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Thought Experiment Tuesday: Does SF Even Need Service Industry Jobs?

Rents in San Francisco have been skyrocketing, and the people of San Francisco are pissed. It’s a multifaceted issue, but it boils down to a combination of A) A lot of very highly paid people in the tech industry are moving into the city, both from the suburbs and from all over the world, and B) there is not enough new housing being constructed to meet demand.

When supply is constrained, prices increase. Rent is getting to the point where many people not employed by the tech industry are being priced out of their homes, neighborhoods, and the entire city. These are the people who serve our food and pick up our trash. The people who drive us to meetings and sell us clothes. The people who teach our children.

But the question no one is asking is… do we need these people? Could startups replace all those jobs? During the recent BART strikes, a Bay Area CEO took a lot of heat for (rather rudely) suggesting we automate all their jobs. But what if we did? Could San Francisco be “The City of the Distant Future" in just a few years?

Lets do a thought experiment and look at what this tech utopia (dystopia?) might look like.

"We don't get out of bed for less than $10,000 per day."


Hey Sebastian,

Just a quick thought. Your website has so many visitors, and I bet you could make a lot of money putting some ads on it. But I kind of admire that you don't. I understand people putting ads on their websites, because it is business and an easy way to make money can be quite nice. However, I can't help but feel that people not putting ads are more... how should I put it... I often view them as superior in an intangible sense. I'm struggling to grasp in which. Attitude, pride, standards, noble? Hmm.

With your websites and ads, I wondered why you don't put up any. You don't need the money? Or is it from some kind of internal stance, and you wouldn't put any in either way? By the way, reading your website feels, to me, nice independent of content cause no ads are there to annoy me. These days it seems you can't read many good blogs without drowning in ads.

My blog doesn't generate enough constant traffic to make me consider adding any, but... I wonder, would I? I don't know. It's like the pride matter, though not the same.

Ps. I liked your absurdity post

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