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Is San Francisco the “Innovation Capital Of The World”?

Mayor Ed Lee touts tech growth in San Francisco

By: Ari Burack | 04/25/12 7:52 PM
SF Examiner Staff Writer

As the tech company Dropbox opened a massive new China Basin headquarters Wednesday, Mayor Ed Lee touted the news as further proof of The City’s growing image as a tech capital.

Dropbox — which offers cloud data storage services for users of personal computers — joins firms such as Twitter, Zynga and Salesforce as part of the mayor’s effort to portray San Francisco as the “innovation capital of the world.”

The Sharing Economy

The San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association’s event called “The Sharing Economy” featured a keynote speech from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.  The sharing economy is a new twist on an old idea.  Sharing.  While sharing isn’t a novel idea, sharing plus technology is novel.  Companies engaging in this line of business, often called  Collaborative Consumption, refer to themselves as the new economy.

Whether we’re talking about car sharing, renting out your apartment, swapping books, bikes, or employing an errand runner, this phenomenon is sweeping its way across the state and beyond.  While the hundreds in attendance were excited about the potential of this emergent group of companies, they were equally as concerned about what ramifications the regulatory environment will have on these new businesses.  As the moderator of the panel said, “We can’t apply 20th Century regulations to 21st Century inventions.”

Enter San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who has championed a new approach through a working group he has formed in order to “develop model policies” for these SF-based collaborative consumption companies.  If this working group is successful, their policies can and will encourage the growth of the tech sector in San Francisco and beyond in order to further support innovation and the economy.

 

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