In the last installment of our 10-part series on the best things in San Francisco, we finally arrive at technology.
San Francisco and technology are inseparable. We use our smartphones to catch cabs, rent rooms, and find dates. Go into any coffee shop in the city, and you’re likely to see more laptops than people. The link between the SF Bay Area and technology goes back decades.
In the 1950s, eight employees of Shockley Semiconductor secretly created a new company where they could focus on developing the silicon transistor. When they finished, they’d created the basis for almost all modern computing.
By the ‘70s, the SF Peninsula had already become known as Silicon Valley. Out of local universities like Stanford and Cal came a generation of people who were educated, ambitious, and eager to push the limits of computing. At a time when computers were designed for corporations and hobbyists, Bay Area locals like Steve Jobs dared to take the computer mainstream. With computers in the hands of consumers, the industry exploded, but most of the action remained isolated within Santa Clara County, about an hour south of San Francisco.
The migration to San Francisco came with the dot com era of the late ‘90s and early 2000s. As Silicon Valley became synonymous with cube farms, middle managers, and Dilbert comics, San Francisco presented itself as a younger, edgier alternative. Furthermore, some of the real estate there was still relatively affordable.
The dot com boom came and went, but San Francisco was as cool as ever. When the next generation of internet startups began popping up, their destination was clear. You come to Palo Alto to get funding, and head north to the city the moment you outgrow your office space.
Today, a San Francisco phonebook reads like a who’s who of tech startups, not that anyone uses phonebooks in San Francisco.
Join us at our annual industry conference, TIBCO NOW, to celebrate the culmination of all the tech visionaries and the best tech in SF.