The San Francisco area is poised to cede its 50-year dominance in tech innovation. The reason: a victim of its own success, the area now faces a death spiral of unsustainable real estate prices. With commercial real estate prices hovering at 2-3x the national average, it’s becoming increasingly challenging for startups to locate there. Given that real estate is the second biggest expense for businesses after payroll, it's no wonder that Peter Thiel complained recently that most of his investments wind up in the pockets of slumlords. We will explore how current urban models and investor preferences put most tech-friendly cities on a dangerous path to becoming luxury products for a new urban elite. What can founders do to make markets work for the masses again?
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