Tech and Innovation

We believe the tech community is an important contributor to San Francisco’s dynamic economy and culture. Tech workers are creators and artists. We recognize that they are our colleagues, friends, neighbors and family members. They make San Francisco more interesting and diverse, continuing a long history of newcomers transforming the city for the better. We encourage and facilitate tech workers to engage in political discourse. We want city government to embrace the benefits of tech and innovation. That’s why we support initiatives like “Techies Who Vote” that inform and organize tech workers to be civic participants.

June 21, 2015  |  Helping a Silent Majority Become Squeaky Wheel

By Joel P. Engardio

It’s human nature to ignore things outside the scope of our daily lives — until we’re directly affected.

Parents discover and decry San Francisco’s confounding school assignment system when their kids turn four.

Homeowners rage against City Hall’s prohibitive and nonsensical regulations when they need to add a bedroom for a second child. The rude awakenings are worse for entrepreneurs trying to grow a small business.

Fans wonder what is taking so long for San Francisco to get a world-class ... | Read More >

June 7, 2015  |  Not Your Grandma’s Snapchat

By Joel P. Engardio

It’s easy to forget that hippies and gays were originally despised as invaders and displacers when they first arrived in San Francisco. Does this mean a time will come when tech workers are celebrated in The City’s folklore?

From the Gold Rush to the Summer of Love, a constant in San Francisco history is a flood of newcomers who challenge and change the ways of those who came before them. Millennial tech workers are the latest transplants blamed ... | Read More >

March 15, 2015  |  Fixing the Fear Factor

By Joel P. Engardio

In San Francisco’s most rapidly changing neighborhoods, longtime residents don’t fear social media because it merely wastes time or reduces privacy. They’re scared of being pushed out by highly paid tech workers who move in, drive up prices and alter the community’s character.

As long as these fears persist, there will be voters in San Francisco to fight against market forces and politicians to cater to them.

When developers proposed building 290 market-rate units above the 16th and Mission BART station, they offered to also build 41 below-market-rate units ... | Read More >

March 4, 2015  |  Solving the Mystery Behind Tech’s Lack of Diversity

By Armand Domalewski

One of my best friends is named after a Sherlock Holmes character and is just as brilliant as the fictional detective. They have a lot in common; both have brains capable of almost magical reasoning, they both possess a dry wit, and they both prefer the clarity of their puzzles to the ambiguity of people. My friend solves different sorts of puzzles than the pipe smoking icon, however; Sherlock unlocked the mysteries of the criminal element — my ... | Read More >

February 1, 2015  |  Julie Christensen Is Designer of Change at City Hall

By Joel P. Engardio

When you think about the ways government touches our lives – through public transportation, its tax and license bureaucracy, how it regulates what our streets and cityscape look like — the concepts of good form, function and design probably don’t come to mind.

We marvel at the beautiful aesthetic and flawless execution of our privately made smartphones while cursing the line at a government office that still uses paper files. Then we curse again, waiting for a public ... | Read More >

January 15, 2015  |  Hack the Pipeline for Quicker Tech Diversity

By Alex Teu

The statistics are out at all the big tech companies, and it’s not a pretty picture. Overwhelmingly White and Asian, and Male.

The numbers are actually worse as many of the Blacks and Latinos represented by the numbers are from within the “Invisible Workforce.” These are the low-wage workers cleaning your floors and guarding your doors.

Some may dispute that even Asians have “made it,” as the numbers are not favorable in the management ranks. In effect, White males lead, ... | Read More >

January 12, 2015  |  Myth-Busting Supply and Demand in San Francisco

By Mike Sullivan

San Francisco is in the middle of a housing crunch. Nearly every week there’s another media story about housing prices going up, whether it’s for-sale housing or spiraling rents.

The reason for spiraling prices is plain to anyone who’s ever taken an economics class. Demand for San Francisco housing is exploding, and supply isn’t keeping up. It’s simple supply and demand. The reasons behind why supply and demand are out of whack are complex, but the explanation for high ... | Read More >

December 21, 2014  |  Could Tech Bros Save Humanity?

By Joel P. Engardio

We can’t imagine life without our smart phones and apps. The downside is a proliferation of tech bros – a subset of tech workers who give their industry a bad name with each news report about entitled and jerky behavior.

Likewise, we rely heavily on prescription antibiotics for every sore throat and runny nose whether it’s a bacterial infection or not. The downside is a proliferation of drug-resistant superbugs that threaten to kill 10 million people a year by ... | Read More >

December 17, 2014  |  Doing, Not Shaming, Will Make Tech More Diverse

By Lee Hsu

By now, you’ve likely heard about data revealing a lack of diversity in tech companies. As often happens these days, the shame game is in full effect. Shame on the tech industry for not hiring more women and minorities. Shame on executives and board members for their complicity. Shame on shareholders for not demanding more diversity.

The shame game has its role in raising awareness and urging accountability. But it also has limitations in ... | Read More >

December 16, 2014  |  Progressives Are Lost Because Their Policies Never Worked

By Sydney Lee

San Francisco Magazine had an article in the latest issue called Raise Hell in Peace, about the demise of the San Francisco Bay Guardian and the implication that The City is moving rightward. The article is full of the usual presumption that only progressives are compassionate, that everyone who matters is a victim, and that progressivism has always been a struggle and therefore somehow heroic and always under siege.

In the entire article, which initially had promise in observing a possible, ... | Read More >