California is home to the world’s fifth-largest economy, worth nearly $3 trillion per year. Much of its economic activity is based around Greater Los Angeles (the entertainment capital of the world) and the San Francisco Bay Area (home base of the tech industry).
If you’re building your career in design, technology, or a creative field – or you’re launching or expanding a business of your own – which of these two world-class cultural nodes is a better fit for your skills, goals, and temperament?
San Francisco: All Hands on Tech
The Bay Area served as the cradle for the personal computing revolution of the 1970s, the popularization of the World Wide Web in the ’90s, and the current dominance of giant Silicon Valley corporations such as Google, Apple, and Facebook in global commerce, communication, and culture. It’s the place where engineers and entrepreneurs first fully embraced the world-shifting potential of connected gadgets.
With record-low unemployment and plenty of San Francisco open jobs, designers, developers, marketers, and other tech-savvy creatives are still feeling the love in SF, even as the city deals with staggeringly expensive… well, everything, especially housing. The city has its problems, and it will need its best minds to put their heads together and think up unprecedented solutions – and that’s what the Bay does best.
Fresh opportunities arise at the intersections of tech with other emerging fields, and the tight-knit cultural communities of SF are ideal for the formation of these sorts of symbiotic relationships.
“The Bay Area has a history of bohemianism and sophistication that is now melding with a technology-driven culture,” says author and economic geographer Michael Storper, in conversation with urban studies theorist Richard Florida. “One hopes that the Bay Area will not become a one-horse town, but will retain the mix of culture, criticism, eccentricity, and hard-driving entrepreneurship that has made it so dynamic for so long.”
Los Angeles: The Show Must Grow On
Since the beginnings of film, LA has led the world in entertainment. Now, that’s creating new opportunities in technology and content as tools change, economic power shifts, and showbiz dramatically evolves.
“We’re going through a renaissance at the moment because of the growth of entertainment and content,” says CBRE vice chairman Jeff Pion, in a Curbed exploration of LA’s growth in tech. “There’s a merging of tech and entertainment, and content is king at the moment. The potential for harnessing the existing entertainment workforce in LA immediately is incredible… Five years ago, a founder who wanted to keep their company in LA would get a lot of questions. Today, it’s like, why do I need to be anywhere else?”
Bay Area beasts such as Google and Facebook have bustling offices in Silicon Beach, as well. And SoCal is home to its own thriving breed of tech unicorns. With its deliberate and widely supported efforts to improve mass transit, build more affordable housing, and mitigate the stifling effects of its legendary urban sprawl, LA city is rising to the challenges of changing times. Los Angeles open jobs are more interesting and diverse than ever before.
“LA has had some hard economic times, but there is no doubt that it is an increasingly worldly city with an effervescent artistic and intellectual culture,” says Storper. What LA needs is to harness these advantages to better fundamentals: better and denser leadership structures, more connectedness among economic communities, more employment density, better basic education, and a focus on skills.”
Golden State of Mind
Los Angeles and San Francisco are both changing landscapes. Creative professionals and business leaders in both cities are defying outmoded stereotypes to nurture new ideas, build new communities, and help determine the futures of the places they love.
There’s much more to LA than great food and warm weather. And SF isn’t just for hippies and geeks.
Artisan Creative has many years of experience in the San Francisco and Los Angeles markets. We’re immersed in their communities, we pay attention to changes, and we see new opportunities as they emerge. Contact us today to start building your own California dream.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our 515th a.blog.