Silicon Valley is not so big. Along the 101 route, between San Francisco and San José, you find cities like Palo Alto, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Cupertino or Mountainview, in which the big Internet firms have developed. But there are many differences between San Francisco and the rest of the valley.
1. Richness. The small cities of the Valley cumulate the richest guys. But San Francisco has probably the largest number of homeless people in the country. People leave their cars and houses open in cities like Palo Alto. You would not dare to do the same in San Francisco.
2. Fun. San Francisco has clubs and a very extensive night life. The cities in the valley are kind of boring.
3. Public transportation. You can live in San Francisco without a car. There are taxis, trams, buses and even a subway. In the valley you just need the car.
4. Venture capital. Most VCs are in the richest areas of the valley, which means Palo Alto and Menlo Park, around Stanford University. There are not so many of these in the events which take place in San Francisco.
5. Meetups. There are meetups everywhere in the valley. They just get more crowded in San Francisco, which explains why you usually have to pay to get into them. They also get some more known faces and the venues are some how cooler.
So today I went to the San Francisco NewTech meetup (SFNT), which takes place every month in San Francisco. It’s organized by Myles Weissleder, who used to be Vice President of Meetup.com. He is a really funny guy who knows very well how to handle some hundreds of geeks and entrepreneurs who just want to do some networking and know what people are doing. Around 200 people fill a huge room every month in which some tacos do help make the evening a bit longer. He even makes some money out of this events.
This is an interview with him:
And a view of the event: