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Garage-Band Techie Energy Invades Arizona
Silicon Valley's reign on tech is over. Arizona's day has finally come.
I just came back from a business trip that took me to Silicon Valley & Downtown San Francisco; boy was I left deeply saddened, yet invigorated at the same time. I’ve flown into SF countless times in my life, and not once have I not gotten goosebumps as we land while thinking of all the rich history the Bay Area has to offer when it comes to technology. At the end of the day, Silicon Valley will always have a place in my heart. However, it's time has passed. Here was my experience:
What Was is No Longer SF
You hear people talking about SF today as if it’s some hell hole. I personally brush it off as a likely over-exaggeration. Here’s just a glimpse of what I saw in the few days I was down there (FYI, it is an over-exaggeration, but it’s quite bad):
Overridden with homeless people who have severe mental issues
A Dolores Park that was 60% empty (?!)
A sleepy SFO
Drugs, trash, & human feces all over the streets
A Whole Foods looted at 11a in Palo Alto
Ridiculously overpriced food & drink
A longing Stanford campus, with quite a few students you could tell have been indoctrinated
Empty office campuses
People who seemed deeply unhappy & morose. Almost trapped
Frankly, SF used to be paradise for people like you and I. Yet, it’s changed dramatically, and unfortunately for the worst. Pirate energy, garage-band startups, cafes littered with enthusiastic nerds, and a vibrant Stanford campus is what SF used to be in its prime (and much, much more). Here’s Patrick Collison of Stripe, 5 years ago:
I’m here to report that his tweet, dating back to October, 2017, has officially come true; SFBay has squandered one of the greatest destinations ever to be created in the history of mankind.
FYI, writing this genuinely tears me apart; I have no joy in dunking on SF, but this is just pure fact at this point.
Arizona’s Retro Energy
If SF’s day has come and gone, who’s day is next? The answer is Tempe, AZ & it’s surrounding cities. We have that energy, as mob boss Christian LaRosa & I yell to each other one the phone at least 2x/week. Moreover, Tempe has all the makings/infra to be SF already in place:
Talent density of engineers at ASU
Great quality/cost of living in and around Tempe
Rapidly growing nightlife scene for young professionals
Pro-business political environment
Our weather is SF, just without the beach & 3 months of scoring heat (hey, it’s good if you want to get swole; shoutout Andy)
Plenty of raw infra to engineer how you want the pond to be constructed
More on all this below
Now, what is that energy?
A purpose in life to Pop Off or Die
A will to sacrifice everything in ones life to achieve technological greatness to move the needle in commerce & culture forward for society
The ability to appreciate & act as both a hacker & painter
Garage-startup nerd-fest vibes
You get it
If you’ve been following the breadcrumbs, this energy is retro Silicon Valley. We, JamPad, are here to bring the magical energy that made SF the powerhouse it was to Arizona, in true Pop Off or Die fashion.
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One More Thing…
To those reading this, a crater is about to hit the Arizona startup scene. One that it’s only seen twice (ironically by 2 of our friends) in the last 10 years. So, stay tuned.
Tempe & its surrounding cities is the future.