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29 April

2014

Welcome to San Francisco

By Tasmin Trezise 2013 Bursary, News, USA No Comments

San Francisco (Spanish for “Saint Francis”) was founded on June 29, 1776, by Spanish colonists after establishing a fort and mission near the Golden Gate. The city went through rapid growth in 1849 due to the California Gold Rush.

As did hopeful workers flock to the western coast city to mine, scores of ‘techies’ now take the pilgrimise to ‘Silicon Valley’ hoping to strike it rich. Silicon Valley is the affectionate name for the small Palo Alto and surrounding community that is home to the world’s biggest internet companies. Looking at the statistics it’s no wonder why it is also home to a completely unique cyber culture.

51, number of new tech companies launched every month in the San Francisco Bay Area. 34, number of tech-based coworking spaces in San Francisco in 2014. 15,931, number of self-identified Silicon Valley angel investors in 2014.

Nowhere I have been have I overheard strangers discussing on the train about the most recent bug software, user retention and the next steps to double non-paying trialling customers from 10 to 20.

This is reflected in the local newspapers with tech acquisitions, mergers and IP disputes dominating the headlines. The cultural obsession with tech means that politics, it seems, sometimes takes a back seat.

A story about Democratic Senator Yee being charged with accepting bribes and orchestrating weapons trafficking only warrants an 11 page mention. Next to, of course, a brief fifty word mention that Apple is planning to go through with a $30B share buy back.

Just another day in Silicon Valley.

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