We might be so bold as to say that Los Angeles surpassing Silicon Valley in the startup race is not going to happen. However, this recent article in Forbes does not actually discuss the placement of Los Angeles or Silicon Valley in the startup race. Instead, it speaks of the resistance one marketing tech worker had in moving to Los Angeles from San Francisco. Despite the misconceptions that some Silicon Valley residents may have about the tech and startup scene in Southern California, this article points out that there is a lot of promise in Los Angeles. A good argument that is made in the article is if L.A. wants to gain a traction on a higher spot in the tech startup race, there needs to be more tech talent that is interested in entrepreneurship.
All differences aside, we have a lot of tech in Los Angeles. If aerospace technology were to be included, we may blow away Silicon Valley. During the dotcom boom, Los Angeles had the number four spot in venture capital funding behind Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York according to the National Venture Capital Association. Guess What? We still have the number four spot. As the technology industry comes back as a whole, Los Angeles tech is coming back as well. We are rebuilding the infrastructure we had during the dotcom boom. Although some valuations may appear bubbly–venture funding does not even come close to rivaling the dot com boom. Venture funding reached $99 billion in 2000 versus $28 billion in 2011.
Los Angeles will not catch up to the Bay area anytime soon in technology and startups, and conversely, the Bay Area will not catch up to Los Angeles in the movie and media realm. Both have too much history, infrastructure, institutions, and alumni in each of their respective areas of domination. Los Angeles can excel in the niche tech areas of content convergence, such as Hulu and Demand Media. LA can also do extremely well in advertising and marketing tech (Adly), and ecommerce (Shopzilla, Fandango).