Thank you, Tim. That background information is extremely helpful to
understand the thinking behind the previous decision.
On Apr 16, 2015 10:15 PM, "Tim Starling" <tstarling(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
On 15/04/15 22:45, Craig Franklin wrote:
I do think that it's doesn't particularly
match up for the Foundation to
base itself in one of the most expensive cities in the world, citing the
local talent pool, when a lot of the tech staff are being recruited
elsewhere and are working remotely. I did feel that a lot of the
motivation to moving to SF in the first place was because for some high
level staff, leading a tech-based organisation in SF looked better on the
old CV than leading a tech-based organisation in Flint, Gary, or East St.
Heh. Flint was never considered, for some reason.
I have a spreadsheet which Sue sent to all staff prior to the
decision, which has a points system weighing up the various options,
"not in order to determine the final location, but just as a
jumping-off point for discussion". It suggests that local talent pool
was a minor consideration.
San Francisco had the most points, followed by Boston. San Francisco
beat Boston substantially in the "proximity to partners and likeminded
organizations" category, since San Francisco had EFF, OSI, CC,
Mozilla, Wikia and a few others. San Francisco also got a bonus for
having a Board member living near it, specifically Jimmy Wales. Jimmy
was presumably following Wikia, which was set up in San Mateo in order
to be close to investors.
Boston scored a lot of points for "ease of international
communication", which was based on the timezone difference from
Europe. They were almost the same on "proximity to technology", which
considered tech companies generally and availability of computer
science graduates, the closest category to Craig's idea of a local
talent pool: 8 points for SF and 7 for Boston. The total was 88 to 73.
I think we do benefit from proximity to technology. There is a lot of
staff turnover in the tech industry, people tend to spend 2-3 years at
one tech company and then move on to another one. It gives the Bay
Area a kind of shared tech culture. Innovations introduced in one
place are stirred around the Bay by staff movement.
-- Tim Starling
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