According to The Kaufman Foundation 2017 Startup Activity report, SF & San Jose slipped several spots. Cities such as Miami, Austin, and Los Angeles are moving up. St. Louis, Cincinnati and San Antonio are cities that jumped up the most.
Silicon Valley will always be Silicon Valley. It is la creme de la creme. But it makes perfect sense, and is good overall, for entrepreneurship to extend beyond the valley.
The greatest concentration of engineers is in the valley. The greatest concentration of venture money is in the valley. But if I’m starting a new company, I wouldn’t start it in SF; it’s just too darn expensive.
We used to live up in SF area and we have a strong network still there. But, even if we wanted to move back, it would be extremely difficult to do (while maintaining the same lifestyle). The bang for the buck is so much better outside of the valley. As a company, I think you could attract the talent with a pretty good salary (but much less than a SV rate) and better cost-of-living. A $200K salary in the bay area is perhaps $100-120K outside, but that person can get a 3-Bdrm, 2-Bath house for $250K Vs $2M.
We’ve thought about moving out of California as well because the state taxes are ridiculous. This makes Texas and Florida very appealing (we do enjoy the sun). But alas, California weather is the best. Where else can you Snowboard and Surf on the same day?
I do like the start-up activity moving south. Los Angeles is nice, but the traffic is terrible. I’d love to see more companies moving down to Irvine. It will happen, I’m certain, the appeal is too great (think SF to San Jose). If a company is really good, the talent and money will come to it.