Here are 10 things that make the Bay Area great(er) than everywhere else for the media and interactive industries:
1. We created the 21st Century. Bono said that during a U2 concert a few years back, and he was correct. All the technology you know and love was created in some form or another in the Bay Area. Companies like Apple, HP, Intel, Facebook, Twitter, and too many others to count were launched here.
2. We started the ‘60s. Remember the concept of “free love,” and tie-dyes? Well, for what it’s worth, those were some of the defining concepts of the last 50 years and they were created in the Bay Area. The Bay is home to some of the most progressive thinking in the world, spurned on by Berkeley, Stanford, and the ever-present aura of the Haight. The green movement can track itself back to the Bay and the idealistic thinking that emerged from here in the ‘60s. It’s a pretty powerful movement.
3. We continue to foster the counterculture from the ‘50s. The beat poets may have started in New York, but they settled in San Francisco. Jack Kerouac and others settled in the Bay and pushed forward the concept of counterculture that would eventually become the love movement of the ‘60s and arguably every “alternative” culture that has emerged since then. Alternative ideas that bleed into the mainstream are the centerpiece of the Bay Area and they feed the innovation that drives the economy forward. These first three items are very related because…
4. Creativity flourishes here. We may not have the world’s largest agencies, but we have the highest per capita creativity in the land. Some of the most exciting agency work is from here; our agencies win a disproportionate number of awards. True creativity is on fire in the Bay.
5. It doesn’t snow (the weather is awesome). Our winters are pretty temperate, and our summers are a bit chilly, but overall our weather is awesome. It never gets too cold, and it never snows. Within a three-hour drive, you can be in the beautiful wonder that is Lake Tahoe, and within an hour you can be in the sunny, grape-ridden worlds of Napa and Sonoma. There are few places in the world that can match the beauty of the Bay Area.
6. Our media industry doesn’t revolve around network television. The media world may revolve around New York, but the fuel that keeps it spinning comes from the Bay. Most of the innovation we create here gets implemented there. Our media industry is focused on the Internet, which is driving the rest of the world right now, and will be for the foreseeable future.
7. Stock options are the American dream committed to paper. The American dream is an ideal: if you work hard, you will succeed. New York may have sales commissions, but we have stock options, which are great motivator. They show the promise of what hard work can do, and even if they don’t work out all the time, they create hope, the greatest motivator in the world.
8. We can actually drive places in our own cars. I had car when I lived in New York, and it was miserable. You spent all your time in traffic, and the road rage was palpable. In the Bay Area, I can go for a drive with the windows down and think. The wind can flow through the car, the music can be turned up and I can drive. In the sunshine, down highway 1 or even 280 south to get to the Valley – it’s a great feeling .
9. We have the best burritos in the world. This may be biased -- but still, we’re the best, hands down. An hour in the Mission and your tummy will be full and satisfied. This food feeds the industry -- trust me.
10. The future is always brighter in California. No matter wha’s going on around the world, the future is always bright in California. It’s the biggest melting pot of people and ideas that I have ever experienced, and it shines through every single day.
Next time you get a chance to come out and see us, take it. I guarantee you’ll enjoy it!