Why this founder left the Bay Area for Portland

tomdale

Tilde.io founder Tom Dale.

Portland is certainly growing as a national startup hub and one San Francisco founder frustrated with Bay Area scene is making the move north to the Rose City.

Tom Dale, who co-founded San Fran-based development startup Tilde.io and created JavaScript framework Ember.js, just penned a blog post titled, “San Francisco, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down.”

Dale, who lived in the Bay Area for the past four years, details his reasons for packing up and moving to Portland. Among them are the high housing costs in San Francisco:

In Portland, my mortgage payment will be the same price as the rent I pay in San Francisco. The only difference is that, instead of sharing a small house with two other dudes, I can have a larger house to myself. Portland offers all of the great restaurants, coffee shops and bars that I love about SF, without having to overhear conversations about Series A rounds or monetization strategies.

It’s interesting to hear Dale talk about how he wants to get away from all those conversations. When asked about what Seattle was missing as a startup city, Tableau CEO Christian Chabot told us earlier this year that it’s the natural startup culture and those conversations at coffee shops about what you’re working on.

But Dale doesn’t appear to be a big fan of that. He’s also peeved by people in the Bay skewing the environment by alienating everyone who isn’t involved in tech:

It took a long time for me to realize I was part of the problem.Yeah, I might be in tech, but I’m not one of these social media douchebags, I thought. Doesn’t matter. The fact that I get embarrassed when a girl at a bar asks me what I do should have been my first clue.

It will be interesting to see if there are more San Francisco transplants that end up in Portland, or even Seattle. In the past, it’s been the other way around: Many fast-growing startuppers would flock to the VC-rich places like Bay Area from cities like Seattle (though as Moz CEO Rand Fishkin detailed in a recent post, that’s not always the case).

We’ve heard a lot of discussion about the differences between the technology hubs of Seattle and Silicon Valley, and this infographic showing poking fun at the geek stereotypes of Silicon Valley and Seattle is still one of our favorites.

siliconvalleyvsseattle_edits_web

But now Portland, and Oregon itself, is certainly entering the west coast startup arena as a hot spot for startups, a perhaps a nice alternative for people looking to get out of Silicon Valley. The state saw some huge blockbuster deals in the first quarter — a $30 million round for Puppet Labs; a $33 million round for Janrain and a $25 million round for Urban Airship — as the Oregon overtook Washington in terms of venture capital investing during the first quarter for the first time since 1993.

Portland, the state’s biggest city, is also growing rapidly as a startup hub. In fact, our GeekWire CEO of the Year Sam Blackman from Elemental Technologies told us that the Rose City is the next great startup mecca.

“In my opinion, if you are a software engineer graduating from college right now, there is no better city you can move to than Portland,” he said.

For more on why Portland is an awesome place for tech startups, check out this video.

H/T Silicon Florist

Previously on GeekWire: VC investing tanks in Washington, overtaken by Oregon for first time since 1993

  • tryingtocalmdown

    I sure hope that this doesn’t turn into a “trend”. Portland is so annoying.

    • Dan W

      Portland is only annoying to douches.

      • tryingtocalmdown

        then you must be really annoyed.

    • Jmartens

      Why hate on Portland man?

  • Rob H

    PDX is fantastically cheap compared to SFO or YVR. The big drawback is that it’s also much smaller than either of those cities which limits opportunities but makes networking a breeze.

  • Guest

    tl;dr: SF to much $, PDX less $.

    yw