Startups locating in SF was done more recently because young startup employees wanted more of a city-based, young adult social life, vs the more college student or family-oriented one in Silicon Valley. But if SF is choking itself out, those startups will just move back down to South Bay/Silicon Valley or in some cases the Berkeley/Oakland area.
SF screwing itself up as an innovation hub isn't the best thing for the Bay Area, but it's far from the end of the Bay Area as a whole as an innovation center.
since radar and transistors were invented there a half century ago.
Kevin Erdmann wrote an interesting thesis about this. In the past, American cities were built densely, but in the 20ᵗʰ Century they all embraced cars and NIMBYism.
The few existing densely built cities thus have become a sort of limited natural resource, impossible to replicate elsewhere in the country and (in purely economic terms) worth the extreme cost of entry.
A better ex-post structure would be to blacklist/regulate something after the fact, only after it's evident that its public harm outweighs its public benefit. For things that are quite obviously harmful, like toxic/medical waste handling and stuff of that nature, there are already ordinances in place for that.
But most tech businesses are not that obviously harmful, and strict ex-ante regulation of them will stymie creativity more than protect the public.
It also prematurely shuts down possible systemic adaption. For example, the introduction of Scooters and eBike rentals in SF started a conversation there about whether the city should ban cars for anyone who is not a resident of SF.
Eg, build a bunch of parking garages ringing the outskirts of the city, and anyone coming to SF who doesn't live there, either has to take CalTrain/BART into the city, or park at a garage on the outskirts and take Muni/BART/train/car service/taxi/scooter/bike/etc. into the city.
That was an interesting discussion worth having, but ex-ante blacklisting of new tech will reduce the impetus for that kind of innovative solution finding and public discussion.
Also, if you don’t know what’s happening with development, please do not vote.
edit: candidates may run on new housing development as it easy an easy thing to say and run on. But when rubber meets the road, local planning boards and strict zoning requirements mean translate into orders of magnitude less development than people would like or the market would have.
there are both city wide studies and the specific examples like the infamous laundromat or garage-door based house that are deemed too historic or architecturally significant (standards that would not hold up else anywhere in the nation)
for info on the two examples, google "Largent House" or "SF Mission Laundromat redevelopment"
As for what people want... is there any good way to be run out of town because you don’t have money? Unrestricted development wouldn’t address the needs of current residents at all and would result in people being forced out in addition to creating more homeless.
This sounds like a fantastic idea. - The Rest of the Country
Ie: Some portion of some city designated friendly and relatively unregulated for the testing of new technologies in public spaces... Like the Chinese special economic zones, but smaller scale.
Instead of arguing about what approach is unequivocally better, we can just have some of both. This isn't like housing where market fungibility makes it impossible (unadvisable) to have uncoordinated policies, There will still be people living there who don't like it, but you have that regardless. There will also be an element of choice, to the extent that people can/will move.
Passing into one is identical to passing through an international checkpoint, with minor differences. When driving, the guards basically ignore white people and party members while non-party members have to pull over and go through full scanning and scrutiny to prove they are allowed to enter.
Once in the zone, setting up any kind of business that requires actual capital equipment is completely impossible for anyone who is not a party member.
Even for party members it is close to impossible. China is actually highly regional with provinces having a lot of power. You have to get permission from the province to do anything, and the local powerful elite will only permit those they can control to establish industry.
With this in place, they do not have to care about anyone outside of these zones, so they are free to enact whatever brutal policies they desire.
Special economic zones are only for powerful, rich, and well-connected. Everyone else loses.
Once an emerging technology has gotten popular enough (no longer limited to few inventors and early adoptors). You've got people that understand barely anything about it trying to get a slice of a pie. This can come in any directions, some of it as job applicants/VC management deals, some of it posing as regulatory bodies, and it happens both inside and outside of the company/circle that created tech.
Sometimes it works out as the new tech is competitive enough to absorb the cost of these overheads, other times it just sink with edge/non-contributing members sucking the blood out of it.
In my opinion, this definition of “Emerging Technology” is vague and expansive enough that Public Works employees could give you a $1000 ticket for playing Pokémon Go, wearing Google Glass, operating an electric skateboard, or perhaps even vaping.
The author, Norman Yee, is the councilman who in May 2017 became alarmed at autonomous delivery robots on the sidewalks and introduced an ordinance that required delivery robot startups to apply for a permit, capped them to 9 testing robots per permit, and required an operator to be present at all times (https://sfbos.org/sites/default/files/o0244-17.pdf).
Relatedly, councilman Aaron Peskin introduced ordinances to require permits for bike rentals on the sidewalk in Feb. 2017 (https://sfbos.org/sites/default/files/o0081-17.pdf) and for scooter rentals on the sidewalk in March 2018 (https://sfbos.org/sites/default/files/o0099-18.pdf).
Never pitch this office. These people are trying to centralize control and create a political elite-- insiders who may pass through their imaginary gates to the city. Pay to play.
If you didn't get the memo, it won't be optional. If you come up with any idea on how to improve anything at all around you, better run it by Norman Yee first. Now get your ticket and wait in line for a few weeks to get reviewed.
My cynical take is that this is just another gatekeeper to pay off and appease. The city wants more money from tech.
The Hacker News outrage is non-sensical. These are businesses that would have to interact with the city no matter what; a single department instead of many is a strict improvement from status quo. The United States used to have an office of emerging technology too, and it was for the most part very good. Their reports are fun to read.
Though, if this is such a reasonable, common sense idea, there must be other cities that have also implemented something like it. What are their track records?
This is coverage of the proposal from a year ago. It is the outcome of a process to actually _improve_ what everyone can agree was a totally disastrous rollout of scooters in SF, with blame to be assigned to both the city and operators: https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/news/2019/01/11/eme...
Furthermore, the above makes it even more clear that the proposal only applies to people who are trying to test products that use sidewalk and road spaces.
This is exactly how the Amish do it. The elders evaluate new technologies and decide if the technology will help or harm the community before authorizing it.
I haven't been to SF anytime recent, but upon visiting New York I found that McDonalds there doesn't have _anything_ within public reach, no fountains, no trays, not even napkins, and I imagine that is totally justified judging by the amount of homeless people residing in/around it. It would be a nightmarish place to live and I'm surprised people would pay so much for properties in these environments.
SF spends 2 orders of magnitude more on homeless and housing annually
Feel free to check I dont mind being wrong, the actual point is that this whole article and thread is about a new office on a $250,000 budget and people think this materially effects the city’s resources at all
If you have a better plan than “sit and complain about how everyone else isn’t focusing on undefined3840 priorities”, put it out there.
Is there any thing novel to our social methodology you’d like to see considered? Or ya just gonna highlight a problem as you see it and leave it to others to deal with (while still being dissatisfied?)
Seems like being forward thinking about NEW problems is at least partially what you want.
It’s not as if one city can solve problems that are societies as a whole.
You can literally see the sausage being made.
You know what? These folks don't seem like mustache-twirling Machiavellian monsters to me. They seem like people just like you and me that are doing their best to manage a city. It's not easy.
We techno-elite have been shouting "Disruption!" in their faces for about two decades now, eh? So here's the counter-reaction, the pushback. If you don't like it, participate. Maybe I'll see you on SFGOVTV.
That's one of the first rules of Machiavellianism.
Why would you choose that city of all places though? The bay area as a whole is dysfunctional and San Francisco doubly so. You can do more elsewhere. I can understanding staying for the sake of family ties or an existing bigcorp job, if you're free, why would you use that freedom to walk into a nightmare?
SF is flush with VC money and rich customers eager to try new products. Add to that the perfect weather, quality of life, and ability to get around without a car. There's no better place still, by far.
As somebody who lived in Europe, China, Israel, and the US, I have no attachment whatsoever. I would move in a heartbeat I there was viable alternative. I sincerely wish there was one.
It's a location for you to pitch your services to the city. Nothing in the article says they can prevent you from running your business. If you aren't breaking laws, it doesn't seem there is anything this office can do.
I do put its chances of passing pretty high, though. The veto-proof majority of the Board of Supervisors are anti-capitalists who hate individual freedom. They’ve been agitating for this law for quite some time now.
In the name of the general welfare, to protect the people's security, to achieve full equality and total stability, it is decreed for the duration of the national emergency that:
Point One. All workers, wage earners and employees of any kind whatsoever shall henceforth be attached to their jobs and shall not leave nor be dismissed nor change employment, under penalty of a term in jail. The penalty shall be determined by the Unification Board, such Board to be appointed by the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources. All persons reaching the age of twenty-one shall report to the Unification Board, which shall assign them to where, in its opinion, their services will best serve the interests of the nation.
Point Two. All industrial, commercial, manufacturing and business establishments of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth remain in operation, and the owners of such establishments shall not quit nor leave nor retire, nor close, sell or transfer their business, under penalty of the nationalization of their establishment and of any and all of their property.
Point Three. All patents and copyrights, pertaining to any devices, inventions, formulas, processes and works of any nature whatsoever, shall be turned over to the nation as a patriotic emergency gift by means of Gift Certificates to be signed voluntarily by the owners of all such patents and copyrights. The Unification Board shall then license the use of such patents and copyrights to all applicants, equally and without discrimination, for the purpose of eliminating monopolistic practices, discarding obsolete products and making the best available to the whole nation. No trademarks, brand names or copyrighted titles shall be used. Every formerly patented product shall be known by a new name and sold by all manufacturers under the same name, such name to be selected by the Unification Board. All private trademarks and brand names are hereby abolished.
Point Four. No new devices, inventions, products, or goods of any nature whatsoever, not now on the market, shall be produced, invented, manufactured or sold after the date of this directive. The Office of Patents and Copyrights is hereby suspended.
Point Five. Every establishment, concern, corporation or person engaged in production of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth produce the same amount of goods per year as it, they or he produced during the Basic Year, no more and no less. The year to be known as the Basic or Yardstick Year is to be the year ending on the date of this directive. Over or under production shall be fined, such fines to be determined by the Unification Board.
Point Six. Every person of any age, sex, class or income, shall henceforth spend the same amount of money on the purchase of goods per year as he or she spent during the Basic Year, no more and no less. Over or under purchasing shall be fined, such fines to be determined by the Unification Board.
Point Seven. All wages, prices, salaries, dividends, profits, interest rates and forms of income of any nature whatsoever, shall be frozen at their present figures, as of the date of this directive.
Point Eight. All cases arising from and rules not specifically provided for in this directive, shall be settled and determined by the Unification Board, whose decisions will be final.
Preventing people like d'Anconia from shutting down their manufacturing sites seems reasonable in the abstract, but in a world where so much interesting technology is digital and therefore copiable, what's the need? If Steve Jobs wished to torpedo Apple, that's fine, we've got enough other OSes.
Moreover, it's quite clear that much of the interesting and productive technology of our generation has come from people with no profit motive. AT&T was legally forbidden from profiting from UNIX, so UNIX became a standard. Netscape failed to make money and became reborn as the donation-supported Firefox, which immediately became better than Netscape could have been. And so forth.