Why L.A. Doesn’t Care About San Francisco
Bakespace CEO Babette Pepaj
Dato, like many of his SoCal counterparts, is less concerned about participating in an ego-driven feud with the Bay Area and more interested in simply making L.A. the best market it can be.
“We can learn from the things that made Silicon Valley a success, but we also have many inherent advantages that can make SoCal a leader in its own right,” Dato says.
If a startup is directed at solving the problems of the creative community, the L.A. area makes perfect sense.
“Our company is playing in the content world, specifically music,” Flores says, “and L.A. is pretty much the best place on the planet for being near our clients.”
He’s not alone in making that choice for that reason. Music-related startups in Los Angeles abound, as do startups focusing on the problems and growing pains of the film and television industries.
“With a rich history in entertainment, you usually see some hints of L.A.’s roots within any local startup,” Percival notes. “We try to keep the usual Hollywood bullshit out of the picture, of course, and succeed for the most part.”
But natives are quick to point out that the L.A. startup scene isn’t just for entertainment anymore. Speaking to Craig’s point about solving real-world problems outside a tech-obsessed subculture, Krimmel says, “My favorite thing about L.A. has always been that it’s not San Francisco. The homogeneity in the tech community in the Valley can be detrimental to building something that appeals to a wider audience.”
Babette Pepaj founded her startup, Bakespace, in Los Angeles. The site itself is a social network of sorts for home cooks and bakers.
This kind of startup could have been built anywhere, but as Pepaj says, “I love building a company in L.A. because it’s a place where you’re defined as much by your ideas and potential as by your past. You don’t need to have already sold a company or had an IPO to be taken seriously; customers and revenue trump a Silicon Valley pedigree.
“When it comes to tech, L.A. is the wild west, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Top image based on a photo from tensaibuta. Image of Paige Craig courtesy of Brian Solis. Image of Jason Calacanis courtesy of Joi Ito. Image of Earbits team courtesy of AmpedUpMag.com. Image of the Percivals courtesy of Lan Bui. Image of Babette Pepaj courtesy of Cathy Brooks. Banner background image via Andy Z./Shutterstock.