Illustrations: Sisi Yu

How Remote Work Could Destroy Silicon Valley

The tech industry is built on serendipity. If workers flee the Bay Area, what’s left?

Perhaps no phenomenon is more studied, marveled, and desired in the world of high tech and science than the mystery of serendipity.

In Palo Alto, the median home now costs $3.2 million. In nearby Mountain View, it’s $1.7 million, and in San Francisco $1.8 million. In other words, the Valley has priced out almost anyone not making high six-figures, and even many of them.

Dozens of startups and legacy companies are trying to solve the serendipity crisis. Among them are Gather, a Silicon Valley startup, and Hopin, a U.K. company, both of which see the answer in conference apps.

If serendipity’s explosive impact in creating the tech world as we know it has been biased in practice, a question is whether anyone should be vexed over its possible diminishment.

History’s creative hubs have been ephemeral — when Florence declined in the 16th century, it was not replaced by another concentration of artistic genius. The world simply went without.

Editor at Large, Medium, covering the turbulence all around us, electric vehicles, batteries, social trends. Writing The Mobilist. Ex-Axios, Quartz, WSJ, NYT.