How Tech Transformed San Francisco
The San Francisco Chronicle declared the city as the “top US market for tech job growth” and spoke of how a single industry had transformed San Francisco in an article at the end of 2017. The new Salesforce Tower adds a skyline dominating exclamation point to that quote. Tech has transformed San Francisco’s skyline, demographics, economy, even politics – you name it. Visible from nearly anywhere in the city, the tower is a daily reminder that Silicon Valley and San Jose are expanding northward.
Tech is Driving Job Growth in San Francisco
Google, Yahoo, Cisco, etc… all have big offices in San Francisco, and Twitter decided to headquarter in the city after the controversial tax deal it brokered with mayor Ed Lee. Though wildly unpopular, the tax break has resulted in the Tenderloin area becoming gentrified. One King’s Lane and Spotify leaped at the chance to get the same payroll tax break, moving into buildings nearby the Twitter offices. Once shuttered storefronts are now home to tony restaurants, pubs, and shops.
The Tech Effect
Uber, Slack, and Airbnb, all started in San Francisco, and every year brings an exciting new crop of startups to the city. San Francisco is the urban heart of tech country and for many entrepreneurs, marketing strategists, and software engineers, the allure of an actual life outside the office is hard to resist! San Francisco offers a lifestyle you just can’t get on the Facebook or Google campus’.
Locals rightly bemoan the sky-high rents that the tech boom has created, but there are positive effects too—low unemployment, higher wages (workers in the Bay area command a wage that is 26% higher than the national average), safer streets, and a thriving small business scene. The accessibility of cloud accounting and marketing, in addition to truly affordable e-commerce platforms, have made it possible for people to take an idea from start-up to successful business in record time. Super savvy business hopefuls are starting companies that solve local problems brought on by the tech boom! For example, Campsyte, founded by Bay area local Dennis Wong, transforms vacant lots into popup communities with recycled shipping containers. The containers can be stacked 3 high, and function as homes, restaurants, offices, and stores.
Tech is transforming San Francisco and every aspect of life in the city. There are growing pains, but the fact that the city is attracting some of the most brilliant minds ensures that problems will be solved creatively.