life

Why Bay Area Again

Then, I want to talk about why I’m back to Bay Area. Ten years ago, my SF office closed – when the financial crisis came – and I had to return to Korea. During the last 10 years, I started my own business, had many experiences, exited from the business due to a health issue, then back to an engineer over my forties.

Last year, I was deeply impressed by the book “The New Geography of Jobs” by Enrico Moretti. The book explains why the innovation is the new engine of prosperity. The main idea of the book is there are two sectors of jobs: traded and non-traded sector. “The vast majority of jobs in a majority of jobs in a modern society are in local service,” such as waiters, plumbers, nurses, teachers, and even doctors. They are jobs in the non-traded sector – consumed locally. “By contrast, most jobs in innovative industries belong to the traded sector,” such as software, finance, advertising, agricultural and extractive industries. “The paradox is that while the vast majority of jobs are in the non-traded sector, this sector is not the driver of our prosperity. Instead, our prosperity mainly depends on the traded sector.” Now I’m a software engineer, in an innovation/traded sector and I wanted to be more productive, improved. I decided it is the time to move to the heart of my sector; without question, Silicon Valley.

Bay Area has many pros and cons. The perfect weather is the most precious gift of this area (though the global warming makes some serious effects in these days). My iPhone and Apple Watch now play 100% features: now I can enjoy the integrated networks in the TV app, perfectly working location based reminders, ECG checks and so on. But the living cost is crazy. Yes, there are guns. Though my home is in a relatively safe area, I cannot be a mere spectator of the gun violence any more.

But as a software engineer, I believe this is the best place for me. When I get to any cafe, there are people who talking about innovations and new ideas. Silent guys are immersed into their laptops and making code. This productive tension and atmosphere always makes me thrilled.

Most of all, I don’t have to meet anyone who I don’t like anymore. As the one who own my business, I had to meet many people. Many were nice and good people but there were NOT either. I thought I was good at getting over those people but now it is apparent that they consumed my life.

Now I have a simple goal of my life: be respected by myself and my family. That is the only one thing matters to me. Ironically, I think I get to more open to others’ ideas, because I take it less personally. Only a half year passed after I was back to the Bay, this is the most important thing to me and I want to keep it during the rest of my life.