HOLLYWOOD has produced plenty of films about underdogs rising to claim the limelight. Now Los Angeles is experiencing its own real-life Cinderella story, as the area’s technology scene has been transformed from backwater to boomtown in just a few years. Hordes of venture capitalists from northern California, once long dismissive of their southern neighbour, now regularly commute in search of deals in a less heavily hunted spot than the Bay Area. In 2016 the city’s startups received around $3bn in funding, around six times more than in 2012, according to CB Insights, a research firm.
Evan Spiegel went to Stanford University in the heart of Silicon Valley, but he wanted to live and work close to the sea. So he based his new company one block from the Pacific in Venice Beach, which is better known in Los Angeles for its silicone-enhanced bodies than the silicon chips that gave the Valley its name. Mr Spiegel’s firm, Snap, is best known for its ephemeral Snapchat social-media messages and is now valued at a whopping $18bn. Other successful technology firms are thriving nearby, including Dollar Shave Club, an e-commerce firm recently sold to Unilever for $1bn; Ring, a “smart” doorbell company, and Riot Games, maker of “League of Legends”, a popular online multiplayer contest.
Unless you happen to live pretty close to your employer or can work remotely, So Cal traffic can be a nightmare. My So Cal teammates moans and groans about the traffic all the time. One of the reasons why I left Westwood for the Fab 7x7.
Just came back from a wedding last weekend in So Cal and met an engineer who moved from Bay Area to Silicon Beach. According to him, pay are as good as in Bay Area but houses are cheaper, but not as cheap as before, but still cheaper than BA.
As good as Bay Area doesn’t mean much. Identical? 5% difference? 10% difference? Many engineers in Seattle and Austin said that same thing. The truth is about 5%-10% lower. The only pro is cheaper houses if you choose to stay in suburb but prices in hot neighborhoods similar to Fortress is not cheap at all and can be quite similar to here.