Is Los Angeles the next Silicon Valley?

That is the theme of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt:

How could L.A.’s tech scene develop even further? Imagine that virtual reality is the “next big thing” and the gamification of just about everything, including education, proceeds apace. For the next generation of startups, that might throw the balance of power in the direction of expertise in entertainment and design — a sense of the theatrical, in other words, intermediated through tech. That could favor the culture of Los Angeles and Hollywood. Southern California also has a strong background in aerospace and military contracting, two areas that could produce a spillover effect for the next tech booms, especially if they involve transportation. The region also remains the leading U.S. manufacturing center, and that too could be a source of future synergies.


Northern California had an original advantage over Southern California as a center of free thinking and thus as a tech hub. Think back to Haight-Ashbury, the 1960s, Beatniks, LSD and the Whole Earth Catalog, the psychedelic movement, the bohemian and gay cultures of San Francisco. All of that bred an atmosphere of rebellion, and it helped birth the personal computer and a large movement of non-conformist hippie programmers, often working out of their proverbial garages.

But those cultural roots have largely faded, and if anything today San Francisco and the Bay Area are better known for political correctness and a conformist culture of scolding and groupthink. That can’t be good for the region’s long-term creativity.

There is much more at the link.


This is fine. I like LA well enough. It's got some interesting things that are worth the hassle of getting to them.

But the thing is, if you are leaving SF for LA, why not the OC?

There is a lot of office space in Irvine that is literally 5 minutes from an uncrowded international airport. If you are Peter Thiel, you buy into Emerald Bay and live next to the Buffets. A much easier life.

By the way, on that Thiel house, my GF has a real estate license, let me know ;-)

I have read so many posts regarding the blogger lovers however this
post is actually a pleasant piece of writing, keep it up.

yep, Blizzard is in Irvine.

I think it all will depend on who emerges as the winner in the VR race, with an ecosystem quickly developing around the winning platform.

Since virtual reality is the ultimate surveillance state, with every single action and transaction recordable and monitorable, the winning platform will probably emerge from China, not L.A.

That was certainly the setting for the movie "Ready Player One".

When it comes to creating environments where people want to migrate to en masse China is kind of the opposite of So Cal. Probably less so in the virtual world, but still

Irvine sucks for young singles. You move there when you are married, have a few kids to raise, and looking for stability. That kind of conservatism leads to weak leadership/vision at companies there and they are not able to attract top talent. Sadly the best tech companies in OC are Silicon valley branch offices like Google or Amazon. LA is better than OC here.

hahaha I grew up in Irvine and lived in LA... and moved back. Irvine isn't that bad very close to Costa Mesa/Newport/Santa Ana. Much better quality of life than living in the homeless/socialist nightmare of LA.

A coincidence Tyler's take on Southern California comes just as the census says more people are leaving LA and OC. Riverside saw a net gain, will they be the next Silicon Valley?

From the article:

"According to one U-Haul store employee in Orange County, trucks going one-way out of state are in high demand.

From Orange County to Phoenix, a 26 ft. truck is estimated to cost $1,465. The same truck going in the opposite direction is estimated to cost $101."

The rent is still too damn high and the traffic is legendary.


"San Francisco and the Bay Area are better known for political correctness and a conformist culture of scolding and groupthink"

Yeah not a HINT of that in So Cal, nope.

So Cal as a whole much more varied. Santa Moncia is pretty much like the Bay Area, but Pasadena and Arcadia have something else going on .. and there are real Republican regions to the south or east. Especially in coastal OC.

Pasadena has Caltech, so if the Pasadena area could become a strong startup area, it might work.

Why does Caltech completely punch under its weight? They have the most meritorious college admissions process in the country but it is not seeing success on the level of its northern Californian cousins.

How are you defining success? Caltech produces far more Nobel prizewinners per capita than any college in the country (and is second in the world only to Ecole Normale Superieure):

And it produces more PhDs per capita than any other college in the country:

As well as members of the national academies of science, engineering, or medicine:

The classic Caltecher is interested in knowledge and research, rather than becoming a millionaire or founding a start-up.

It's mostly a numbers thing. CalTech is not a big school compared to the likes of Stanford let alone Berkley. Even at MIT (smaller then either of those) incoming freshmen outnumber the entire undergraduate population of CalTech.

Caltech punches way above its weight in general; it’s just (a) really small and (b) not particularly entrepreneurial. (I’m an alumnus of the Institute, and in fact am typing these words from Caltech’s Sherman Fairchild Library right now.)

Or: we might observe along with Tyler that most of "internet culture" itself has devolved--in one single generation--into a global sinkhole of "political correctness and a conformist culture of scolding and groupthink".

As I scold him, does Tyler begin to see aspects of groupthink in his own posted and published cheerleading pieces for our tech tyrants and their proffered tyrannies?

On the other hand we might as well "intermediate the theatrical through tech" (sic, more or less) into education: our corrupt and corrupting Media Establishment swallowed theatrical conventions for widespread use many decades ago, theatrical conventions have been adopted by our corrupt and corrupting Political Establishment as a consequence so that theatrical conventions now dominate all American political discourse, and as Tyler here demonstrates, our pathetic and corrupt Education Establishment is fully on board with the theatricalization of formal "education" itself.

If Shakespeare's "all the world's a stage" was the unfortunate metaphor to launch this modern zeal for melodramatic farce, we might prudently delete Shakespeare studies from all curricula until or unless our benighted "cognitive elites" (increasingly, an ironic appellation) recover their ability to read his works properly.

"As I scold him, does Tyler begin to see aspects of groupthink in his own posted and published cheerleading pieces for our tech tyrants and their proffered tyrannies? "

Yeah but that IS Tyler's job and that's why he got into the academic economics game to begin with.

+ 10^9

Benighted "cognitive elites" indeed. Their blindness and hubris is stunning. However, they are not so elite. Once they began to select hires based on "fit", the bias takes over and they have have a base rate problem - they are selecting from a smaller base of viable candidates with fewer stars among them. There are a lot of idiots in the FAANGS. Not realizing that, we are surprised by the foolishness of their choices. Once we see that they are basically hiring their incompetent cousins, based on tribal affiliation, their stupidity is obvious.

Consider the Google idiot that, probably after a few glasses of foo foo wine, spilled the beans about their 2020 plans in front of project Veritas spies. Dumb dumb dumb ...

That Google internal log of micro-aggressions that's been circulating the last few days is ... pathetic. Spoiled whiny children, with an amazing amount of non-working time available at work. Blindness and hubris indeed.

" a conformist culture of scolding ..." and nagging and book-burning and witch-hunting.

Who's the bigger snowflake, the one triggered by a microaggression or the one triggered by the one who was triggered?

If groupthink produced Google and Facebook, we need more groupthink. Since the other 49 states produce nothing of the kind, why should we adopt their fruitless brand of thinking?

Texas has groupthink. Alabama has groupthink. Ohio has groupthink. But none of them have a Silicon Valley. SF has groupthink but it created Silicon Valley. Can anyone explain this contradiction?

Sure, Silicon Valley became a tech hub because of the free thinkers there who were drawn to tech, but tech has become essentially entertainment/advertising, a "conformist culture"; thus, LA is a natural fit today for tech. Cowen can't get over the idea that free thinkers don't prefer a "conformist culture" dominated by entertainment/advertising rather than the non-conformist culture that created the tech hub in the first place.

This ...

"But those cultural roots have largely faded, and if anything today San Francisco and the Bay Area are better known for political correctness and a conformist culture of scolding and groupthink. That can’t be good for the region’s long-term creativity."

The SF Bay Area has become rabidly puritanical, more akin to 17th century Salem, Massachusetts than to it's free thinking, former self. From what we hear out of LA, it appears to have the same disease. Is LA more tolerant than the SF Bay Area?

Carping aside, something like this seems inevitable. I personally have a dog in this fight because I'm a UI Designer, but I've noticed an almost total absence of foreign designers in the industry. It's not appealing to foreign born Indians and Asians for whatever reason though the salaries are good. And the extent and importance of UI/UX has been recognized and resources are there but staffing up is basically impossible, enough good designers simply can't be found. And with the intense concentration of creative folks in LA there are plenty who might make the shift successfully if other things like movies dry up. The main problem is that IT is a vastly duller industry than entertainment and most talented types want something more glamorous than basically designing the equivalent of a toaster or a microwave oven.

Yeah IT is an extremely dull field I think this gets under-appreciated. Partly because Tyler doesn't have even the hint of a clue about what real-world IT is like and many of the posters here are software developers who are deluded into thinking they are in a good career. The kind of people who are into the entertainment business are not going to be interested in a boringness of IT.

"deluded into thinking they are in a good career"

Retiring at 45 does that to you.

That's a smidgen of IT workers, most of them are more likely laid off at 45.

Work for companies that see Tech as a strategy for profit like Google or Microsoft and not for ones that see Tech as a cost to be minimized like say the back office of some old-fashion insurance company. One will pay top dollar for talent. The other will low ball you every time.

Anyone remember where Industrial Light and Magic is located? Or Pixar?

Hint - not LA.

We can go on: Netflix, Dolby, and if going back in history, American Zoetrope, Ampex, and Leland Stanford's horse galloping bet.

What's wrong with this picture? From the manufacturing link:

"...the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti officially kicked off the start of Manufacturing Week. With over 400 Los Angeles techies, entrepreneurs and social workers in attendance ..."

There's nothing wrong with it per se, but just as it's important to understand that "SF the city" isn't the region, remember that Garcetti's turf, the city proper, is much smaller than this region as well. The "city" is pretty much downtown and the valley, with the port roped in:

New, modern, manufacturing is going to be built out in Ontario or San Bernardino.

You missed the point.

It's like an IQ test. Which of these three words or phrases doesn't fit?
1. Techies
2. Entrepreneurs
3. Social workers

I've worked in Ontario for 30 years.

Manufacturing is not gonna be built in Ontario - there's no room left as it's full of warehouses that are used to distribute goods from the port of LA and Long Beach to the whole LA Basin

I checked. I was surprised to see "Ontario, San Bernardino, Riverside" at the same 5% manufacturing as LA.

I guess I thought more was going on in more of those big buildings.

By far, the most advanced manufacturing in the world is done just south of LAX (El Segundo and Manhattan Beach) black budget projects at Boeing, Raytheon, and Northrop.

"The region also remains the leading U.S. manufacturing center, and that too could be a source of future synergies."

That's a silly, bogus stat. It's comparing LA with metropolitan areas. Hint: There's not much manufacturing in NYC. Yes LA county does have half a million manufacturing jobs, but that's out of a population 10+ million. Which is roughly 5%. Whereas the US average manufacturing employment is around 10%.

A look at the bigger picture indicates that manufacturing in leaving California.

"The United States has seen a remarkable turnaround in manufacturing employment since the economy bottomed out five years ago — but California hasn't.

The state has been among the slowest to recover jobs in an industry long viewed as a bastion of middle-class opportunity.

'It comes down to housing costs and the costs of doing business in California overall," said Jordan Levine, director of research at Beacon Economics in Los Angeles.' "

To be fair, California still has an above average share of high tech manufacturing.

Rising land prices and the development of former industrial areas into newly gentrified areas with more creative industries located in the former manufacturing spaces is the reason for a slower increase in manufacturing. Which is a very different problem from many other areas in America that lose manufacturing and see it replaced with nothing. This is more a case of manufacturing being priced out.

Funny to see those that have fed the feminist and anti-racist monster for years now complain that it has gone too far.

If feeding feminism and anti-racism will make my neighborhood prosperous, where do I sign up? I don't care about ideology just money. The most politically correct places on earth are also the richest. Beats being politically incorrect and broke.

How many times have I told you correlation does not imply causation?

California State & Local Government (especially LA and SF) are vigorously destroying the private economy there.

There is no chance of an 'LA Silicon Valley' developing.

(Texas and Florida are much more likely candidates)

Taxes and regulations are strangling the population -- residents are fleeing that state (I did).

The coming horrible economic demise of the once great state of California will serve as a sobering example for other states and foolish leftists.

I don't think California is very left-wing but anyway idiots have been saying this for literally decades now.

Top-tier people largely don't want to live in Florida or Texas. These states attract middling people who need a cheap place to live. That isn't the same league as SV. That's always been the case and will always be the case.

This is 100% correct - if you think of the "superstar" effect, the top sliver of talent are almost entirely focused in the Bay Area and New York City. Chicago used to be mentioned in this conversation but has fallen out to the second tier, where it resides with DC, Boston and Austin. Although LA is culturally a Tier 1 city (along with NYC but NOT SF), economically more like Tier 3.

California is becoming pretty hostile to the lower 2 quintiles (and increasingly so to the middle quintile too). The data supports that, including the descent into having the highest poverty (PPP) rate in the nation.

However, that doesn't mean you couldn't see a new dominant Tech hub appear in LA. You don't really need much in the way of low wage workers to support a high tech design industry that relies on cheap overseas production.

Just to be clear, I don't expect LA to become a "new" giant tech hub. However, I don't think the specific reasons you list would prevent it.

California is big. So are its counties. Imperial county, with the lowest per capita income, is 4,482 mi². There are two US states smaller than that one county alone.

Sorting by per capita income gives you an idea of what's going on where:

Los Angeles county has a poverty rate of 24%, Orange County 21%, San Diego 20%. Even San Francisco hits 19%.

Income's aren't the issue. It's the high cost of living. When you're housing costs are 3x what it costs in "fly over" states and your cost of electricity is 30% higher, etc, then making a 20% higher nominal income doesn't make up the difference.

California is a paradise for the bottom 1%. When you don't have a roof over your head, sunny and warm beats cold and wet.

As an ex-Floridian techie, it is the absolute worst place for tech. There is nothing here for tech jobs and what they do have they pay peanuts. Tech is not a lifestyle here like it is in SF where people have meetups after work to show off what new projects they made and give tech talks. I blame the retirees here who aren't looking to invest their capital as aggressively as they do in CA. They think workers should be paid less. In CA it is the exact opposite. They pay more for top talent and they get it.

Florida: not a chance. It’s just swampland.
Texas: not a chance, either. Just the sticks. Has some oil though.

Over the last decade, Silicon Valley's tech scene has produced well over a trillion-dollars in exit value.

LA has produced ~$56B
Boston produced ~$53B
Seattle produced ~$41B
NYC produced ~$38B

Even if you removed Facebook from the Bay Area's total, it is 10X larger than any other geo. Rumors of the Bay Area's demise are somewhat exaggerated.

IMO, there is unlikely to be a next Silicon Valley, but I'd wager that we see the rise of another dozen clusters on the scale of LA/Boston/Seattle/NYC.

E.g. the Provo/SLC ecosystem has produced about $20B in tech exits over the last decade and I'd expect that to continue, potentially rivaling NYC before long.

Internationally, Stockholm and Sydney have emerged as entrepreneurial hotspots over the last half-decade with exit tallies that begin to approach those of cities like New York.

+1, informative post

So, the next Silicon Valley is...wait now...Silicon Valley.

The "cluster" thing is visibly happening from my desk window in Tempe, AZ. I can see 14 construction cranes from here, because ASU has focused on STEM, and local municipalities have cooperated in bringing in tech companies to take advantage of the graduates. Phoenix is too
n-th tier to attract national notice but if it's happening here it's happening in a lot of places.

Very modest spillover from the Valley (Bay Area).

"Silicon Valley's tech scene has produced well over a trillion-dollars in exit value."

That measures success in creating rent seekers, not success in capitalism.

If you consider to be a success, ie, it had a huge exit value, then you clearly love "creating wealth" by inflating housing, real estate, prices.

Elon Musk has proposed wealth destruction on huge scale technology.

If embraced and not blocked by government, SF and LA could be like Detroit where non-inflated real estate prices were slashed destroying wealth that was based on workers building real capital. "Super" Highways.

Building transport in 3rd would allow fast access to twice or more the land, unincorporated, thus easily developed in large mass produced blocks at costs far below existing real estate prices. Of course, by building just over the State line, LA has been expanded like NH and Maine, Rhode Island expanded Boston. Gigafactory 1.

Elon Musk has spawned a new culture of startups that require lots of factory workers. Many seem to be failing because paying workers is seen to be too costly in the US. If you must pay workers to produce sales, you are not rent seeking, but capitalist in the Keynes ideal. Totally unfashionable to conservative Republicans, libertarians, Ayn Randians - she never wrote of hundreds of thousands of laborers - her rail roads and steel mills were built by magic., circa 1999/2000

" Many seem to be failing because paying workers is seen to be too costly in the US. If you must pay workers to produce sales, you are not rent seeking, but capitalist in the Keynes ideal. Totally unfashionable to conservative Republicans, "

Yes, or at least the Never Trumpers faction.

You forgot Shenzhen. A lot of tech giants based there are world class.

"Of course, it is unlikely that Google, Facebook or Apple would leave the Bay Area. But over some time horizon they will take on less relative importance. They may become legacy companies that cease to innovate, or they may face legal and regulatory pressures and penalties."

The social media companies will bitterly regret the day they began censoring content, the slipperiest of slippery slopes. They have made ardent enemies of approximately half of the American population. It's about the culture stupid. If they don't end up regulated to death, they will surely spend a lot of time in court and money on lawyers and political lobbying. The combination of blindness, deafness, and hubris will prove deadly. This is right out of the prologue of Kahneman's "Thinking ..." Knowledge of one's bias does not attenuate the bias. The only solution is to surround yourself with a group of diverse thinkers in an attempt to cancel out the bias. The social media companies have self-selected a monolithic culture. There are cultural deviants within, to be sure, but they keep a very low profile. Foul weather ahead.

Why? People generally like commercial establishments that - for example - keep their common areas free from excrement. People in real life don't like to be around noisy racists. Why would they be overly upset over trolls being banned from social media?

I couldn't get passed wondering what TCs standards for strip clubs are. He wants you to think going to a restaurant with him would be a great experience, but that might be missing the mark.

What makes you all think that the next SV will be in the US? Once we Brexit with Boris Johnson I think you will all be hearing a lot more from Silicon Fen.

I agree to some extent, you also have a big biotech scene down in san diego that is led by UCSD. But there is a key thing that you are missing, which is that the tech boom periods are cyclical and not continuous. Think back to the days of GE, there was the fight between Tesla/Westinghouse and Edison Electric from 1875-1900 to set the standard and infrastructure in place before the innovation invention phase in the 1900-1920s and then you get the consolidation of the 1930-1950s when the broadcasting platforms dominated riding on top of the electronics and power plant developed in the previous 50 years. I would argue we are in the same 75 year cycle with computers/internet, you had IBM and the 7 dwarfs in the 1950-1970s, it was all about enterprise sales in the same way GE grew by signing municipal contracts for lighting and grabbing factory orders in the early days. Then you had the million tinkerers experimenting phase in the 1970-2000s, this was the rise of the hacker culture and a million start-ups, you had a similar dynamic in the 1900-1920s also preceeding an economic boom. Then you have a bust phase and massive consolidation phase in the 1930-1950s and now similarly in the 2000-2020s, where a handful of companies (google, apple, amazon, facebook) dominates. Just like it was AT&T and NBC in the 1950s.

So the next revolution will come from the standard setting and enterprise/government contracting side. And my personal believe is that this will mean the DC/NOVA region from 2025-2050. Then once the standards are set and you get the million tinkerer phase and diverse thinking phase from 2050-2075. And so I think that will probably be based around Southern California. So a rational investor will probably buy property around DC/NOVA around now to 2030 and ride the company town dynamic around the next GE/IBM, then sell at the peak in 2040~ and buy in LA/San Diego right before it becomes the next silicon valley.

San Diego quietly booms in the background.

On the surface it looks like San Diego is doing well because it has Qualcomm, defense contractors, and a good amount of biotech but is surprisingly weak in tech startups overall compared to LA/OC/SF/SV. Qualcomm is now run by bean counters (who lost their suit with Apple), defense is the opposite of agile, and biotech has a long time to market. Not a place for those who are scrappy and want to prove themselves. San Diego should build up another world class university like Caltech or Stanford. Combine that with their already very business friendly atmosphere and SD will give the other CA cities a good run.

Qualcomm didn't "lose" their suit against Apple. They settled and, based on the boost in their stock price, got the upper hand from Apple. Watch what comes out of UCSD over the next 10 years, especially now that Apple is coming to town.

Do we really think that a state which finds that bagels can cause cancer can remain a manufacturing center?

According to this:

Acrylamide was added to the Prop. 65 list in 1990 because both the IARC and the US Environmental Protection Agency (another of the triggering bodies) listed it as a carcinogen based on animal studies.

This (excellent) article goes on to explain the difficulty of translating those animal studies to human use patterns:

The pseudoscience from political agencies gives the answers desired by the bureaucrats and provides them with income, power, and impact. If they admit that they "don't know", they lose power and a job.

Note that this so-called science is not always based upon biochemical mechanisms and saturation of repair systems but on extrapolations in animals from high concentrations using unproven assumptions about the shape of dose/response curves.

This process is like "astrology" where someone got an idea of a relationship between connecting the dots between stars and human behaviors and futures without even knowing that some of those "heavenly objects" were galaxies billions of light years away (with less impact than having a feather a few ft away having a gravitational impact on your future). Now that we understand cosmology and the evolution of the universe, we know that "astrology" is pure unadulterated nonsense. We will look back on most of prop 65 nonsense and linear no threshold modeling as pure nonsense in the future when we fully understand how life works.

That's not what the (excellent) article said, no. What it said was, it's easy to find "carcinogens" in 2 year animal studies, and it's much *harder* to know how those results compare to lower but much longer term exposure in humans.

That doesn't mean that everything is necessarily fine. Consider another example, in endocrine disruptors:

Obesity is not just a matter of carrying excess weight through life, but has been established as an underlying risk factor for many diseases including metabolic syndrome [88], diabetes [89], cardiovascular disease [90] and cancer [91]. Coincidentally, development of many of these diseases has also been linked to exposure to EDCs [2•]. In this context, it is noteworthy that many EDCs are lipophilic, and POPs in particular are known to bioaccumulate in body fat over the years. It is therefore plausible that the link of obesity to disease relates not just simply to the deposition of fat but to the increased retention of lipophilic pollutants in the greater volume of fat. Figure ​Figure44 illustrates the potential for a “vicious spiral” to be set up whereby obesogens act to increase the amount of fat stored (be it by increased cell volume or increased cell number), which would be followed by greater retention of lipophilic obesogens and which would then lead onward in an increasing spiral of greater body fat and even more lipophilic pollutant retention. In this sense, obesogens may be self-fulfilling and be able to increase capacity for their own retention.

In general "astrology" may be a bad default.

“Tech” isn’t one single thing. There are many different types of businesses that make up the sector as a whole. Some are fundamentally media businesses (that happen to be good at digital) and are well suited for the LA area. DTC companies are another example of a business that could do well in LA given dependency on design and celebrity/influencer channels. Others are not well suited - SaaS businesses (top performing tech segment for a while now) don’t really have any reason to locate in LA.

As an aside, it is really all about the weather.

You are looking too recently. GE and IBM were big innovators back in the day and they were in the sunny beaches of New Jersey

" Haight-Ashbury, the 1960s, Beatniks, LSD, the psychedelic movement"

All things that at the time Tyler would have absolutely loathed by-the-way and written a smattering of columns denouncing all of those things.

You're wrong The Bay Areas tech industry has nothing to do with the Bay Area freak show and its roots in the 60s. This is what happens when you get all your information from pop culture and from skimming popularizing cultural history books. You get to BS your way through life and write for major outlets and get taken seriously, but your BS has nothing to do with reality. The freaks themselves like to believe in this narrative because they want to believe that they're not just smelly freaks, but that they're also somehow responsible for the tech scene.

Look into the Midwestern Congregationalist background of the men like Bob Noyce who developed the semiconductor industry which gave Silicon Valley its name. Incidentally, Congregationalism has its roots in Puritanism.

You but that background is his father's background. No one is also saying that the guys doing LSD in the 1960s didn't have Midwestern Congregationalist backgrounds in the way that Noyce did either.

Anyway the first part you had is correct, Tyler is just another blowhard pundit.

Nyce was born and raised in Iowa.

This view that freaks, drug epidemics, Folsom Street Fairs and the like are necessary for technology is Cultural Marxist and neoliberal propaganda. It's a way to package material progress with a particular social and cultural agenda. The appeal of material progress is quite universal, so by conflating material progress with the social/cultural agenda, you can get people more willing to accept the agenda than they would otherwise.

You are on to something wrt Bob Noyce.

There are factors, coincidences or contingencies, that combined to make Silicon Valley what it is today. Frederick Terman at Stanford was a major force.

Then there was the wide open orchards of the Santa Clara Valley, "The Valley of the Heart's Delight", available to accommodate the expansion of the new industries - HP, Intel, Fairchild, et al. No NIMBY. Reading about the early days of SV is really interesting - all the new companies, the intellectual firepower, the open spaces, the restaurant and bar Hangouts of the pioneers. It must have been amazing.

I don't think we have that constellation of circumstances to duplicate Silicon Valley anywhere.

" nothing to do with the Bay Area freak show and its roots in the 60s."

This is completely wrong. Have you ever heard of Steve Jobs? He said LSD was one of the top experiences in his life. He famously found his calling in his spiritual journey in India. Jobs and Wozniak are some of the biggest hippies around. Even the younger Google and Facebook set are into their Burning Man.

I wouldn't look for a replication of the San Francisco scene. The wealth comes from taking an existing cash flow, disrupting and taking it over. Anyone who would capture a substantial proportion of the US advertising budgets would be able to set up anywhere no matter the cost.

So what cash flow would this new thing capture? Or is it consumer facing consumer pay? If so then cost matters, and it requires lots more people.

Movie production is now spread all over the place due to high cost of California and lower costs (including subsidies and tax incentives) elsewhere.

High margin low head count would work in LA.

The next Silicon Valley?

Silicon Valley

As for #2, LA/OC is certainly a candidate; NYC is #2, if viewing in terms of VC funding, but it's diversity of tech industry and utter lack of systems and materially intensive tech (manufacturing, aerospace, etc) yields its #2 position to LA/OC; Boston as #2, might have a case here, but the upside of LA/OC, in part driven by the same ole West Coast willingness to take risks and be playful gives LA/OC an advantage over Beantown. Seattle as #2: nope. Three company town (Boeing, AMZN, MSFT). Counts for something, but doesn't substantiate it as a technology ecosystem, rather, it sucks the oxygen from what may otherwise be an emerging technology ecosystem.

Beantown's most talented and promising tend to take low risk, high paying jobs like management consulting or finance. Chasing prestige is a curse. Those jobs never innovate, always protects the status quo, and worse sucks up to long entrenched incumbents. The West to their credit took something that for a long time was seen as geeky and made it respectable and very profitable and the rewards flow to the many not the elite few.

Beantown’s big in biotech, though, often neck to neck or even out performing Bay Area on occasion in various Biotech biz metrics, and unlike NYC, Beantown actually builds tech other than the intangible (software, cloud or otherwise) kind. Gotta give them their due, but the best from MIT always migrate west, goin’ to California.

Meant to say NYC's lack of tech industry diversity.

Uh, there is another university that feeds quite a few high level employees into Silicon Valley other than the country club in Palo Alto, You know- the one that has an element named after it. The one where the graduates build real companies instead of spending years figuring out how to put bunny ears on photographs.

Element named after it ... element named after it ... hmmm ... Mizzouzium?


Oh, not an element.

Got it. Berkelium.

Go Bears!

Was Vanadium named after Vanderbilt U?
Technetium after CalTech?

Vanadium/Vanderbilt: Funny, but no. It’s named after the Scandinavian hooded of beauty and fertility, Vanadis. Nice element, I’d say.

Technetium is derived from the Greek word ‘tekhnetos’ meaning artificial, given that this is the first synthetic element.

‘Berkelium’ really is named after Cal.


Was the goddess hooded?

Anyway, goddess is the word.

"Vanadium/Vanderbilt: Funny, but no. "

True, but on the other hand "Tennessine" (element 117) is a joint Oak Ridge National Laboratory / Russian discovery that all came about after a symposium at Vanderbilt University.

UC Berkeley? BSD came out of there (an operating system, not a kink).

"But those cultural roots have largely faded, and if anything today [it's] better known for political correctness..."

Out of all possible institutions, Berkeley plays the biggest part in pretty much developing every modern computing or digital communications technology platform.

"San Francisco and the Bay Area are better known for political correctness and a conformist culture of scolding and groupthink."

In other words, they grew up, got middle class jobs, became homeowners, and are now responsible parents. Why isn't this seen as a conservative success?

I remember almost 20 years ago when the tech companies were run more like startups, the culture was described as politically libertarian. I suspect that when these companies became big and rich, they started outsourcing hiring to more PC HR teams who in turn put diversity hires in charge of cultural jobs, who in turn created and expanded teams of like-minded folks. So now we have the invention of algorithmic injustice.
But I'm just guessing. Anyone see anything like this firsthand in tech?

It's a mistake to equate SF insanity with the entire Bay Area. Obviously it's still a pretty left-leaning region, but San Jose is substantially more open on everything from zoning regulation to electric scooters. Tons of new buildings going up downtown, more so than SF I'd guess.

The more unpleasant SF becomes, the more other cities in the bay stand to profit by having growth-friendly policies. I don't think everyone drinks the same koolaide

Tremors come and tremors go. An innocuous 3.0 magnitude quake shook south of San Jose only five days ago. Frisco's 1906 jolt was said to've been upwards of 7.9 magnitude.

The SF/SV area/region hasn't seen a "major" major quake since Silicon Valley was planted and assembled.

Might be instructive to learn just how each of the tech firms there recovers and restores operations in the aftermath of whatever major "major quake" strikes any day, week, month, year, or decade over the next eight decades or so.

Earthquake futures markets, anyone?

"San Francisco, after all, has sky-high rents and taxes — not to mention dirty streets, unpleasant strip clubs and numerous homeless."

Have you been to Los Angeles lately?

"All of that bred an atmosphere of rebellion, and it helped birth the personal computer and a large movement of non-conformist hippie programmers, often working out of their proverbial garages."

Not really. It's really more about where the centre of computing started and that goes right back to Shockley moving west to be near his elderly mother. He sets up his company, brings people over. Bit of a disaster, but they set up their companies nearby. You get companies nearby that start also doing computing like HP because the people are nearby. One of the founders of Atari is ex-HP. One of the founders of Apple did some work for Atari. People in the area knew other people in the area. They got to know stuff and access to stuff before others.

I know Jobs did some acid, but most of the people who built PCs were pretty square.

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