Known for being one of the most forward-thinking and creative cities in the world, San Francisco boasts a lively startup scene and emerging industries that include healthcare, hospitality and shopping. In the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area sits the vibrant and thriving high-tech mecca, Silicon Valley.
A global leader in high technology, innovation, and social media, Silicon Valley accounts for one-third of all of the venture capital investment in the United States. It was here that the microprocessor, and the microcomputer, among other technologies, were also developed. This tech-innovation and venture capitalism combination has helped it to become a leading hub and startup ecosystem for scientific development. The San Jose Metropolitan Area of Silicon Valley alone has the third-highest GDP per capita in the world after Zurich and Oslo.
Its name refers to the large number of innovators and manufacturers in the region specialising in silicon-based integrated circuit chips. It is now home to many of the world’s largest high-tech corporations, including the headquarters of more than 30 businesses in the Fortune 1000.
Silicon Valley, specifically Cupertino, is also home to Apple Park, the headquarters of Apple Inc., the most valuable company in the world. Costing $5 billion to build, Apple Park houses more than 12,000 employees and—at the bequest of Steve Jobs—is designed to look more like a nature refuge than a traditional office block. Nicknamed “The Spaceship”, the 2,800,000 square feet, four-storey, circular neo-futuristic building is 80% green space planted with drought-resistant trees and plants indigenous to the Cupertino area.
Silicon Valley has the highest average high-tech salary in the United States at $144,800. The San Jose Metropolitan Area of Silicon Valley has the third-highest GDP per capita in the world after Zurich and Oslo while San Jose-Sunnyvale and Santa Clara play host to the most millionaires and billionaires in the United States per capita.
San Francisco itself is no slouch when it comes to tech innovation either. Huge global players like Twitter and Google have key offices here. Picture perfect with spectacular ocean views; San Fran is also a key tourist destination with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and the world-famous former prison, Alcatraz, among many destinations of travellers to visit. The late movie director Alfred Hitchcock filmed “Vertigo” in San Francisco because he loved it dearly.
The city hums with activity around the clock, and with consistently fair weather, a temperate climate, and a strong business magnetism, San Francisco a fitting location to reap the rewards from both sides of the work-life balance.