Hello everybody, and welcome to LA Tech Digest. My name is Scott Perry, and I hope to be your guide through the world of LA’s tech scene, circa 2015.
Over the years, I have worked in the music industry, and still run marketing for film studios & TV networks. I have also been embedded in LA’s tech scene as an advisor to a few startups for almost a decade. Along the way, I have seen many highs & lows in the tech space, quite a few waves ebb & flow.
And after years of looking for the big one, it is safe to say that the big wave is finally here. You can feel it everywhere, from the co-working spaces to the community meetups to the talent agencies to newly-rented office spaces brimming with activity from the beach to 50+ miles in any direction.
LA has emerged as THE intersection between content and technology, but LA is more than just an offshoot of Hollywood:
YouTube’s massive space in Playa Vista is like our GM plant, fueling hundreds of parts suppliers throughout the region, whether it be the numerous multi-channel networks that are being bought up by the big studios as online video evolves, to the talent, their agents, the sponsorship brokers, and the marketing agencies that maximize views and turn ordinary citizens into bona fide stars.
Nasty Gal was once an eBay reseller until founder Sophia Amoruso came down to LA, started churning out original designs, and fueled growth with a highly-stylized, visuals-based website that brought in so much cash that Amorosu only took venture capital after matching her business acumen with the proper investors.
Mayor Eric Garcetti is dedicated to maintaining a strong education / business ecosystem so that quality engineering talent that is encouraged to stay in LA upon graduation.
Tons of angels, VCs, incubators, and accelerators have been lending their money, their guidance, and their wisdom to foster growth in the startup world for years — so many that I could list but won’t for fear of missing some very important names along the way.
Smart kids with dreams are being lured to LA instead of SF because of LA’s great weather, lower rents, and quality of life. Hell, even Bay Area VCs and a ton of our northern-neighbored companies have set up satellite offices over the years (Google, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Amazon, Yahoo, and NetFlix all have offices here, former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has been buying up parcels in Malibu for decades, even Minecraft creator Markus Persson outbid Jay-Z and Beyonce to purchase a $70 million home after the big Micrsoft buyout!).
And our homegrown talent continues to explode. SnapChat, Tinder, and Scopely are all enjoying phenomenal growth, and are all hiring at a phenomenal pace. SpaceX is down the street in Hawthorne. Oculus is minutes away from Disneyland. Symantec’s headquarters are in Culver City. Sonos is just up the road in Santa Barbara.
And of course, all the above just lists the usual suspects, and doesn’t even begin to scratch the deep bench of talented people and companies we have working here, many of which we plan on showcasing in the months ahead.
This site was set up to chronicle all this, both by pulling headlines from top local & international sources, plus with original content that digs deeper into the heartbeat of the community — let me repeat, the COMMUNITY — that continues to grow.
So yeah, hop in! The water’s safe, this wave is for real. Enjoy the ride.
(PS, follow us on all those shiny links to your right, and hit me up at latechdigest at gmail dotcom with tips, pitches, calendar items, posts, sponsorships, etc.)
(PPS, full props to everyone working to promote and build the LA tech ecosystem, I wholeheartedly look forward to working with each & every one of you in the coming months, looking forward to very big things for everyone in 2015.)
Photo credit: @serena