The Los Angeles tech scene — from Santa Monica to Irvine to West Adams — has been booming in recent years. According to open source map Represent.LA, there are now 889 startups in the region. Many LA tech entrepreneurs got started with cheap mobile apps that quickly became profitable. They focus on creativity and aesthetics, tap celebrities when needed, and remain open to products designed just for fun. And the sunny LA weather and cheaper rent attracts talent from around the world.
“With Facebook buying Oculus, Disney buying Maker Studios ($500 million), Apple buying Beats ($3.2 billion), Nasty Gal reaching $100 million in revenue and mobile apps such as Whisper, Tinder, and Snapchat thriving, the self-deprecating and often goofy LA tech entrepreneurs seem to be doing something right,” writes Nellie Bowles for Re/code, after visiting more than 30 companies and speaking with more than 50 entrepreneurs.
The LA tech scene has also faced challenges, with Myspace and Demand Media, the highest-profile companies, collapsing dramatically.
Mass-market apps and consumer-friendly content seem to be the next generation of Web innovation.
“What we’re doing, we don’t think you could do outside of LA. It has to be artistic. It’s about the content as much as the platform,” Tastemade co-founder Joe Perez said. “And anyone who wants to go into content comes here.”
LA also has a talent with video, creating a boost.
“Americans watch 5.3 hours of television a day, and they read for less than a half hour,” venture capitalist Mark Suster explained. “Like it or not, you will not change dramatically people’s media-consumption patterns. If you accept that premise, then you have to accept that the Internet is going to become a very large video platform, and LA is going to win.”