Destination 2016: San Francisco

Let me give you two snapshots of San Francisco—two ways of living and working in the city. Just to start the conversation. One is at the corner of Second and Howard Streets in SoMa, the South of Market neighborhood, where LinkedIn, the internet company that describes itself as “a business-oriented social networking service,” just built a new skyscraper. LinkedIn is a remarkable story. It was launched in 2003, and most of us paid it no mind at first. Now it claims over 400 million users in more than 200 countries and territories. It makes money from selling information about its users. Almost 10,000 people work for it, and presumably they do well: The average salary for a tech worker in San Francisco in 2014 was $176,275. LinkedIn’s cofounder, Reid Hoffman, is said by Forbes to be worth a little under $3 billion.
It’s a center of intellectual creativity that has changed the world.
From mentorship to the availability of capital, this is the place to start a company.
From bikes to recycling, San Francisco takes the environment seriously.
[/one_third][two_third]The new building, officially 222 Second Street, is pretty cool. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, each of its 26 floors has a San Francisco theme—movies filmed in San Francisco, landmarks, famous residents and so on. The entryway to each floor is designed around a concept. One has a “silent disco,” where you can put on head-phones and dance. Another has a wall called “Video Games of San Francisco,” on which employees can post pictures of themselves dressed as video game characters. Another has a Nerf-gun dart board. There’s a gym and a cafeteria called Nourish, which has signs identifying all the farms from which the cafeteria food is sourced.

It’s almost too easy to make fun of this sort of thing, but to be fair, the building has some more mature attributes. Its first floor, stocked with chairs and benches, is open to the public. There are lots of bike racks, important in a city where auto traffic is a constant and worsening problem. The building is applying for LEED certification.

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