A New Capital On The Map: San Francisco's Tech Ascent
July 24, 2012
By: Skylar Zhang, Reset San Francisco Intern
When most people think of California’s tech industry, they often think of Silicon Valley and the huge technology corporations it houses - Google, Apple, Cisco Systems, etc. The Wall Street Journal reported in May that approximately 211,000 people work in tech-related jobs in the San Jose Metropolitan area, a number that far overshadows San Francisco’s 94,100 workers.
But San Francisco’s tech employment number is growing faster, at 10% growth from last year, compared with San Jose’s growth at just 3%.
Silicon Valley cities, including San Jose and Cupertino, as well as other high-tech cities such as Los Angeles and New York, claim to be high-tech capitals of the world. But San Francisco is now also a rising candidate for “capital” honors.
Start-ups such as Twitter, Zynga, Instagram, Yelp, and StumbleUpon chose to put their headquarters in San Francisco instead of in Silicon Valley. Pinterest just moved in last week.
Putting The Incredible Tech Momentum To Work For Our City
How can we use all this creative energy to make our city better rather than just make money for tech investors? One initiative, Creative Currency, is currently putting together the brightest minds in the field to answer that question. The organization focuses on helping the Mid-Market district by coming up with new solutions to longstanding problems. Among these solutions is Bridge, a platform that would make access to information about shelters and agencies easier to find for homeless persons through kiosks around the city, as well as through a website and mobile phone app. Another proposed idea is YourSQFT, a platform that would connect renters to short-term leases in the Mid-Market district. Additionally, RefreshSF proposed mobile washing stations for homeless people in public or unused spaces in the city.
Here at Reset, we’ve been keeping track of other ways technology has been making things easier and faster for us in the city, from a smartphone app that utilizes crowdsourcing to make Election Day a smoother process, to the use of open data to hold governments accountable and make information more accessible to SF residents.
Becoming an emerging capital in the technology world certainly creates challenges. But as more and more companies are beginning to realize the potential for San Francisco and are bringing their businesses here, we’ll keep track of how this new burst of creative energy can also help solve urban problems.