Source: Tech Cocktail - “You can tell the success of an entrepreneur by how tan they are.” This was Matt Galligan‘s opening statement referencing the much darker complexion of the Los Angeles native Howard Leonhardt at the recent Tech Cocktail San Francisco Sessions. And by this standard, Los Angeles is an assembly line of successful tech entrepreneurs.
But if 300 days of sunlight and beautiful beaches aren’t enough to lure you, Tech Cocktail caught up with a host of LA-based entrepreneurs to convince you on why Los Angeles is such an ideal location to both work and live.
IT’S THE EPICENTER OF ENTERTAINMENT AND MEDIA
The entertainment industry brings together talent, creativity, and capital in a way that creates a one of kind atmosphere. The result is a truly unique melting pot of skills to build new products.
Los Angeles is the second largest city with over 18 million people. Everyone is on their grind and there are limitless opportunities to find your niche as a startup. The city is flooded with billboards and bus ads, evidence that old models are still profitable. However, the need for technology innovation is rising, and with a large market and little competition, LA is fertile ground.
LA’s laid back and tight knight community make it an ideal place for a startup because it helps unleash your creativity because you’re fueled by so many different sectors – technology, the beach and the entertainment capital of the world. No better place to innovate!
LA is the greatest place to live because everyone who comes to LA is a dreamer who thinks that the impossible is possible…and then does their damndest to make it so. Then, quite a few succeed. Practicality is not a constraint that binds Angelenos like it does to people in most other cities in the world.
It’s 2pm and if you’re hustling for a startup, chances are you’re already on your second or third cup of coffee. I know I am! In LA, we have access to some really great coffee, including two-Intelligentsias, Handsome Roasters, etc. Need I say more?
Sen Sugano, Director of Business Development at Grubwithus
LA EMBRACES DIVERSITY
Living in LA means visiting Chinatown, Thaitown or Little Armenia is always a short trip from home. Though parts of our city may feel like sleepy suburbs they are rich with culture as we are host to immigrants from all over the world. This means that Angelinos are the recipients of fine and fun cuisine, art, history, textiles and language. Our days are spent meeting people whose childhoods may bear little semblance to our own. Living in a culturally rich city leads to innovations both personal and professional.
Sure the weather is great and the beach is sandy. But we also build companies that make a ton of money. Few people know that 96% of Google’s revenue comes from the work of two LA companies (the Adwords model was invented by Overture, and Adsense came through an acquisition of Applied Semantics). There’s less capital here than in Silicon Valley, so building companies that make money from the beginning is in our DNA – lead gen, flash sales, eCommerce, etc. If you have a solid business model, LA is the place to be.
Whether you are doing business or relaxing, which become one in the same, where else can you wake to sunshine/fair weather, 350+ days annually, meet and conduct business with associates outside regularly, have tepid weather, while balancing work and play – Los Angeles!
With all of the entertainment companies and The Mouse alone, Los Angeles has some of the most creative genius and wit I have ever seen. Even our techies are more creative than the creative team I had when I lived in the Big D! You gotta play to your strengths!
Apparently this place has some famous art, like Thomas Gainsborough's The Blue Boy, and lots of important documents, such as a Gutenberg Bible, a copy of The Canterbury Tales and two quartos of Hamlet. But no one goes inside.
The Huntington's 120 acres of botanical gardens are endless and amazing — and I don't even like plants. It's not just rose gardens or herb gardens — they've got full-on ecosystems: a Japanese garden, Chinese garden, jungle, desert, lily ponds, a subtropical garden. It's crazy in there. And if you call ahead, you can have high tea.
I know, a museum in L.A. — crazy, right? Don't worry, I'm not sending you there for the art. In L.A., you go see high culture for the architecture. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, for example, is really good, but if you're at the symphony, you're really there to check out Frank Gehry's stainless-steel Disney Concert Hall.
The Getty Trust may have more money to throw around on art than any museum in the world, but you go to the Getty Center to take a tram up a huge hill, enter the perfectly simple, calming, Richard Meier–designed space, stroll around the gardens — and maybe see a painting. Unlike museums in cities that don't own the entertainment industry, the Getty is always free.
If you are from anyplace other than Japan, you will be really impressed with our sushi. Great sushi joints grow like weeds in crappy looking strip malls on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, the heart of the San Fernando Valley. They're not cheap, but they're all worth it. Asanebo is my favorite, but Katsu-ya with its seared albacore with crispy onions has blossomed into a mini-chain here. Another solid option: Teru Sushi. The competition is so intense that you can't go wrong here. Plus, you get to go to the Valley, which is our version of suburbia but has become oddly cool.
If you firebombed L.A. and obliterated its strip-mall ugliness, you'd see how pretty this place is. That's because of the ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains, which we, along with anyone who watches MTV, call "the Hills."
The plastic, Beverly Hills types notwithstanding, L.A. is divided into two kinds of residents: ocean people (rich, mellow, beach-front-dwelling yuppie/hippies) and hill people (grungy, hip urban cowboys, who eventually have kids and move to the beach). The ocean people surf and run and bike along the water. Us hill people, we hike. We hike obsessively. And the good-looking people hike Runyon. You might see famous people here, but you won't even notice them because you'll be blinded by the hotness of merely struggling actors and actresses. Plus, you'll get a workout — from panting at hot people.
Yes, Melrose Avenue is a funkier place to shop with way cooler clothes, and Rodeo Drive has all the famous stores, but the sad fact is it's lame to go home without having seen a celebrity in L.A. And Robertson Boulevard — the tiny stretch of horribleness that includes the Ivy restaurant and boutiques like Kitson and Madison — is where Us Weekly photos are born. Once you've ogled someone famous, have lunch at the Newsroom Cafe, a vegetarian-friendly restaurant that is the only normal place on the block. If you somehow stroll this street and don't see a celebrity and don't mind paying $100 per person to do it, push your way past the paparazzi outside the Ivy and try to get a table for lunch.
Zuma beach in Malibu is awfully L.A. — hot moms, surfer dudes, Pamela Anderson (she lives right near there). Walking past the freaks in Venice selling their pot paraphernalia and working out at Muscle Beach (Arnold Schwarzenegger's old gym) is also interesting. Or you could drive all the way down to Manhattan Beach where the corporate frat boys drink beer and play volleyball with their trophy girlfriends.
Personally, I'd go to Zuma in Malibu, where the hills meet the ocean (and where you can park for free on Westward Beach Road, right off the Pacific Coast Highway). Then I'd grab dinner at the Reel Inn, where you eat simply grilled fish from a tray at picnic tables. Or I'd get Greek food at Taverna Tony at the Malibu Country Mart, the outdoor mall where the locals hang out.
If you have time for a long lunch in the middle of the day in Malibu, go to the Malibu Family Wines vineyard, do a tasting and buy one of their surprisingly good bottles to drink at the winery's picnic tables with the veggie burger — trust me on that — you got at John's Garden Fresh Health Store at the Country Mart.
Don't go downtown during rush hour, which is basically all the time. But if you do make it, stop at this little tourist block that was the original center of Los Angeles in Spanish-owned times. Amidst the souvenir shops (Mexican wrestling masks! Scarface posters!) is Mr. Churro, where you should get a caramel-filled churro. You can also eat at one of the good Mexican restaurants here, or you can go a block over and get the amazing lamb French dip sandwich at Philippe's, the sawdust-covered counter restaurant that's been around since 1908. Or drive a few blocks to Langer's, where to everyone's shock they make a better pastrami sandwich than any deli in New York City. The secret is that L.A. is actually more Jewish than Manhattan.
The Universal Studios lot is great, but you have to go to the theme park for that tour. So, take the WB Studio Tour instead, or arrange a tour of one of the other big studios near wherever you're staying (Fox, if you're by the beach). Mostly they're all just huge, generic, windowless warehouses that act as soundstages, but each lot has a block of cool New York City facades; plus, WB has the Gilmore Girls' sweet, fake perfect town and, for some reason, Universal still has its Old West set. Either way, it's just fun to see people in silly costumes driving around in golf carts.
Remember the scene in Swingers where that old couple sings standards to a bunch of hipsters? That couple, Marty and Elayne, still sings Cole Porter songs to those hipsters at the Dresden Room (every night except Sunday), which is a supercool place to get a drink, relax and feel like you're in Rat Pack–era Vegas.
Source: TIME - This is just an outdoor mall. It is full of cheesy tourists and teenagers. I'm not entirely sure why I'm recommending it. But it's outside and three blocks from the beach — and malls are just so L.A. Almost as good, mallwise, is The Grove in the Fairfax District. The Grove's trolley, which travels the one block between the mall and the excellent nearby Farmers Market, where every single booth sells awesome food, is the only public transportation most Angelinos ever use. Continue reading at TIME.
Source: SFGate.com - [My dearest friend] Andrew Zenoff was a single guy in his late 20s when he happened upon an idea to make it easier for new moms to breastfeed their babies. So though he'd never even held a baby before, Zenoff pursued the idea and introduced the My Brest Friend, a pillow that helps mothers hold and support their babies while they breastfeed...