Letter From San Francisco

The New Share Economy is Making Us All Better People

(Wikimedia Commons)

SAN FRANCISCO — The reputed inventor* of the modern Mission burrito – the Chicano food tube that’s sustained entrepreneurial San Franciscans from the 1849 Gold Rush through both dot com booms, has a problem. Judging by Yelp, the historic Mission eatery has been coasting along more on tradition than taste. Even OG’s aren’t impervious to the brash rules of the review economy, thus a beleaguered La Cumbre rep toils online, addressing their poor reviews one by one. Read More

Delivery From Inconvenience

New Shipping App Means You Never Have to Deal With the Post Office Again

Look how seemingly fun and easy it is to ship things now! (Shyp)

We know it’s a total #millennialproblem, but mailing stuff is really hard — especially objects that aren’t letters. You have to find the right-sized box, haul it to the post office, and then wait in line for the person behind the desk to inevitably yell at you when she discovers you wrote the return address in the wrong place. The whole thing is really traumatizing, if you ask us.

But starting today, you can download Shyp, an app that takes all the headache out of the package mailing process. All you have to do is take a photo of the item you want to mail, and specify where you’d like it to go. Shyp takes care of the rest. They’ll immediately send somebody to your home or office to package your shipment and transport it to Shyp’s warehouse, from which point it’ll be sent off on its merry way with the appropriate shipping carrier. Shyp will even deal with all the customs stuff, if you’re sending something internationally. Read More

Planet GOOG

With Showrooms and Party Decks, Those Mysterious Google Barges Would Make for Great Bar Mitzvah Rentals

Pimp my barge. (Photo: KPIX)

The mystery of those Google barges floating in San Francisco and Portland might’ve been solved, and so we’ve got an early candidate for the oddest SXSW stunt ever. For the past few days, speculation was that the four-story, windowless structures were giant retail spaces for Google Glass, and now KPIX-TV has all but confirmed those suspicions. Read More

The Perks of Being a Developer

West Coast Tech Companies Still Offering Batshit Perks

Ugh shut UP.

How’s your Monday going? Pretty meh? Thought so. It’s about to feel even more mundane, because SFGate wrote about some Bay Area tech companies’ office perks this weekend, and somehow they seemed even more over-the-top than usual–we’re talking beyond unlimited vacation.

Here is a highlight reel of the most insufferable and envy-inducing–but also head-scratching–perks offered to employees in California’s tech world: Read More

Planet GOOG

Google’s Mysterious Barge in San Francisco Might Be a Retail Store, Not an Evil Lair

The barge. (Photo: KPIX)

Over the weekend, rumors swirled in San Francisco about a mysterious, Google-owned barge that was creeping around (actual name!) Treasure Island. Speculation as to the nature of the four-story, windowless structure ranged from floating data center to, our guess, a Crossfit studio for Sergey Brin’s biceps.

Stop guessing because KPIX-TV has it all figured out: It’s a giant store for Google Glass. Read More

Books

A Heartbreaking Work of Subpar Genius: Dave Eggers’s Dystopian Tech Novel Misses the Point

Remainder-table-level Orwell.

After a decade and a half of the Internet wreaking havoc on the way we live our lives, the literary world has decided it’s time to tackle its influence. Hard on the heels of Bleeding Edge, Thomas Pynchon’s take on Silicon Alley’s first tech boom, we have The Circle, a patched-together dystopian fantasy by Dave Eggers, who is quite clearly very worried about the pernicious influence of Facebook and its ilk.

Many, many words have already been devoted to the ways Mr. Eggers misunderstands Silicon Valley, and they’re justified. The novel reads like it’s cobbled together from what Mr. Eggers has overheard in the bars, coffee shops and parks of San Francisco. He’s nailed the sound of the tech world’s delusions of grandeur, but he doesn’t see them for the delusions they usually are. Read More

The Rich Are Different

Tech Professionals Are So Chill, They Don’t Even Need Mansions ‘Right Away’

scrooge-mcduck

It’s always a great week to be a rich tech person, but the last 10 days in particular have especially been swell for rich tech people who are also into faux-simplistic real estate.

The tricked-out trailer rolls on with a story on SFGate.com highlighting the Hill House, a modernist abode being featured on an upcoming San Francisco house tour. The Hill House clocks in at a meager 2,200 square feet, you see, which means it’s the perfect structure to prove how “well-heeled techies are looking for status in the simplicity of a home rather than its size,” SFGate.com says. Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Badass SF Society Matron Is Over Boring Silicon Valley ‘Slob Culture’

Mrs. Hale (Photo: Getty)

Old-money types love to hate on the nouveau riche–duh, we’ve all seen Titanic–but in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair, one highfalutin lady throws major shade at Silicon Valley to hilarious effect.

Denise Hale is a Serbian-born San Francisco society staple who was once married to legendary director Vincente Minnelli. She channels everyone’s favorite cranky great-aunt when she tells contributing editor Evgenia Peretz that the Bay Area’s techies “bore the hell out of” her in a piece about the culture clash between WASPy elites and the region’s tech VIPs. Read More

Rude

Whatever, Haters: Everlane Attempts to Lure Engineers to the West Coast by Insulting NYC

(Photo: Everlane.com0

NYC startup denizens, bust out the pom poms and the insults: Everlane, an online retailer specializing in really, really fancy t-shirts, is hosting a New York-based job fair in conjunction with Projective Space, the NYC coworking space. The point of the job fair? To convince engineers, designers and sales people that New York sucks and they should move to Los Angeles or San Francisco. (L.A.? Really?) Read More