For decades, Silicon Valley has existed as the epicenter of technology innovation in the US. However, in recent months, many companies (including major players in the tech industry) have made long-term commitments to remote work. As a result, millions of Americans could be on the move in the months ahead. In fact, it’s been estimated that more than 23 million US workers plan to move due to work from home flexibility, according to an October Upwork survey.
No longer tethered by the restraints of time and space, highly skilled workers could be drawn to other locations by remote worker grant programs, the appeal of more affordable housing, and more. Earlier this month, a titan of Silicon Valley innovation, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, announced that he had moved to the Lone Star State. Could other tech innovators and industry talent flee Silicon Valley for emerging tech hubs? A recent poll on the popular anonymous network for professionals, Blind, sought to answer this question and others.
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Musk on the move, emerging tech hubs, and more
The Blind survey was conducted from Dec. 9 through Dec. 20 and involved more than 1,500 respondents. Overall, nearly seven-in-10 (67%) respondents said they think “technology power is dispersing from Silicon Valley.” Across all industries and employers, 61% of respondents said they “would follow tech leaders to emerging tech hubs if they were to relocate.” The majority of FAANG employees (58%) said they would follow tech leaders to burgeoning tech hubs compared with 69% of finance employees.
As part of Blind’s anonymous format, Blind users are able to list their employers. As a result, these polling results can be further extrapolated by employers. Among FAANG employees (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google), about six-in-10 (63%) similarly felt as though tech power was leaving Silicon Valley. Within this FAANG grouping, nearly three-quarters (74%) of Facebook employees agreed with this sentiment compared with less than one-third (30%) of Netflix employees. In general, 66% of tech professionals agree with this sentiment.
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Nearly six-in-10 (59%) respondents believe that Musk’s decisions to leave Silicon Valley “will influence other tech leaders.” Among FAANG employees, 53% believe Musk’s exodus will influence other leaders in tech compared with 72% of Apple employees and 0% of Netflix employees. In the finance sector, 65% of employees believe the CEO of Tesla leaving Silicon Valley could influence other leaders in technology.