The move actually seemed a lot naïve to me at the time because before the 7 or so fat years of net boom, there were some pretty lean ones. The first jobs I got in the Bay Area teaching film production at SF State ($628 per month) and doing video stuff for the game company 3DO ($12/hour), made my $20k+ student debt seem a poor investment. True, the guys who worked for NASA Ames and the industry engineers had fat jobs, but there were also many artists, grad students, kids, and assorted independent souls whose dedication was purely, and brilliantly amateur. In fact, much of the most innovative stuff arose around play, or music. For example, the SFRaves mailing list, started in 1992, was a central forum to the community within which the open source Apache web server developed. Even when Internet businesses began to grow South of Market, labor rates were depressed. Wired magazine, started in 1993, was largely produced by young staffers and interns who made little. But what the early 90s lacked in economics they more than made up for in terms of innovation, activity, and excitement about the future.
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