Sunday, March 27, 2011

San Francisco: Hotbed for Social Networking Firms

The number of tech workers in San Francisco today is nearing its peak that was seen in 2000. This is largely the result of the growing presence of internet firms choosingto operate in the city.

The city had an estimated 32,180 tech jobs last year, compared with 34,116 in 2000, according to an analysis of state employment data by real estate consultant Jones Lang LaSalle. In 2004, the number of tech jobs had fallen to 18,210.

Twitter and Zynga both have their headquarters in San Francisco. Others include, Kabam, a gaming company, Autodesk,  PeopleBrowsr, and Viadeo S.A., a social networking site for professionals. Viadeo moved its headquarters from Paris.

The attraction seems to go a bit beyond the social network forms.

"San Francisco is home to top technology clusters in gaming, in social media and in software as a service, to name a few," said Todd Rufo, director of business development for the city's Office of Economic and Workforce Development. "The presence of these industry heavyweights, as well as the clusters around them, create their own momentum and interest."

The irony that firms, that promote networking over the internet, choose to be physically near each, partly for networking reasons is duly noted.


  1. The irony of wildly entrepreneurial, innovative young firms locating in a socialist paradise of a city is also, duly noted.

  2. Point of order: Autodesk is not involved in social networking; they are the producer of the AutoCAD line of design and drafting software.

    Taylor Conant: Actually, it's not that strange at all for a number of reasons. SF is close to Silicon Valley, which despite the evisceration the .com bubble caused, is still home to all of the major tech and internet players. I suspect the rent is cheap.

    Also, SF is a really cool city, its politics notwithstanding. Entrepreneurs in these fields are usually outgoing, smart, and hip kids which SF attracts like the plague. The lifestyle is hugely different than anywhere else, the pace is somewhat easy, and the location can't be beat. Chicago, Boston, or New York aren't SF by a long shot.

  3. Well, firms do get 6-year payroll tax breaks from SF for moving into depressed parts of the city like the Tenderloin (where Twitter is setting up shop). Given that unions and SF lefties are currently working to repeal the tax breaks, we'll see if this is a more-than-temporary phenomenon