By someone else
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follow someone else 2018 Mar 12, 11:30am
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In recent months, a growing number of tech leaders have been flirting with the idea of leaving Silicon Valley. Some cite the exorbitant cost of living in San Francisco and its suburbs, where even a million-dollar salary can feel middle class. Others complain about local criticism of the tech industry and a left-wing echo chamber that stifles opposing views. And yet others feel that better innovation is happening elsewhere.“I’m a little over San Francisco,” said Patrick McKenna, the founder of High Ridge Venture Partners who was also on the bus tour. “It’s so expensive, it’s so congested, and frankly, you also see opportunities in other places.”Mr. McKenna, who owns a house in Miami in addition to his home in San Francisco, told me that his travels outside the Bay Area had opened his eyes to a world beyond the tech bubble.“Every single person in San Francisco is talking about the same things, whether it’s ‘I hate Trump’ or ‘I’m going to do blockchain and Bitcoin,’” he said. “It’s the worst part of the social network.”The tour through the Midwest was organized by Representative Tim Ryan, a Democrat who represents northeastern Ohio. Representative Ro Khanna, a Democrat who represents Silicon Valley, came along for the ride, as did J. D. Vance, the author of “Hillbilly Elegy.” (Mr. Vance, a venture capitalist who now seems to magically appear every time the words “Midwest” and “manufacturing” are spoken aloud, has also been leading his own whistle-stop tours of the region.)Recently, Peter Thiel, the President Trump-supporting billionaire investor and Facebook board member, became Silicon Valley’s highest-profile defector when he reportedly told people close to him that he was moving to Los Angeles full-time, and relocating his personal investment funds there. (Founders Fund and Mithril Capital, two other firms started by Mr. Thiel, will remain in the Bay Area.) Mr. Thiel reportedly considered San Francisco’s progressive culture “toxic,” and sought out a city with more intellectual diversity.
San Francisco and its suburbs, where even a million-dollar salary can feel middle class.