worry about a DUI or designated driver. Plus it takes make only 30 minutes to ride my bike one of the farthest commutes in the city (Outer Mission to Presidio). When it rains, my commute is only 20 minutes longer, but I can read so it really doesn't matter.

Re:And the cost (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40751993)

WTF are you talking about, exactly? Cars are a pretty immense financial outlay.

Not compared to buying a house in San Francisco (according to a quick Google search, a median price of $710,000 for April to June 2012).

I've only ever bought one car that cost more than $7,000, so I could buy a heck of a lot of them for the amount I'd save living somewhere cheaper and driving.

Re:And the cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752181)

Your $7000 car doesn't grow in value over time, but the same house bought in your 30's might worth enough for a comfortable retirement elsewhere.

Re:And the cost (2)

HexaByte (817350) | about 2 years ago | (#40752587)

Not really. Your $700K home, even if you get it for a cheap 4% interest rate, will cost you $3341.91 per month in mortgage. At the end of 30 years, you've paid an additional 1/2 million in interest, hundreds of thousands in taxes and maintenance, and then it you don't buy a home of equal or higher value Uncle Sam will tax you on the capital gains!

Homes are not good investments unless you can pay cash or rent them at a profit.

Re:And the cost (1)

uncqual (836337) | about 2 years ago | (#40752733)

"Might" is the key word here. Overall, one can only expect housing to appreciate at the rate of salary inflation. If salaries consistently increase by p percent annually while housing increases by p+d for d>0, less and less people will be able to afford homes and the reduction in demand will drive prices down.

Purchasing might make more sense than renting, but often it costs you more. That depends on many factors including how often you move (due to job changes or due to

Obviously, some areas will do better and others will do worse -- Location, Location, Location. Maybe SF is one of those, maybe not.

Re:And the cost (1)

uncqual (836337) | about 2 years ago | (#40752807)

(Don't click [Submit] when you mean [Continue Editing]!)

Purchasing might make more sense than renting, but often it costs you more. That depends on many factors including how often you move (due to job changes or due to

...changes in family situation) - moving often costs you 5% or more of the value of the home in fees and "fixup" costs that are merely cosmetic and would normally not be needed at that time so are accelerated.

Re:And the cost (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40752293)

WTF are you talking about, exactly? Cars are a pretty immense financial outlay.

Not compared to buying a house in San Francisco (according to a quick Google search, a median price of $710,000 for April to June 2012).

I've only ever bought one car that cost more than $7,000, so I could buy a heck of a lot of them for the amount I'd save living somewhere cheaper and driving.

I know people that just buy condos in San Jose, get renters in, and then live in a rented apartment in the city. You can get some good deals because of the rent control.

Re:And the cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752409)

Where are you going to live? Home prices in Marin and San Mateo counties are comparable to the prices in San Francisco.

Unless you plan on living in Alameda County across the bay, you're not going to spend any more to live in San Francisco and walk than you are to live nearby and drive.

Re:And the cost (1)

spazdor (902907) | about 2 years ago | (#40752451)

I'm not sure people who are in the market for homeownership really need to worry about commute costs in the first place.

Re:And the cost (2)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#40752465)

Even an hour away, the median home price is $650,000. You pretty much have to go two hours away or live in the worst parts of the Bay Area to get median housing prices down in the $200-300k range. If you're living two hours away, you'll probably want to find work somewhere closer than San Francisco, and if you're living in a bad neighborhood... well, you're braver than I am.

The choice of San Francisco versus other parts of the Bay Area basically boil down to whether you want a standalone house with a lawn or a glorified apartment. If you pick the lower-density area, you'll have to drive. If you pick the higher-density area, you might be able to walk to some form of public transit, but you pretty much won't be able to drive (usefully) because driving in San Francisco is just plain unholy. The average travel times end up being comparable, as does the monthly cost; you just have closer neighbors and lower square footage in the city.

Re:And the cost (1)

stevew (4845) | about 2 years ago | (#40751763)

I'm calling BS to this whole line of discussion. Example - the biggest thing to hit the valley recently is Facebook, and it isn't in SF. The entire Start-up infrastructure is still located where it always has been - Palo Alto near Standford. The startups typically go where the money is, and where Square footage is cheaper. That ISN'T SF!

Re:And the cost (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40752313)

I'm calling BS to this whole line of discussion. Example - the biggest thing to hit the valley recently is Facebook, and it isn't in SF. The entire Start-up infrastructure is still located where it always has been - Palo Alto near Standford. The startups typically go where the money is, and where Square footage is cheaper. That ISN'T SF!

Thank you, we're aware that Palo Alto isn't SF. But it is one of the few places along the peninsula where you have something resembling a city street with cafes and bars and things to do and stuff.

FB isn't Silicon Valley. FB is one company. If you want to "call BS" then please cite your sources. A single company does not the valley make.

Re:And the cost (1)

stevew (4845) | about 2 years ago | (#40753005)

Okay - so you admit that Palo Alto has some "stuff" going for it, and I'll even admit to you that the cost of living in Palo Alto proper is probably as high as in SF or maybe even greater. Yet the cost of living in the numerous bedroom communities around here aren't nearly as expensive (though not cheap by Wisconsin standards..) Further - most of the Incubators are in this general area too - these things stay close to the money. I know the Startup I'm working for is right next to El Camino and Page Mill road! I can see AOL, Microsoft, and Wilson-Sansini ;-) from just that corner! Not startups - but BIG companies.

The other simple fact is that SF is about the most Business UNFRIENDLY city in the country. Why would you go some place where you pay more in taxes just for being in business when you're main activity is trying to preserve capital while creating that next great product?

Re:And the cost (1)

CFTM (513264) | about 2 years ago | (#40752477)

You can call BS on this discussion all you want, but it doesn't change reality.

Facebook and Google are no longer considered "start-ups"; they're both publicly traded at this point.

Most of the start-ups are opening up shop around SOMA or Union Square. It makes a lot of sense for recruiting talent away from the big players (Apple/Google/Facebook). SF is a bit more exciting than Palo Alto....

Re:And the cost (1)

biometrizilla (1999728) | about 2 years ago | (#40751953)

There are also non-financial ramifications, such as having to deal with the incessant pan-handling that confronts you on just about every major intersection in SF.

Re:And the cost (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about 2 years ago | (#40752589)

You're an idiot. Cars aren't free.

orly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40751731)

I looked into moving out there and made that decision long ago.

the business has changed, too (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40751747)

Issues of sprawl and crappy commutes notwithstanding, the people developing cool apps for smartphones want to live in SF because they are hipsters. These are not the same kinds of folks that "made" silicon valley. They were far nerdier, more interested in hardware, chip design, etc -- basically infrastructure stuff and they were NOT hip. They weren't quite as drawn to SF.

SF also has girls.

I still think the Peninsula and South Bay are far superior if you like outdoor activities: running, hiking, climbing, biking.

Psh. I like the old farts better than the new kids.

Re:the business has changed, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40751865)

The gay city, right?

Re:the business has changed, too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40751925)

No, what does that have to do with anything?

I can assure you from direct experience that if you live in SV and you are a guy looking for a woman, SF is the place to go.

Re:the business has changed, too (5, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40752337)

The gay city, right?

Right. There's still a better male:female ratio in SF than in "Man Jose". Subtract the gay guys from that and it gets even better. Trust me on this. For every girl that walks into a Silicon Valley bar there's at least ten guys with her. Your odds are much better in the city.

Re:the business has changed, too (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#40751913)

Are you saying.......that SF is for Brogrammers? Probably true.

Hip City? (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#40751779)

My friend who lives there calls it "the city". The hipness is implied by the condescending tone of voice when you say "the city".

Re:Hip City? (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#40751927)

Guess what? In ancient Rome, they called Rome, "the city" and in England, they call London "the city", and it's similarly true elsewhere in history and the world. The condescension is imagined on your part.

Re:Hip City? (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#40752025)

in England, they call London "the city"

'The city' is usually used in England (if not referring to the nearest city) to mean The City of London, which is about a square mile containing all of the banks and associated surplus population.

Re:Hip City? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#40752203)

It's similar in the Bay Area. "The City" refers to a little section on the tip of the penninsula. Calling it "the city" distinguishes it from the greater metropolitan area. And it does have the biggest concentration of big buildings and high priced housing.

It changes if you go farther away, like California's Central Valley, they will call the entire Bay Area "San Francisco", often including San Jose.

Re:Hip City? (1)

adavies42 (746183) | about 2 years ago | (#40752717)

Istanbul actually means "in the city" or "to the city" (in medieval Greek). People near New York call New York "the city" (and people in the other boroughs mean "Manhattan" when they say "the city").

Re:Hip City? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752965)

The condescension is imagined on your part.

I think it depends.

Imho, it's reasonable to refer to a city as "the city" when it is the one obvious sizeable city based on your current geographical location (or possibly the context of the conversation).

It's condescending when someone refers to a city as "The City" regardless of any location or context, and assumes that everyone considers that one city to be the one and only truly real or desirable city. I've only experienced this personally with people referring to NYC -- I've never heard anyone do it for SF.

Re:Hip City? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#40753159)

"The City" implies that everyone who's anyone should know which city it is. Using the definite article "the" implies that there is only one city...only one that matters, anyway. It's localist and does indeed smell of condescension. "What, you don't know! Surely you are a hick from the sticks."

Re:Hip City? (3, Interesting)

Macman408 (1308925) | about 2 years ago | (#40752161)

It's not just a hipster thing. Everybody in the bay area calls it "the city". Conversely, only tourists will call it "frisco" or "San Fran".

Re:Hip City? (2)

xstonedogx (814876) | about 2 years ago | (#40752651)

As a resident non-native, I make it a point to call it "San Fran" (or when feeling particularly spiteful "Frisco") just to jab at native sensibilities.

I usually reserve it for this type of conversation:

Them: Where are you from?
Me: Minnesota
Them: Oh. Where in Minnesota?
Me: The Twin Cities area. (Or sometimes just "the Cities")
Them: Oh... Where's that?
Me: It's not Duluth and it's not the place where the Mayo Clinic is. (Fargo accent:) So... have ya lived in 'Frisco your whole life der den?

And occasionally people act like I lied to them when they find out I have never lived in the city limits of either Minneapolis or St. Paul. Like they'd have any idea where Rosemount or St. Louis Park are if I told them those places instead (nevermind that I didn't live in one municipality my entire pre-CA life). I honestly think they'd say "Atherton" if they were traveling and someone asked them where in California they were from.

Re:Hip City? (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40752357)

My friend who lives there calls it "the city". The hipness is implied by the condescending tone of voice when you say "the city".

Everybody who lives in the bay area calls SF "the city". Get over it.

And also want to pay more rent (4, Informative)

ramk13 (570633) | about 2 years ago | (#40751791)

San Francisco is undoubtedly cooler than the south bay, but it's also way more expensive. Not everyone can afford rent or the space they want in SF when compared to many of those south bay cities. That goes both for companies and people. Some companies will move or start there, but I think it's reaching to say we're at a tipping point.

And most importantly, people aren't raising kids in SF:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/13/san-francisco-moms-reflect_n_1508072.html [huffingtonpost.com]

So that talent that young is going to have to commute the other way when they get married and have kids.

Re:And also want to pay more rent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40751909)

Of course that doesn't say the rent is "cheap" on the Peninsula. Its still one of the most expensive places in the country to live, just slightly cheaper then SF.

Re:And also want to pay more rent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40751939)

Just shows that it isn't the tech companies making the profits here, its the landowners.

Re:And also want to pay more rent (2)

jcadam (964044) | about 2 years ago | (#40752263)

No, when the young talent gets married and has kids they find a job in another part of the country with a sane COL. I interviewed with a few of these 'hip' companies in SV, and they tend to balk when they hear my current salary (and I currently live in a rather low cost of living area). Not to mention that, at the ripe old of age of 32, I feel like a geezer as soon as I walk in the door at your typical startup. Now when I get a call from a recruiter who thinks I'm perfect for some position in the SF Bay area, I just say "No, Thanks."

Re:And also want to pay more rent (1, Interesting)

Ryanrule (1657199) | about 2 years ago | (#40752381)

Its GOOD that its more expensive. FORCE the companies to pay the lower level people better, and the upper level people worse.

PLUS, its not a 5 minute drive to a golf course like the valley. That should help keep the useless mba people away.

Re:And also want to pay more rent (1)

dlsmith (993896) | about 2 years ago | (#40753145)

Lower-level people aren't getting paid better if you raise their cost of living as much as (or more than) their increase in pay.

Shit, that's me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40751815)

I live in Bellevue WA, which isn't as bad as most of silicon valley, but is still decidedly and obviously a suburb. I wish I could walk everywhere. I wish I could get by with zero cars instead of one. Unfortunately I also want to build big things, which mostly doesn't happen in San Fran, home of the startups. No offense, but 99.8% of startups do small, weenie things. Instead of trying to find the next Apple, Google, Microsoft I'd rather just work for the ones that already exist. There's Facebook, but my almost middle aged, child-ridden carcass is scared stiff of anywhere that boasts of its 24 hour hackathons. So the 'burbs it is, for me.

I'm not surprised (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 years ago | (#40751877)

Suburbs seem to be the defining problem from my generation's perspective. It's a cultural wasteland. It lacks identity. And for a generation that has become almost entirely bound to the indoors, most of the proclaimed advantages are unnoticed. The mortgages that go with suburban living look like an anchor to a group that is already mostly overburdened with student loan debt. It looks like despair incarnate.

It'll be a SLOW shift towards urbanization though. Huge chunks of the populace look at the suburbs as what you are supposed to do, particularly once you have children. Falling crime rates and rising transit costs will eventually break that, though.

Can we stop using the term 'poaching'? (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#40752001)

The problem I have with the term is that it suggests that there's something morally wrong with offering somebody more salary / benefits / perks to change jobs, or with that somebody choosing to make the move to greener pastures.

Employment is a 2-way street: My boss can choose to fire me at any time, I can choose to quit and do something else at any time. I understand that many employers would not like employees to be able to do that, but they can, and that's because they're your employees rather than your slaves.

Re:Can we stop using the term 'poaching'? (3, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 2 years ago | (#40752433)

and there's nothing that's going to stop your boss from firing you once you get to a certain age and replace you with some younger, cooler, but most definitely cheaper wage-slave anyway, and then you'll realise the whole thing is a bit of a sham.

Not a lot that can be done about it really, the boss wants cheap labour and you want more money. I think the end result is a huge programmer shortage and a large benefit to off-shoring IT workers.

Of course, your company and yourself could adopt a more progressive policy of long-term tenure of employment where people grow with a company, are trained to keep up with new technology and increase experience with the company's systems and business. But no-one's going to do that when there are short-term profits to be made!

Re:Can we stop using the term 'poaching'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752909)

And this is why you keep up with technology and continuing to learn in your spare time rather than becoming stagnant. Old age is as much a state of mind as all our inevitable fates.

Re:Can we stop using the term 'poaching'? (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#40753045)

Not really what gbjbannb is alluding to: There's pretty good evidence out there that programmers over age 40 are regularly discriminated against in the field, regardless of their level of skill, due to a perception that the ideal programmer is a young easily exploited kid who wants to work 100 hours a week fuelled by caffeine and sugar. Give me a team of people those bosses have decided were 'dinosaurs' any day of the week.

Gentrification (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752109)

Give a few years. Oh Noes 'gentrification'! The inevitable whinge. Tech money moves in, car dealerships and salons follow. Loft prices soar. Street vendors and used book stores move out. Rents go up and 'families' can't afford to live there any more.

Bitch, bitch, bitch. Thousands of hours of NPR hand wringing interviews with disgruntled pseudo-hippies.

Re:Gentrification (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 2 years ago | (#40752383)

Give a few years. Oh Noes 'gentrification'! The inevitable whinge. Tech money moves in, car dealerships and salons follow. Loft prices soar. Street vendors and used book stores move out. Rents go up and 'families' can't afford to live there any more.

Bitch, bitch, bitch. Thousands of hours of NPR hand wringing interviews with disgruntled pseudo-hippies.

San Francisco has rent control.

Re:Gentrification (1)

CFTM (513264) | about 2 years ago | (#40752527)

You forgot the part where the mobile tech bubble bursts....

NOPE NOPE NOPE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752247)

I'll stay in Silicon Valley, I'd rather not have San Francisco dip their hands into 10-15% of my paycheck.

Too Much Risk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752297)

I doubt that the nation or the world can afford to place that concentration of talent in a place known for severe earthquakes. There is also another factor in that certain backward preachers point at San Francisco as some sort of demonic place where sodomy is king. If that area gets squashed in a quake we will sadly see some numb skulls rejoicing that the new Sodom was destroyed. Maybe New Mexico or Arizona would be much better places to concentrate talent.

Re:Too Much Risk (1)

stevew (4845) | about 2 years ago | (#40753133)

That is just ignorant! Even though I don't believe the article - Uhm - how do you think the San Andreas fault GETS to San Francisco? It runs through the hills that create Silicon Valley. Always has - always will. Ever heard of the Loma Preitta Quake? That large percentage of the US brain truss you are worrying about ALREADY lives in Earth Quake country.

This is news? (5, Funny)

dorpus (636554) | about 2 years ago | (#40752323)

They said the exact same thing when I lived in the Valley during the dot-com boom. Not everyone wants to pay $2,000 for an apartment that has the privilege of homeless people pissing on the doorstep, walking on streets that reek of sewage, daily encounters with street trash that threaten anyone who is dressed normally, or the dilemma of owning a car with no place to park vs. a car-free lifestyle that makes shopping so difficult. Yes, I love the car alarms that go off constantly, the buses roaring by all the time, the ugly eucalyptus trees that give off a powerful smell, the harsh cold wind from the bay combined with the harsh sunlight, the lack of air conditioned offices, the "vibrant nightlife" of stores that close down at 5PM, the tourists who treat you like a funny zoo animal, and the warm welcome one receives from other Americans for saying they live in San Francisco.

Re:This is news? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752697)

Well, if you pay $2,000/mo you'll have to live in a pretty shit area or in a pretty small place.

A decent 1BR in a nice area in the heart of SF is $3,000/mo. If you have a while to look you can probably find something between $2,500 and $3,000.

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752857)

Holy balls. 3,000 fucking dollars? Why in God's name would you want to pay that for a 1BR apartment? I understand wanting to be hip and fucking trendy, but sweet shit that is a lot of money for a fucking apartment.

Left CA 15 years ago (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752403)

Good riddance.

I hope they sell it to Mexico, we won't miss it.

Re:Left CA 15 years ago (1)

fredrated (639554) | about 2 years ago | (#40752557)

Boo fucking Hoo for you.
Thanks for leaving, you weren't missed.

Re:Left CA 15 years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40753067)

Of course you are wrong, I can guaran-damn-tee you they have missed by state tax contributions.

It's called voting with your wallet.

How's that California thing working out for the rest of you then? Keep bending over citizen.

Happened in the first dot-com boom, too. (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#40752431)

This happened during the first dot-com boom, too. Huge influx of twentysomethings. Then the dot-com boom collapsed, and the number of twentysomethings in SF dropped 40%. (A friend of mine who runs a hip hair salon and throws big parties said of this "and the ones who still have jobs are working their butts off.")

The first dot-com boom moved into existing real estate. This time, there's extensive new construction.

Silicon Valley may be in permanent decline. The last production wafer fab in the valley closed in 2008. With impressive systems on a chip like the Allwinner A10 from China selling for $7, the margins in semiconductors are far smaller than they used to be. That threatens Intel. HP is still a mess. Yahoo is collapsing. Microsoft just posted their first loss. Google and Apple continue to thrive, but Facebook seems to be on track to be the next Myspace.

Not Really (4, Insightful)

BadPirate (1572721) | about 2 years ago | (#40752621)

the "Young Talent" companies only make up a small part of the tech industry out here. Silicon valley still has the largest and most successful of the tech industry at the moment in Software (Apple, Google) and even the older struggling giants (Yahoo), which represent a MAJOR force for employment, Apple's new campus in cupertino will hire and bring in more bodies to the valley then the next 100 SF startups (even assuming that by the time 100 startups have formed 50 of them haven't flopped).

Years ago when I moved to Silicon Valley the ratio and rate was the same. There were "artsy" or "fun" gaming startup jobs (a few) available in SF, and there were startup jobs available here in SV. But the real hiring was being done by the big players, and those guys will never move to SF. The hub will remain. There is no "tipping point". Article is an opinion puff piece by a hipster looking San Francisco dweller - https://twitter.com/cscott_idg [twitter.com] who is obviously as biased about the subject as I am.

Moving on.

Not sure those words mean what OP thinks they mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752625)

"Sprawl" is something usually associated with urban centers, and SF is certainly no exception. Usually, suburbs are criticized (by city dwellers) for their rigid zoning and ordinances. Some see the clean, organized structure of suburbs as being artificial (more so the people).

Also, I'm not sure how working in SF, which has horrible traffic, is going to cut commute times. Unless you live within walking or biking distance of your workplace, you're not saving much time. In the valley you can live in any one of about 10 cities and work in any other of those 10 cities and the traffic is not that bad unless you take 101 in the direction of... SF.

OP do you even live in the area?

And physical location still matters *WHY*? (2)

pla (258480) | about 2 years ago | (#40752643)

How odd. I would have thought that, of all places, Silicon Valley would have launched its "B" Ark full of all the PHBs who can't believe people can actually do their jobs while sitting at home in bunny-slippers.

Fellow geeks - Telecommuting! We need to stop putting up with this "physical presence" crap and start making the number of days per month we actually go into the office a core negotiating point in any interview. "You want me Tuesdays and Thursdays? Okay, I want an extra week of vacation to make up for the needlessly wasted hours of my life spent in traffic to humor your delusions that I can somehow program better in an uncomfortable, harshly-lit, noisy environment surrounded by people who want to tell me all about what vile substance their kids/cats spewed on innocent bystanders this past weekend."


/ And let's not even talk about how I have a triplet of 28" monitors on my home workstation while getting a mere second 22-incher at work took nearly an act-of-god

Re:And physical location still matters *WHY*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40752805)

How odd. I would have thought that, of all places, Silicon Valley would have launched its "B" Ark full of all the PHBs who can't believe people can actually do their jobs while sitting at home in bunny-slippers.

Fellow geeks - Telecommuting! We need to stop putting up with this "physical presence" crap and start making the number of days per month we actually go into the office a core negotiating point in any interview. "You want me Tuesdays and Thursdays? Okay, I want an extra week of vacation to make up for the needlessly wasted hours of my life spent in traffic to humor your delusions that I can somehow program better in an uncomfortable, harshly-lit, noisy environment surrounded by people who want to tell me all about what vile substance their kids/cats spewed on innocent bystanders this past weekend."

/ And let's not even talk about how I have a triplet of 28" monitors on my home workstation while getting a mere second 22-incher at work took nearly an act-of-god

Better plan: stop working at offices full of useless shitheads run by penny-pinching idiots. Works every time...

Re:And physical location still matters *WHY*? (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about 2 years ago | (#40752967)

@pla - i think we had the same thought process here. you beat me by about 10 minutes but everyone else reading my post below and put it together with this and you have a winning recipe.

Re:And physical location still matters *WHY*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40753019)

I agree. I don't understand why telecommuting is not more popular. I work from home and it takes me 15 seconds to get to work and I get significantly more work done per work day..

I pay $0 for my commute to work.
No parking fees, No traffic, No tolls, No pollution, No stress. Hell, I can even wear no clothes if I choose to do so.

How about just letting people work from home??? (2)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | about 2 years ago | (#40752939)

We've crossed this bridge many times before throughout the years from various articles.

What happened to companies (especially high tech companies) allowing people to work from home? Maybe a visit to the office once every two weeks or maybe a monthly meeting for employee social time...sharing projects, dinner, etc etc. This means that you could employ people not even local to SF which is in the end overall cheaper(for everyone). There are many many bright people who live elsewhere in the US(many of them not single) that just dont want to live in this area for many different social, economical and political reasons.

This also means you dont have to pay through the nose for a building that houses all the employees. Just room enough for the owner, the receptionist and a big open atrium/hall for company meetings when everyone is supposed to check in. I really don't think companies get it. Check out Art & Logic [artlogic.com] . All their employees work remote and they at least claim that they only look for the best and the brightest. Their clients are also big time companies.
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