The San Francisco Bay Area, home of technology companies galore and the legendary Silicon Valley, was put on the history map from the gold rush. And in a way, the gold rush has never stopped. The concentration of opportunities has continued to draw people there for decades. Growing number of people competing for… well… everything has driven the cost of living ever higher.
When I graduated from college with a computer science degree, most of my classmates went to the Bay Area to build their career. I decided to go to the Seattle area instead, because I felt the Bay Area was too expensive and it was only a matter of time before that bubble collapsed. And while that bubble has deflated a few times, I have been proven wrong time and time again as things kept growing.
Basic economics say when the price exceeds what the market will bear, the market will adjust. While there hasn’t been enough adjustments to offset everything else, I do see things getting priced out of existence.
What’s the latest potential casualty of ever increasing cost of the Bay Area? San Francisco Chronicle published a doom-and-gloom article outlining difficulties faced by the flagship Maker Faire Bay Area. While the maker movement has continued to grow, attendance and sponsorship at this event has not kept pace with growth in cost. The increasing numbers of licensed Maker Faires outside of San Francisco and New York (like the Downtown Los Angeles Mini Maker Faire) is also a dual-edged sword: It spreads the Maker Faire love, but it gives people less reason to spend the money necessary to congregate at the flagship event.
I will be sad if this is the last Maker Faire Bay Area, but if so I’ll try to take some comfort from getting to see it before it goes.