Video: Tech’s finest propose how startups can fix San Francisco’s problems

san fran tech scene problem solving

What if just about every aspect of our lives was accessible via mobile phones, or digitized to make life that much more convenient? The brightest minds in technology in the San Francisco area released a promo video today that gives us a glimpse of the problems in the city and how the startup community wants to solve them. It’s an intriguing glimpse into innovating what’s already an on-the-cutting edge place, and it makes you wonder if we’re ready for the future these companies are imaging.

The video, titled “This is how technology will create a smarter San Francisco,” has been created with the support of tech companies including Zynga, Salesforce, Stumbleupon, AT&T, Tagged, and Riverbed as a promo on behalf of angel investor Ron Conway’s organization ); (also known as San Francisco Citizen’s Initiative for Technology and Innovation). The organization describes itself as wanting to “leverage the power of the technology community around civic action in San Francisco. supports innovative policies and works collaboratively with government to find new solutions to historic problems facing San Francisco, and consolidate a voice in promotion of tech sector interests and growth.”

The video is a veritable who’s who of the startup elite. You’ll recognize Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square, Twitter and Obvious Corp. co-founder Biz Stone, Airbnb founder Brian Chesky, and Jawbone founder Hosain Rahman offering solutions to San Francisco’s common problems. Parking tickets, Muni (the train system) delays, sidewalk dumping, and even biker rage are among the concerns the video pinpoints and targets. 

For example, Dorsey suggests making transportation routes easier to monitor with displays at transit stops in San Francisco that offer real-time traffic data for cabs, buses, trains, and boats. Chesky proposes repurposing old phone booths into Wi-Fi hotspots around the city, something New York has experimented with.

While it’s an eye-opener, there’s no getting around the fact this is a promotional video plugging Proposition E at the very end of the clip: “Vote yes on Prop E and support jobs and payroll tax reform.” Proposition E, as the San Francisco Chronicle explains, will ”switch the city’s business payroll tax system to a gross receipts tax system billed as more friendly to startups and small businesses.” 

Check out the video below.


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