The tech elite are abandoning Silicon Valley in droves because of ‘monoculture’ and high taxes — here’s where they’re headed

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The tech diaspora is spreading.

For the better part of a decade, tech founders and investors who earned their fortunes in San Francisco and the peninsula to the south have been decamping for more politically diverse and affordable areas.

The migration has accelerated as the COVID-19 pandemic has closed tech offices, canceled in-person meetings, and otherwise scratched the value of living in a tech hub that happens to have among the highest taxes in the nation.

Peter Thiel’s flight from the Bay Area may have inspired others in his orbit to follow suit. Joe Lonsdale, who got his start as a finance intern at PayPal, said recently he’s moving his venture investment firm, 8VC, from the Valley to Austin.

Palantir, the big data company founded by Thiel and Lonsdale, relocated its headquarters to Denver in order to escape the “monoculture of Silicon Valley,” its CEO Alex Karp said. (Although Palantir still has its Palo Alto office).

And now Keith Rabois, a prolific startup investor and a managing partner in Thiel’s Founder Fund, is leaving for Miami — enticed by “warmer weather and water,” he told Fortune, not to mention no state income tax.

These are some of the high-profile defectors who have left Silicon Valley in recent years — and where they’re headed.

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Peter Thiel became a social outcast in Silicon Valley after the libertarian billionaire-investor supported President Donald Trump’s run for office in 2016.

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Source: Los Angeles Times

Two years later, Thiel said he was leaving the Bay Area for his home in Hollywood. One of his venture capital firms, Thiel Capital, and his foundation also set up headquarters in Los Angeles.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Thiel has said groupthink in tech can be dangerous. “Network effects are very positive things, but there’s a tipping point where they fall over into the madness of crowds,” Thiel told The New York Times in 2018.

Source: New York Times

Thiel also has the option of moving to New Zealand, where he has dual citizenship. He owns a mansion in Queenstown and land on the shores of Lake Wanaka.

Sources: Business Insider and New Zealand Herald

This year, the big data software company Thiel cofounded, Palantir, moved its formal headquarters to Denver.

Source: Denver Business Journal

In a letter to investors, Palantir CEO Alex Karp railed against “the engineering elite” of Silicon Valley, saying they don’t know “how society should be organized.”

“Our company was founded in Silicon Valley. But we seem to share fewer and fewer of the technology sector’s values and commitments,” Karp wrote in the company’s IPO paperwork.

Source: CNBC

Karp has been working out of a barn in New Hampshire during the pandemic, he told Axios in May.

Source: Axios

Joe Lonsdale, another cofounder of Palantir, said he’s moving his investment firm, 8VC, to Austin, in part because it’s “more tolerant of ideological diversity.”

Source: CNBC

Lonsdale, who has described himself as a …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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