Los Angeles is synonymous with many types of people. As one of the country’s largest cities, it is home to a wide array of different characters, from
the bodybuilders of Venice Beach to the fixed-gear cyclists roaming downtown, LA prides itself on diversity. However, until recently there has been one category of inhabitant that the city has been significantly lacking, and that is web designers. As if they were sensing LA’s web-design deprivation, an influx of web designers and their startup companies have been invading the City of Angels.
You may be wondering why, or rather how LA is suddenly blossoming with web designers. The city has been an entertainment hub, most notably for films, for many decades. The city’s increase in web designers may be due in part to a desire to couple the entertainment and technology industries. With the popularity of online entertainment via websites like YouTube and startups like Kickstarter, there is good reason for web designers paired with those in the entertainment industry to be in close proximity. With the success of partnering technology and entertainment companies, such as Disney and Pixar, there is even more reason for both industries to be in one place.
Startups in The City
While LA begins to host more and more web designers, an increase in the creation of more startup companies is occurring. In fact, AngelList, an online startup directory of sorts, currently lists Los Angeles with nearly 1,400 startup companies. Furthermore, since 2010, programs like the Lean LA Startup Circle have been helping young companies efficiently establish a standing in the business world.
Many of these startup advocates also encourage those within the city limits to utilize outside help in order to be successful. In certain instances, outsourcing can be given to web hosting and a number of other aspects involved with running a successful startup company. For example, an LA-based company may delegate the hosting of their website to a company, such as www.findmyhosting.com, which is based out of Miami.
The seemingly new insurgence of tech startups and web designers in the LA area is, in fact, not so new at all. While some people may instinctively think that successful startup companies are largely limited to Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area, LA actually holds one rather impressive acclaim in the annals of tech-startup history. Social-network pioneer MySpace was founded in Santa Monica (a suburb of Los Angeles) dating all the way back to 2003 (an eternity for a tech startup). While MySpace has been long overshadowed by its enormously successful competitors, such as Facebook and Twitter, the company was founded as a social network and has since morphed into a social-entertainment site catering more toward music lovers. Interestingly enough, MySpace still pulls in over $100 million in annual revenue, making it one of the most successful web-based startups in LA history.
Startup companies, such as MySpace, largely owe their fortune and incredible success to web developers. While most tech startups are founded by business-savvy people, there is always a web developer or designer with a piece of the pie as well. The increase in LA web designers and their companies is a good sign of things to come. It should encourage expansion of the tech industry to other areas of the country, and ultimately promote LA as more than just an entertainment Mecca filled with celebrities and filmmakers. One thing is undeniably apparent; LA has now added another type of inhabitant to its diverse urban populace.