‘We Started Moving’: Inside Miami’s Tech Boom


At the beginning of The first summer of the epidemic, when California began demanding that people wear masks in their homes, Jack Abraham booked a week-long vacation to Miami. Four days walk, he tested Covid-19 disease. He stopped his return flight to San Francisco and, sickly, he kept his nose in Airbnb. When he felt better, Abraham was surprised to find that he was not in a hurry to return. The city was abuzz with excitement, with lots of street art and people just getting drunk to cut in Cuban cafes. He told me: “I thought, ‘This is the right place.’ “And I found out I was very profitable.”

Abraham moved to San Francisco in 2008, a college graduate who met a child with a great starting point. He sold the company for $ 75 million a few years later, and later became one of Silicon Valley’s most famous angels, striking gold with a first bet. Pinterest and Post sponsors. Recently, however, he suffered in the Bay Area. The people of San Franciscans chose a progressive political party that, as they saw it, left the area filled with barracks without heroin needles, and then condemned the unrest in the professional industry. The cost of living went up so much, he said, that entrepreneurs needed the help of investors to pay rent. Even the local areas, which Abraham considers always beautiful, seem to be the worst: In 2017, his house in Sonoma was burned to the ground. wildfire.

Miami felt like a new beginning. Abraham closed the house in August and began inviting people into the Bay Area to visit him. “I just told them, ‘Look what I found,’” he said — good weather, good food, and there were still windows in their windows. When my friends spent a long weekend in Miami, “more than half” decided to stay, he told me.

Miami felt like “the first week of the new year in college,” said Jack Abraham.

Photo by Flaminia Fanale; Photo by Alvaro Dominguez; Getty Images

In recent years, when experts discovered frustration with Silicon Valley, can move to Silicon Beach (Los Angeles), Silicon Hills (Austin), Silicon Slopes (Salt Lake City), and even Silicon Alley (New York). Both places sounded like professional places; Miami did not, perhaps not in the usual way. The region does not have high technical schools and a few well-known technical companies – in other words, they do not have a lot of equipment and do not have many jobs. But in the meantime, the physical equipment was in short supply and the crew was moving away. Suddenly, Miami was the opposite.

In the fall, a friend invited Abraham to join the Miami Tech Life, a telegram service on the Telegraph. People of all races gathered there – billions, founding CEOs, WFH technical staff, established town-based entrepreneurs, the newly returned Floridians, and Francis Suarez, mayor of crypto-evangelist Miami. The original stockbroker told me it reminded him of the early Southwest years: Every few messages, someone would say, “I didn’t realize it. you he was here. “

Soon after, Abraham teamed up with David Blumberg and David Sacks, well-known VCs who found their fortune smelling fast. Everyone paid for millions of homes on Miami Beach. Lucy Guo, the Thiel Fellow converter wunderkind Investor, moved to Miami after seeing others do the same. (An argument broke out between Austin and Miami, but at the time Miami was the only one with Barry’s Bootcamp.) Keith Rabois, a partner in the Founders Fund trading company, moved to Miami in December 2020 and immediately began preaching in the city. He said to me: “I felt like the ark of Noah. “I was like, I need two guardian angels, two VCs, two engineers, two startups.”

In software, “online results” describe how marketing becomes more relevant as consumers grow. The more people register to host Airbnb, the better their choice of home; the more people have cryptocurrency, the more each of them can buy with it. For half a year, the results of the network worked in the Bay Area: The talented people moved there because some talented people moved there, starting with the well-meaning hairdressers who became the world’s largest companies. Now the city seemed to be on the move.

What was it about Miami that became so different? Freedom? Strange? The release of a back-to-back relationship things got worse with San Francisco? Rabois used to brag that he could leave his Prada bag in his car without anyone breaking into it. There was no tax liability for individuals and companies. There was no risk of financial ruin. “In San Francisco, no one is driving a Lamborghini car because it can be like, ‘Oh, they are missing,” said Delian Asparouhov, head of the Founders Fund, who moved to Miami in April 2021 and often drives a Vespa. It is like, ‘I am buying half the island and building a house on it.’

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