A technologist’s guide to: Los Angeles

los angeles tech scene

From Fortune.com, by Matt McCue, May 25, 2015:

Beaches, blockbusters, and…billion-­dollar startups? The City of Angels is ­finally coming into its own as a ­technology hub, and Silicon Valley has noticed.

California has always been a bit of an obsession for the tech industry, but most of the attention has been focused in a northerly direction. That’s slowly changing: Los Angeles is coming into its own as a tech hub. When Cornerstone OnDemand, a local business-­software company, went public in 2011 and quickly reached a $1 billion market cap, “people realized that this is for real,” says founder and CEO Adam Miller. “It became socially acceptable to work in tech in L.A.”

silicon beach tech map

Take Snapchat, for example. The mobile-messaging company plans to increase its 6,000-square-foot footprint in Venice, Calif., to a size befitting a company valued at $15 billion. It will lease up to three separate office spaces—all within a short cruiser bike ride of one another—for more than 10 times its original space. And that’s just in L.A. Several major tech companies, including Google and Yahoo, are building a bigger presence in Southern California. Hundreds of smaller startups have set up shop in the five-mile corridor that stretches from Santa Monica to Playa Vista—­Silicon Beach, as it’s called, though most locals find the moniker ridiculous.

With endless sunshine and Holly­wood glamour, it’s a wonder that it’s taken this long for L.A. to experience a bona fide tech boom. (Why shiver through a San Francisco summer when you can join a Malibu pool party?) Whatever the case, tech entrepreneurs are increasingly moving to L.A. 

los angeles tech founder houses

Tech company founders may have made their fortunes up north, but they’ve taken to spending it in L.A. Oracle’sLarry Ellison owns some 10 houses in Malibu, including a handful of properties along Billionaires’ Beach. At last count, Tesla’s Elon Musk owns two Bel Air mansions across the street from each other that he picked up for $17 million and $6.75 million. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos plunked down $24.5 million for a seven-bedroom pad in Beverly Hills. Entrepreneur Sean Parker raised the stakes with his $55 million purchase of the prized Brody House in Holmby Hills last year. Markus Persson, the creator of Minecraft, who sold his company to Microsoft for $2.5 billion in 2014, recently bought a $70 million Beverly Hills compound that has 15 bathrooms, each of which contains a $5,600 Toto Neorest toilet. (Hey, it’s nice to have options.)

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