I think I was born for San Francisco.
I mean, who wasn't? This place is frequently referred to as the tech capital of the world, where the technically gifted gods of the world flock to the beautiful parks of San Francisco to smoke a few joints in aid of inspiration for building "the next big thing". There is a strong emphasis about young talent all over the world, but the only thing it means in SF is the opportunity to take risks with little-to-no lifestyle complications. There is equality flourishing everywhere, even within the homeless, within the land of opportunity - with the real winners being the landlords.
When I arrived late in SFO one month ago, it hit me. The cold nights, that is. The land of opportunity doesn't let you down, even on the weather, and the consistency of such a schedule makes time seem to go so fast and I can attest to this. This place moves so fast on technological advancements, but the culture of the West Coast does not align with such a pace and so you are masked with the chilled out culture. You can't make a bigger impact by working harder here, it's all about working smarter.
The living cost absurdity that is SF is world renowned. It doesn't take a new-funded startup to understand why proud San Franciscans refuse to leave the city and so are forced into the cruel world of gentrification which leaves them homeless on the cold streets of SF.
Besides the normal good and bad, I have met so many incredible people in SF. There are some people who have took it for granted, but I'm not one to argue with human nature and I personally love the lack of interest towards elitism which allows a higher focus towards solving some of the many problems the world currently has. To put this to test, I have spoken to numerous successful founders stay at "hacker hostels" out of preference who can easily afford to rent something better.
I originally thought SF was a part of Silicon Valley. I was wrong. SV is where it all started but it is a suburban area dominated by cash-rich tech companies such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and eBay amongst many others and SF has been upcoming for the past decade. You can't really tell the difference these days. I would argue that SV isn't a place for young tech people who are still trying to understand where they fit in the world, unless you're looking for a very well paid job at a large tech company.
It's kind of obvious software engineers are scarce in the Valley. Software engineers who aren't happy are even more scarce. They are considered the kings of progression and innovation, but equally as important, the non-engineers are the kings of happiness and pure sanity. I didn't actually know how easy it is to go nuts as a programmer. We obsess about problems that take years to solve and attempt to solve them over weeks and months. Equally so, there is a unique level of thinking in the Valley and the expenditure towards trying new paid products is far greater than anywhere else makes it very easy to build a startup that only works in the Valley; people don't move from the other side of the world and deal with the stringent US visa process to change the already-always-changing Silicon Valley.
San Francisco & Silicon Valley really are as good as you want them to be. Inspiration lurks on every street in the Valley and many are sensitised to it, even if there's a lifetime supply of this scarce commodity for technology. No other place can compete for SF on this basis alone, but I can point the largest attribute to the success of the Bay Area towards the West Coast culture. You can easily leave this town knowing nothing new, or you can leave as one of the greatest innovators that ever lived.