The 13 Worst Things About Living in Silicon Valley

Working in one of the largest tech hubs in the world can have its drawbacks.

The 13 Worst Things About Living in Silicon Valley
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There's a really cool sense of innovation in Silicon Valley that makes it one of the most popular destinations in the world.

But everything has its down side, and Silicon Valley is no exception, as seen in this Quora post titled, "What's the dark side of Silicon Valley?"

We sifted through the post to pull together 13 of the worst things about living in Silicon Valley.

Don't even think about starting a family with an average salary.

"It is amazingly difficult to start/have a family if you make 'normal' salaries here (you know, only in the $100k range). The amount of wealth in the area has driven up home prices near the places where the jobs are to astronomical levels."--Chris Schrader, Business Intelligence Consultant

You'll meet some arrogant people.

"I grew up in an educationally arrogant environment. Students and adults alike were snotty about people who would go to community college / "low tier college" (i.e. SJSU, and even highly ranked schools like UC Davis) because everyone's parents had a Ph.D from a prestigious university."--Min Ju Lee, Google X

Watch out for fake mentors.

"There are plenty of self-proclaimed 'mentors' fishing around to be an adviser to your nascent startup. They end up eating equity and not doing much except just keep connecting you to other useless people. My guess is that they do it because by amassing a huge collection of startups they 'advise', they can hope for at least one of them going Instagram."--Pallav Sharda, ex-physician, now in digital health

You've only really made it if you REALLY made it.

"Sold your networking company for $2 billion, but no one has heard of it today? You're too low on the pecking order. But at least you can be on the Auction Committee at our kids' school.  Not chairman, though."--Jason Lemkin, founder of Echosign and SaaStr

It's hard to find single women.

"If you're a guy (and chances are that you're a guy) don't come to SV looking for a girl because more than likely you won't have much luck. The odds are stacked against you on two fronts: quantity and money." --Paul Núñez, student researcher

If you're over 40, you're over the hill.

"It's not that anyone believes that older (40+) programmers become incompetent because that's clearly untrue, but there's extremely harsh age grading in this ecosystem. People don't want to work with older people whose careers are less stellar than what they (naively, stupidly) think awaits them."--Michael O. Church

You could get caught up in the hype.

"Don't get too caught up in the hype. The Bay Area/Silicon Valley can feel like the center of the universe at times for a tech entrepreneur. You'll find that many who live there believe that and you'll probably sense a bit of the arrogance we sensed. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by the best and brightest, and that living there meant that I had the best chance of being involved in some of the most exciting projects ever... the reality is that most projects and start-ups there fail and success is elusive."--Chris Raymond

Public transportation is pretty bad.

"Very poor [public transit] for a region that is viewed by the rest of the US as a collection of crunchy granola-loving tree-huggers.  Bay Area Rapid Transit does not circle the Bay.  If you want to start at any airport (SFO/OAK/SJC) and make a complete loop around the Bay, you will have to use 4 separate transit networks in a best case scenario."--Jacob Vincent

It's a lot of white men.

"There is a pretty extreme lack of diversity in Silicon Valley. And very few investors or entrepreneurs are willing to discuss it...Investors and entrepreneurs talk about the Silicon Valley startup world as a meritocracy, and perhaps that's true for those who are able to gain entry into this community.  However many people have no access."--Jeff PilisukFounder / Owner iEnso Consulting 

The competition starts really young.

"The overly competitive adults pushed their kids to be overly competitive. When I lived there, I was enrolled in ice skating, piano, violin, and drawing lessons by the age of 7. This was the bare minimum though, most families had their kids preparing for the SATs before high school or going to extra tutoring outside of classes that they didn't need. Everyone wanted their kid to be the best and they put a lot of pressure on their kids." --Jenny Du

You won't get much respect if you're not in tech.

"The danger of being in a techno-centered place is that everything non-techno seems to recede in importance. It's a tough area to sell culture (everybody is working so hard ALL the time) and to have a social life.  Also, if you're immersed in the SiliValley mythology, you start to believe that technology has the answer to every problem and that there is a silver bullet for everything."--Nancy Roberts

The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.

"The dark side of silicon valley is that they are part of the machine that creates a massive divide between the rich and the poor.  The ultimate goal of technology is to create efficiencies within other businesses or consumers lives."--Mark Schnewart 

Work will eat your life.

"Long hours and high pressure lifestyle, for years.  You always hear about the winners living in mansions, but the average SV engineer puts in 10 hours a day and commutes another 1 or 2 hours a day.  It is a pretty stressed out place.  We just work our a** off to keep making our housing payments."--Randy Andrews

This story first appeared on Business Insider

Jan 28, 2016
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