As of this week I am officially based in Los Angeles and I’m already loving it here.
I made the decision for many reasons. First of all my wife wanted to move back here – she lived here for 16 years (during which time she produced 11 TV movies), and she has a huge community of friends here. In addition, many of my closest friends live in LA as well. Secondly, Live Matrix, a venture I co-founded with Sanjay Reddy, is based here, and I wanted to be closer to HQ. But beyond these reasons, I think LA is on the cusp of becoming the center for Web media, and it’s a good time to move here.
After nearly 6 years in SF, it’s exciting to be in a new and larger environment. LA is a big city, like New York City, where I previously lived for 11 years. The tremendous range of businesses in LA, the cultural diversity, and the amazing talent here, are really exciting. I tend to thrive in big cities, and although San Francisco had a lot of charm, I missed the pulse of New York. LA seems to be a happy medium, with much better weather.
As an Internet entrepreneur and angel investor, moving to LA also offers a ripe new frontier. While Silicon Valley is the center of Web technology, I believe the LA region, with Hollywood, Studio City, Santa Monica, Pasadena and Caltech within easy reach, is going to become the center for Web Media — for example online entertainment, gaming, online video, live streaming, and social media. Already there is a strong and growing community of startups in or near LA. In fact, CrunchBase lists more than 500 of them within 30 miles of LA.
There is also a growing early-stage investment community in and around LA — “the City of Angels” is becoming “The city of angel investors.” There is a long-standing culture of investing in films here, and this culture is a natural fit for investing in Web startups. In addition, there is a huge pool of talented Web savvy developers and business people here, and the costs for hiring, renting space, and building startups are significantly lower than SF or Palo Alto. In short, I think LA is prime territory for building Web ventures. And it’s close enough to get to Silicon Valley and back in a day for meetings when necessary.
As for my many friends and colleagues in San Francisco, well I’ll be back a lot, so it’s not really goodbye. I’ll probably in SF or Silicon Valley at least every month. Ironically, we’ll see each other more, now that we have to actually plan getting together.
It’s only been a few days here in LA, but I’m really looking forward to exploring my new home (there is a lot to learn) and connecting with the many interesting startups, investors and thinkers here in LA Web community.