The rest of the post makes perfect sense given their situation. This, however, is pretty silly. I do firmly believe that there is a need for better remote collaboration tools. I see pretty much zero evidence that VR is an essential part (or even an optional part) of that.
If hardware is good enough for this to be a practicality, we may be working in AR 100% of the time anyways, and depending on if you want to be remotely present with others, you just swap out your real environment for a shared virtual one. In that dream scenario, the glasses or whatever are high enough res anyways you'd rather use them to make virtual dynamic user interfaces than stare at a static 2d monitor.
It's going to be a long, long, long time before any of this happens but I'm guessing these are the kind of far-off things the author was implying.
* Traffic: For those of you who complain about SF traffic, Istanbul traffic jams has to be experienced to be believed. In addition, people drive, how to put this mildly, out of the norm. After living in the US for 20+ years, it takes me 1-2 days to get accustomed to driving there (I go back twice a year and learned to drive in Turkey)
* Salaries: Although I only have anecdata, I think the engineering salaries are not very low, e.g. compared to Europe. In the US and esp. in the SV it's relatively easy to find people who'll work for chicken feed for a while at a startup to gamble at a chance to be millionaires later. IN Turkey such exits are exceedingly rare so many young people want to play it safer (the talent is absolutely top notch, however).
* Food: This is very cheap and great. 'Nuff said.
* Rent: Rent in Istanbul, depending on the neighborhood, can be stratospheric. This plays into the traffic problem: In order to avoid traffic you want to live closer to your office (at least on the same continent!) but this can be costly.
* Other: I left off the political situation from the discussion. Depending on your leanings, this may or may not be a problem.
Yeah, agree. Istanbul traffic is like LA traffic.
We pay $700 for a great apartment Ortaköy, which would probably be worth $4k in SF (or $3k in Zurich). It's short-term and completely furbished, too.
There are definitely more hip areas, but I like Ortaköy, you can walk to Besiktas, and can take the tram to Karaköy (Walk + Tram I mean).
Traffic is one of the worst things about living in Istanbul, but as a founder if you choose properly where you leave and where to have your office you can use public transportation (which have their own set of problems) or better yet, just avoid having an office until you need to hire people
I completely agree about salaries and food (I love it), not about the rent. Of course rent in the old parts of the city can be very high, but if you're happy with office with sea view in a brand new 50-stories building close to the highway and a metro stop you can spend much less. If you are the founder hopefully you will choose it on the same continent where you live :-).
You could add the ever prevalent attitude of "fleece the tourist" and my brain got overloaded in seconds.
The second thing is, also the reason I'm here — Turkey does have a good market for engineers, but the wages are fairly close to the US average in PPP terms. I think Udemy does have a team in Ankara, and there are quite a lot of local and profitable startups, so the competition for talent, while not at SF levels, is not nil. This is being exacerbated by the relative ease of leaving Turkey, lots of good developers have already left because of the illiberal climate of the past decade, for jobs in London, Berlin, Stockholm, New York and San Francisco. They're in pretty high demand far as I can see, because they do provide a good balance of western-ish values, decent langauge skills and an up to date tech stack.
Their willingness to move to the USA is pretty low, however, far as I can see. Berlin seems to be much more palatable to them. If the country recovers and ends up being a more livable place, I do suspect Turkish engineers' willingness to move to even Berlin will likely drop commensurately.
Third, the country is cheap, but it's not India, Philippines or Thailand cheap. It's a good deal for someone from Switzerland to live in an Aegean paradise and still be in the broad EU time zone, within 2 hours flight distance to Zurich. But it's probably not cheap enough to pull people from San Francisco, unless they're Turkish.
Why am I not moving there? Well, I need access to investors, potential customers, collaborators, and yes, even employees in San Francisco. Istanbul is a great city to live in, but it definitely has its fair share of predatory investors that you don't ever want to talk to — in fact, that's the vast majority of investors here, as you'd expect from any non-tech-hub — and mid-to-upper class tech talent, but SF / NY / Seattle still wins in terms of average skill. I do visit every 6 months, though, and I would love to have an office here eventually.
(If you live in Istanbul, we're hiring for a remote Go engineer position for Aether. Email in profile if interested!)
After yesterday's vote, we're on a good path for this to happen :-)
I think people underestimate the language barrier here. I think it is not going to be "hard", it is going to be impossible. Even in Istanbul, especially in some districts you can't find a single person who can speak English.
I am a Turkish student in the US right now getting my masters. Turkey would be the last place I would move to for many reasons. First being the language barrier and the corruption. I know the advantage in expense but I would guess there are countries with better opportunities.
Nevertheless, we would hire anyone with the requisite skill set anywhere in the world, so this position is open globally.
Rent out a house in Austin, Texas for $2k and each of your co-founders can share a room. There's investors and as deep a talent pool as you'll ever need unless you're GoogleAmazon and you need a constant stream of talent to feed your machine.
Heck, I live in Houston. I'm working on a startup idea in .NET Core and Vue. If it ever takes off, it will be extremely easy to find 5-10 .NET developers. Hell, if I ever need another really good senior developer I can poach them for $140k, which is a really good salary here. Aren't they paying juniors in SF that much now?
If I ever need to hire 500 developers and a few experienced distributing computing PhDs I'll be too busy rolling in cash to care. I'll just sell my company to someone else and be too busy sailing around the mediterranean to care about talent shortages in Houston.
For the record, I live in a 3 bedroom house right near downtown that costs less than a year's senior dev salary in SF. Are any of you SF people going to be able to get that, unless you become fantastically wealthy?
I'm not trying to be all sour grapes, it just doesn't make sense to me.
You pretty much answered your rhetorical question there.
The bubble might already be deflating though.
Please allow me to offer a different perspective.
Doing a startup, at least a serious startup (instead of a side project), is an extremely costly endeavor, doesn't matter who you are. By costly I don't mean the office rent or employee payroll, I mean the toll it takes on your time, your personal life, and most importantly the opportunity cost you pay by giving up a potentially lucrative career elsewhere.
In addition to being costly, doing a startup has a very high risk of failure. So combining both of those factors, if you decide to take the leap of faith to do a startup, wouldn't you try to do it in a way that absolutely maximizes chance of success? Considering all that risk and opportunity cost, higher rent and more expensive cost of living is such a marginal cost. With all due respect, I know what kind of house you can buy for about $300k in Houston, and if keeping that standard of living is more important to you than maximizing the chance of success for your high risk startup, then I sincerely wonder if doing a startup is the right thing for you considering how low your risk tolerance is.
Now why do I think Silicon Valley offers a higher chance of success? Books can be written about this topic so I won't get into too much details. The talent pool is one issue (and no, even though I don't doubt there will be a lot of .NET devs in Houston, I think you will realize it's one thing to find good .NET devs, but another to convince them to work for you), the other one is the entire supporting ecosystem. I'm talking about cofounders, investors, people to bounce ideas off, people who show you where the doors are, and most importantly there is a culture of not punish failure that does wonders for encouraging taking risks and innovate.
Is SV a circle jerk? Oh absolutely. But it doesn't mean you can't get tremendous value out of it.
A counter example is when I tried to do a software startup in Austin. To be honest, the level of ecosystem in Austin is completely bush league when compared to SV. I think one of the biggest VC firms in town back then had an unofficial policy of "not invest in first time founders", and most of their investments are series B/C rounds following bigger SV VC firms. That is how risk-averse the scene is. I moved to Silicon Valley soon after that and I never looked back.
Don't get me wrong, there are plenty, plenty of reasons to do a startup else where. For example, if you are doing a startup that writes software for the oil/energy companies, then Houston would be a fantastic place! If you are doing a startup that promotes live music, then Austin would make sense too. I just don't think personal cost of living is worth much consideration in most cases.
The cost of living difference is minor in the big picture, if you are going to raise money. If you don't want to raise money, and want to build a whole company over 15 years instead of 3, then the location is less important.
I’ve lived in the Bay Area for a long time, and recently moved to Seattle; I find the rank and file talent in Seattle to be a good noch or two above SV. I’ve also heard that from startups too who looked to Seattle after not finding the talent they needed.
Were they offering competitive salaries? I doubt it.
E.g. the slugs: https://www.reddit.com/r/Seattle/comments/2fd5f3/banana_slug...
And when a slug sadly squishes underfoot (worst: between your toes), it's this weird slick adhesive that you can't wipe off, but has to be scrubbed off before the noticeable slickness is removed. Then you probably want to keep scrubbing, for grossness.
When visiting the coast, in the morning we woke to find multiple large slugs scattered around up the glass patio door window that faced the ocean. It was a mixed view.
It's important to be close to your customers. If your customers are in SF, then being in SF can make sense. Another reason why you may want to be in SF is you need access to SaaS veterans at the VP level.
Having someone in the team who has already done it is the best growth hack.
But then, NY is getting as good as SF for that, and, you get to live in an awesome city (I live in NY).
All other reasons often raised like "pool of developers" or proximity to investors are BS.
Like mentioned in the post, you don't need to be close to developers and having coffees with investors is a waste of time especially in the early stages.
I lived for 3 months in SF. It was very unpleasant. The reasons are listed in the comments and in the post. And I am affluent enough to afford to live alone in a 1BR, dine out, drive my way around.
Raised money, got the hell out back to the east coast.
In Bodrum, that's correct. That's where people go for vacations. But compared to Istanbul's 16m, San Francisco is a village with a population of less than a million people. Even the whole Bay Area has half the population of Istanbul despite being five times bigger. There are many, many universities located there which results in a huge number of startups, investors, incubation centers and alike. I feel this perception comes from a very biased viewpoint. SF isn't the center of the world.
> And there aren’t millions of coders who live nearby to potentially hire
Hell, just mail me the position details and I can max out your inbox with people who would love to work for less then a quarter of SV rates.
- The cuisine is super diverse (not only kebap)
- The people are exteremly friendly, helpful and tolerant
- A bit like the US Trump thing, if you live in Turkey, in your daily life, you don't really notice that the government is shitty.
- The downside of being easy-going and torelant is that Turks often don't give a shit about rules (the opposite of Swiss), e.g. if there's a no parking area they will still park their car there. Also, people are less punctual or dependable (not in a sense that they will fuck you over but it's just normal not to show up and just reschedule or be late).
- Of course, these are generalizations, so take it with a grain of salt :-)
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't network latency be an important consideration with VR-based remote work?
Anyhow, as the sister comment says, 5G and further advancments are bringing down latency. By the time remote work will be done in VR in a mainstream fashion, this won't be a problem at all.
Maybe it's time to stop, or take your experience and re-apply it elsewhere?
The thing with software is that it's very quick to prove (or disprove) a business model. If you're working on something for years and don't have the profits (or free users) to show, it's unlikely that you'll succeed.
Now, let's be honest: Meeting people in VR is really cool. I'm sure that you can figure SOMETHING out that will apply in the K-12 space, even if it's not what your original vision is.
Uber is a pretty strong empirical case study in why this argument is wrong. The entire DotCom bubble, in fact, has been a similar case study. When you prop things up with VC funding it actually becomes very hard to disprove bad ideas because price signaling and market logic stops working. It becomes entirely driven by the animal spirits that govern pitch meetings for as long as the BS stream can be maintained.
I mean, people are still pouring money into cryptocurrency! And it's quite likely that lots of good and potentially successful ideas are being starved of funding because of oxygen being taken up by sexier and flashier ones that will flame out quickly.
I think it's key to remember the difference, albeit overlapping, between homeless and emotionally-distressed. You can be homeless and nobody would know -- living in shelters, working a job, etc. You can also have a home and appear, as far as we're all concerned, to be homeless, by begging on trains or acting in other anti-social ways.
(NYC is also ~10x the population of SF, etc., so that also lines up pretty well.)
Unfortunately, the health care problem goes back to CA or even on a national level. Often times, mentally ill or people that lost their jobs for another reason become homeless, and from there the downward spiral begins. So, a better security net for those who suffer from mental and physical problems would be a good start.
71% in SF homeless already lived in SF, 90% already lived in California: https://socketsite.com/archives/2016/02/san-franciscos-homel...
the cite link in that article is dead but refers to http://hsh.sfgov.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2015-San-Fra...
75% of LA homeless already lived in LA: https://www.lahsa.org/documents?id=2059-2018-greater-los-ang...
1) It was self-reported
2) "Lived in SF" in report meant they were SF residents and this is requires just any bill with city address within 30 days (consider cases like: moved to SF with hopes of better opportunities, out on the streets in couple of months - but sf resident for a short term prior).
(B) Our cops are super aggressive with the homeless. I mean, technically that can be described as "policy", but probably not the way you meant it
I used to volunteer for an annual winter round-up, where a bunch of volunteers would get vans and go looking for homeless and try to get them into shelters. We did this on one of the coldest nights of the year, trying to prevent people from dying in the chill. We had no problem finding shit-tons of homeless folk, with the caveat that unlike in other cities I've been, they put a little effort into hiding from the public eye.
This was in the outer boroughs.
Combine that with your B and you can start to see the outlines of an actual policy decision.
There are caveats to be added to the above, but, I've never gotten the impression that our implementation of shelters has resulted in something people utilize in anything less than a crisis situation, for a population that doesn't consider "chronically homeless in the winter in a northern latitude" a crisis.
But the SFO phenomenon of open drug use, screaming disruptive people, and street level encampments isn't something you see really anywhere in the five boroughs, excepting maybe a few errant overpasses or very industrial areas of Hunts Point or similar.
This was a sharp contrast to the mid 1990s, when I lived in New York. I found aggressive panhandling to be more prevalent in NY than SF then, with panhandlers following me for blocks, approaching me at the counter of coffee shops (once crowding me as I attempted to get my change from the cashier, quickly picking up it up when I dropped it, and then asking me for it while holding it away from me).
I'm always a little skeptical about anecdotes, though, as the "homeless" population, ranging from non-addicted or mentally ill people who are temporarily without housing to severely addicted and mentally ill people engaging in criminal level harassment of people, often clusters in a few neighborhoods in a city, sometimes at the outskirts.
I met a man from Paris who refused to agree that San Francisco has a worse problem than Paris. He said that he believes that in Paris, the severe poverty is pushed out to the edges of the city. I don't know if this is true, or if he didn't want to criticize too much, but it is an interesting observation, at any rate.
Notice the comment on this thread about how in the poor areas it was unpleasant to get lunch? That attitude carries over. Starting with the fucking super bowl there was a very dramatic effort to shoo away the homeless people from where 'super bowl city' was. The net effect was a dispersal of homeless encampments the likes of which I've never seen. Combine that with stagnating wages at the low end and rising cost of living and you have a lot more people on the streets. Make no mistake, the homeless population in the whole of the Bay Area is growing dramatically.
Meanwhile in some "street photography" (but really mostly creep shots) group a couple people have been posting pictures of indigent folks from the 90s. The difference is pretty dramatic. From a friend who works for the city -- both meth and heroin have hit San Francisco very hard. The type of people that you see on the streets these days has changed.
San Francisco is also paralyzed by extremely aggressive NIMBYs. Shelters are at capacity, but the city's efforts to build more shelters (e.g. Embarcadero) are being battled by carpetbaggers. A while back the idea of "wet houses" was floated to get addicts off the streets (where folks will call 911 and tie up a large chunk of SFFD/paramedic resources). Of course that didn't go over well with the punishment first crowd.
New York is also facing record homelessness and is actually buying property to house homeless folks — San Francisco is…
I later marvelled to an NY-based coworker about how this could happen, since I've never seen it happen in SF (just random harassment of people who aren't even screaming/needling/etc.). His response: "oh, were you in Chelsea?" (Answer: yes.)
I guess that's one way to "solve" homelessness -- harass them until they move elsewhere.
If I was resigned to being homeless, I would definitely do whatever I could to be homeless in a city that hardly rains, never snows, and never gets freezing.
The interviewer challenged him on the homeless problem in SF. His answer was basically, "Yes, there are homeless people in SF now. The challenge is that during my tenure as mayor, we got people off the streets, but X x 2 homeless people came to SF from other places."
Newsom was far from blameless, but his point that homelessness in SF can't be solved on a SF level, or a bay-area level or possibly even a state-wide level, but needs a more global solution rings true to me.
Yes of course people who own a house do drugs. Some of them destroy their mind to the point they can no longer keep their house.
I heard an interesting theory during a discussion of how off the rails weird some cities' denizens were X decades ago, and how you no longer really see that any longer. The hypothesis put forward was that back then rents were very cheap relative to minimum wage, and minimum wage jobs didn't take much more than a grade school education to hold down. A lot of borderline or minimally-mentally-ill people could fit in between these cracks and live out their lives relatively peacefully coexisting with the broader mainstream, though to be sure adding "color" to the surroundings.
I think this hypothesis has legs. I've read that there were successful experiments at simply outright giving homeless a place to live of their own reduced the incidence of homeless-related crimes to a statistically significant degree. If that is true, then it is worth questioning our economic incentives making housing ever-more expensive.
From my perspective as someone outside the real estate industry, I'm perfectly fine with reducing values by 10X or 100X in more HCOL areas through removal of all state support for the industry. As far as I'm concerned, that's simply stranded capital idling uselessly instead of working for everyone. I wish Bezos would apply his "your margin is my opportunity" aphorism to real estate and healthcare.
I used to do a lot of work with homeless charities, and I often wonder if I would be a better person if I worked from home. Maybe I would have retained some of my sensitivity to these issues, or maybe that concern for the human condition fades with age, and I'd just be the same asshole but working in my pajamas.
So long as they don't want help, and so long as it is their right to refuse and continue as they are, nothing will change. The alternatives are many, but they all start with some type of enforcement agency willingly stripping these peoples rights, and forcibly and potentially violently taking them into government custody, which the citizens of San Francisco find far more appalling than solving the problem.
Note: What I said above doesn't generalize to 'the homeless,' and people out of a job and down on their luck, It specifically is targeted to the worst offenders who scatter the city with waste and needles.
SF's recent bill to involuntarily commit chronically mentally ill individuals is a step in the right direction, but it's so toothless that it won't matter much. An individual has to be brought to inpatient mental services 8 times in a year to trigger the rule. Why bother?
The main reasons there's such a visible homeless problem are:
1.) Housing crisis in general. A lot of that $241M goes to lower-income residents who are at risk of homelessness, not ones actually on the street, to keep them in their homes. From there, it largely goes to the landlords, if the apartment isn't rent-controlled, since it's more money chasing the same amount of housing. If the apartment is rent-controlled, it goes to the tenant + other landlords, since rent-controlled apartments drive up the rent for everybody else.
2.) A general laissez-faire attitude toward the homeless. SF has a strong culture of live-and-let-live; if you don't bother the homeless, they won't bother you. (This attitude may or may not reflect reality, but it's the culture.) There's widespread opposition to criminalizing homelessness and say arresting or tazing homeless people.
3.) Poor mental health & substance abuse services. This is a legacy of history: JFK moved responsibility for mental health services from the state to federal government, Reagan consequently cut the budget for the state of CA's mental health services, and then when Reagan was president, he moved responsibility back to the states, without any corresponding increase in funding. As a result, the mentally ill are nobody's problem, so they just sorta hang out on street corners or wander across major boulevards.
4.) Mild climate. SF is an attractive place to be homeless. I grew up in Boston; we didn't have much of a visible homeless problem. Why? Because come wintertime, they would all either freeze to death or huddle together in the subway stations, keeping them out of public view unless you took the T. In SF, they sprawl all over the Tenderloin, the Mission, the Civic Center, SOMA, etc, all of which are prominent neighborhoods that get a lot of gentrified and/or tourist traffic.
I want to point out that it is a departure from laissez-faire to criminalise, arrest, and taze the homeless, but another conceivable departure from laissez-faire is to house them.
EDIT to clarify.
The homeless people that you see crowding Civic Center BART or the Tenderloin or the Mission are generally not people that want housing - they're addicts, or mentally ill, or veterans suffering from PTSD, or just rebel against the strictures of modern society. You can't force them into housing without involuntarily committing them, which is what cities generally did in the 50s and 60s. That's definitely not laissez-faire, and has its own moral issues.
2.5 billion dollars spent on a broken bus station, and they are going to fix long-term homelessness with 800 million, and a poop patrol that earns 100k+ a year per employee?
These things don't cost as much as Californians think they do.
Apparently, it's a really difficult problem that nobody has really solved.
Yes, San Francisco is wealthy. And Monte Carlo is wealthy too with Lamborghinis and Ferraris. Why does MC not have a rampant "homeless problem"? Well, if a homeless person tried to lay down a blanket to sleep on the sidewalk across from the iconic casino, he's going to be rounded up by MC police. As far as I can tell, MC doesn't have a homeless shelter so I'm not sure where the MC police takes the vagrants. San Francisco police obviously do not remove all homeless people from the sidewalk. And nobody is suggesting SF emulate what MC does.
Can SF spend money on housing for homeless? Multiple cities have tried this with mixed results ... poop in the stairways, drugs, etc.
Which city in the world has the best homeless program (especially dealing with mentally ill homeless) and what do they do differently?
SF is also incredibly bad at making use of a vast pool of resources. The amount of money spent to help the indigent is substantial, but no amount of ineffective spending can address real problems. Other changes that might help, such as constructing homes for the homeless, run into stiff political resistance in a permitting system designed to make it easy to block anything.
That residents and voters seem to care more about what makes them feel compassionate than what demonstrably helps also helps little.
The result is a mess.
Here in Austin, the City announced plans to build a new community center to help the homeless. Nearby residents are losing their fucking minds over it.
The homeless problem is a sea level problem.
This was a year ago. It was not as bad as SF by a long shot, but absolutely present.
I'm not sure "dead language" is the term you are looking for.
> every time I go grab a coffee or lunch in a cheaper area,
A "cheaper area" area where they can access what they need to get through the day (cheap food, etc) is also what those homeless people are after, so it's no surprise you might end up in the same space.
Leaving Twitter headquarters gets me in an uncomfortable place, even without the need to find cheap food.
Speaking Latin or Aramaic while never having studied it is like #1 sign of demonic possession. I'd definitely avoid those guys.
To be clear, you'll have a harder time if you don't speak (or willing to learn) Turkish in Bodrum, whereas more people speak English in Istanbul.
Working there is a different story, but generally you don't want to work there since the reason they're cheap is that the people are poor. The local jobs are low paid. The trick is to be able to work remotely or more rarely as a well paid employee of a foreign company.
Food has labels in English, restaurants and everything else, because of tourism, are very English oriented. It's a great place for foreigners.
Companies here do not mind paying to your business for services because it is cheaper for them too, and as a tech worker, all the benefits of an employer are not that important.
It's not that bad. Yes, you give up the Croatian pension, but it would be miserably small after inflation. You still keep the healthcare.
Families that want to save more go live in Solin, Stobreč or similar costal outskirts, and these are 15-20 minutes by car from city center. Roads get congested around historic core, unlike Zagreb where congestion issues are ridiculous (can take you an hour to get to where you want).
According to Numbeo, I'd have to have impossible income to keep the buying power at the same level if I moved to Vienna, Berlin, or other more attractive European towns.
A quality engineer earning 2-2.5k euro in Croatia has no reason to move to Berlin or Vienna if paycheck does not double. An experienced engineer earning more really needs to get insane offers to move.
My SF salary was no where near the current living standards.
>Be kind. Don't be snarky. Comments should get more thoughtful and substantive, not less, as a topic gets more divisive.
You can find the full guidelines below:
/sarsasm in case it was not evident. some days I just don't know whether it would be evident here.