So there’s so much talk on the status of the SF Bay Area on Twitter and beyond.
There are a few things that are clear:
- The “Old” San Francisco, in particular of 2015-2020 in SaaS, is never coming back. In fact, it’s becoming a distant memory. Something for the history books. Never again will SaaS companies have floor after floor full of AEs and SDRs in downtown San Francisco. That’s gone. Those folks are all either 100% distributed, or in hybrid situations outside the SF Bay Area. See, also, most engineering teams.
- SF is kind of gross now. It was always a bit dirty and sketchy, but it’s much worse, and with lower density in SOMA and most of the rest of downtown and downtown-adjacent areas, it’s even less nice than it was. And most of SF is still much quieter than Manhattan. It’s not fun there.
And personally, I’m not some big Bay Area fan. I’m, at best, there 50% of the time now (less by choice and not for taxes, but for family), and we moved our tiny office from SF proper to Palo Alto, where it’s warm and clean.
But … but …
Here’s the thing. I love Miami, I love SoCal, I love New York, I love London and Barcelona. I don’t love SF. Plenty of cities have bridges and hiking.
But this week was the first time since March 2020 I had SF Bay Area FOMO:
- There were 2 board meetings in SF this week where I was the only one on Zoom. That’s a first since March 2020.
- I got invited to several great tech parties in SF this week. That I really, really want to go to. And I don’t really like parties.
I know that’s just one week, one data point. But it’s the first time I’ve felt the FOMO. So many VCs left, but more stayed. So many CEOs are there, even if their junior team members aren’t. A bunch of top public SaaS CEOs have quietly come back to the Bay Area.
It’s in a new SF Bay Area, that’s more top-heavy than the Old one. You don’t need 1000 AEs or engineers in SOMA anymore. But the best in SaaS are coming there, and coming back.
It’s my first San Francisco FOMO since Covid.
I think it will grow.
We use to run a 20,000-square-foot Coworking space in SF, believe it or not! We’d never do that again. But the FOMO, the energy I see looking at it again here … it’s back. It’s an SF Renaissance of some form or another.