Applies equally well to Portland:
It’s not difficult to infer that this all happened when it did, where it did, because of the post-dotcom-crash emergence of a healthy cohort of talented (and relatively well-capitalized) folks hungry to make something with their lives just a little more tangible than some evanescent Web portal. I’m also willing to bet that the relatively low barriers to entry involved in successful push-button publishing of the early blog era convinced a whole lot of people in the Bay Area that it was safe to try their hand at other, more ambitious endeavors – that is, that blogging constituted a kind of gateway drug.
And yeah, sure, this can occasionally be a little insular and precious, a little twee: the kind of hipster-doofus affectation that makes a nice fat target for equally nitwit parody. But it’s also, hopefully, something that speaks to Russell’s more general point, and is therefore replicable elsewhere, in whatever ways are most true to those places and desires. The San Francisco resurgence would not – could not – have happened if there were not at this point literally several hundred years of insight into craft technique just lying on the ground, for just about any domain of productive activity you can imagine.
Speedbird: Installed infrastructure, latent knowledge and the small-batch aesthetic