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Silicon Valley’s Exodus Begins

March 9, 2016

by Maya Kosoff : vanityfair – excerpt

Hot air isn’t the only thing escaping the tech bubble.

The past few years have seen a sort of entrepreneurial utopia bloom in Silicon Valley. Young kids with big ideas moved to the Bay Area, where they were handed millions of dollars hand over fist by zealous venture capitalists anxious to fund the next Facebook or the next Uber. But recently, there’s been trouble in paradise. The venture-capital funding is slowing down. Start-ups are raising and exiting in down rounds. Investors’ confidence seems to have been shaken. Mega-rounds have declined, and companies have started laying off employees.

In the latest sign that Tech Bubble 2.0 is bursting, Silicon Valley residents are now moving out of the area faster than they’re arriving. According to a study conducted by the Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project, the California tech corridor lost more than 7,500 residents to other areas of the U.S. in 2015. That was the first time in four years the area lost more domestic residents than it gained. A loss of residents in Silicon Valley is significant because one out of every four Silicon Valley jobs are in tech-related “innovation industries”—software engineering, for example, and I.T. services. Access to those workers is crucial for the health of the Silicon Valley ecosystem, but residents are leaving for lower-cost tech-friendly cities, such as Seattle and Austin, according to the study…

People would like a little of the air to come out of the tech economy,” Aaron Peskin, a member of the San Francisco board of supervisors, told The New York Times. “They’re like people in a heat wave waiting for the monsoon.”…

At the turn of the last century, the burst of the dot-com bubble wiped out $6 trillion in household wealth. Companies vanished and funding dried up. Nobody knows for sure what a tech bubble bursting in 2016 will look like. Only those who can still afford to live in Silicon Valley and haven’t fled will see it happen firsthand. .. (more)

Couldn’t agree more. San Francisco needs a break. That is why the Mayor’s plan to spread density from the Bay to the Ocean through the Affordable Housing Bonus Plan did not sell in any district. That is why the citizens of San Francisco are getting ready to rise up in anger against the next SFMTA plan to privatize our public streets, and that is why the people from the Mission to the Richmond are going to withhold support for any candidate who sells out to the developers.

 

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