Photo credit: Daniel Schwen

California’s Startup Economy: an Abundance of Attractions and Drawbacks

By: Leigh Buchanan
Appearing In: Inc

California is a land of contradictions. It is at once notorious for business-unfriendliness and the most entrepreneurial state in the nation; a place talented people swarm for the good life and flee because a good life is unaffordable.

Exhibit A: Silicon Valley workers are making less today, adjusted for inflation, than they were 20 years ago, says a 2018 study by UC Santa Cruz. The median price for a house statewide exceeds $600,000–more than twice the national level. And 44 percent of Bay Area residents say they will likely leave in the next few years, according to a 2019 poll conducted by the San Jose Mercury News and Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

Higher costs complicate recruitment and retention–and they can affect a company’s ability  to build the kinds of skilled professional ranks that powered an earlier generation of companies, like Intel and National Semiconductor.

“Of course you are going to get Web marketing companies where 80 percent of the employees are 25 years old,” says Joel Kotkin, the Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, California. “Because who is going to live in California when they are 35 and want to buy a home and have a family?”

And while California’s GDP and employment numbers remain strong, it’s unclear how long they’ll stay that way.

Read the rest of this piece at Inc.