I chatted for a while at the Riya party with Shannon Clark, who's in the process of moving to the San Francisco Bay Area from Chicago. Behind him I could see Tara Hunt who had moved here four months ago and as we talked Renee Blodget sauntered past us. She moved here about a year ago.
Each of them moved here because for technology people this is Mecca. Every night, there's a variety of meet ups. They are different from the biz card-blazer-elevator pitch days of the late 90s when parties also boomed. These are in people's backyards, and in pizza parlors or Thai joints. They are low-budget, highly interactive events.
Business is happening, but it is in the informal, interactive style of the blogosphere, rather than the contrived, one-voice style of a website. But unlike either, there is touch. Technology aside, there is nothing like a face-to-face meeting. Nothing.
And that gets me to Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. There is so much going on in the technology sector. There's a choice of meet ups, forums. Every night, take your pick. There's no where else like this in the world. Not Seattle or Austin, Boston or New York--just here.
I have heard and heard and heard about the high costs of doing business here. About the costs of housing, office space, the deteriorating public education system. All these matters concern me.
But when I think through the incredible opportunities here, of you see and find yourself chatting with, of the ideas you here, of the talent that is available there is no place on Earth quite like it. Shannon, Tara and Renee have all become better known, more highly visible than they were in the places they left. Their business opportunities have taken off rapidly. Shannon has done this in only a week.
Silicon Valley has it's problems and its costs for doing business. But you get what you pay for.