I moved from Britain to America in 2005 with a corporate transfer at NVIDIA. From sleepy little Theale, a village about 30 minutes west of London
to Santa Clara is quite a big change. But I adapted to life in America, moved to a beautiful town called Los Gatos
and never looked back. But as time went on I found myself spending more and more time in San Francisco which is an hour north of Silicon Valley.
The reason I kept travelling to San Francisco is because of Silicon Valley's secret. The secret is this – it's boring. Bone achingly, spirit crushingly boring. From Atherton to Palo Alto to Los Altos to Freemont, in all of the towns it's the same; restaurants and bars shut at 11PM or earlier, people go to bed early and then get up early. In Hollywood you can go for a walk at 8AM and the streets are deserted, in Silicon Valley at 6AM you cannot move for runners, cyclists and people rushing to the gym.
Now granted many of the programmers, engineers, designers, etc. aren't party people but you might be surprised. The wave of IPO fever spreading across the valley is creating an awful lot of millionaires and behind them is an army of people with several hundred thousand dollars in the bank. Not all of them want to do no more than buy a nice car and a ski chalet in Tahoe
. Some of them want to party. But there's nowhere to go!
Many Silicon Valley tech companies are now having trouble hiring
. It's bad enough that would be employees are increasingly using Glassdoor
to check out prospective employers and not liking what they find. This is why it's a surprise to me that not more tech firms are moving down south. LA is large, office rents are cheap but most of all there is a lot here for young and not-so-young engineers to enjoy. This is not just about being able to party either. It's a 100 miles from Hollywood to Big Bear to ski, from down town LA to Santa Monica is 40 minutes (OK its 2 hours during traffic but hey it's fine during weekends) for the beach.
Silicon Beach - Concept of building a Tech Hub in Santa Monica area
LA has glamour, it has mountains, it has the beach, it has the restaurants, bars, better shopping and even easy access to airports (Burbank has valet parking!
) For the cultured it has the LACMA. There is a move going on right now to rebrand Santa Monica as Silicon Beach
but I think they might be missing an opportunity to sell it better. Instead of making it attractive on the basis of tax breaks and office rentals, etc. they should market tech in LA on the basis of how much more exciting it is than Palo Alto, Silicon Valley is wonderful, it's just in the wrong place!
The image above is taken from Alex Caps, CEO of Hyphos
without his permission, I hope he will allow me to use it on the basis of promotion for his excellent website.About the Author
Roy Taylor is a veteran executive in the tech industry. Roy was one of key executives at NVIDIA, creating and leading divisions in the company which drove the company to its leadership status. The start of NVIDIA in EMEA region, developer relations, The Way Its Meant To Be Played program, Telecom Relations (first Tegra design wins) were all driven by a charming Englishman who discovered his second youth in both sides of California. Currently serves as Executive Vice President and General Manager of MasterImage 3D
and his vision is to bring glassless 3D to our hands in the forms of tablets and smartphones. You can follow him on LinkedIn
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