An interesting thing to ponder based on this article –Thousands of New Millionaires Are About to Eat San Francisco Alive
With the Lyft IPO yesterday, this kicks off the creation of a new wave of an estimated 10,000 silicon valley millionaires. In addition to Lyft, Uber, Airbnb and Pinterest are expected to IPO in 2019, and given the compensation structures of San Francisco startups, this will result in a huge wealth realization for all those employees who hold stock options.
Should this number of newly minted millionairres materialize, it raises some interesting social issues. What happens to a city when a large amount of money floods a city (San Francisco is approximately 7 square miles)? The supply and demand of housing and premium services is going to be off the charts, likely worsening the homeless crisis currently in San Francisco.
It will also be interesting to see this wealth reverberate up and down the west coast. Historically housing prices in the Pacific Northwest correlate to California, so I would assume we will see ripples of this wealth bomb.
I fear this will also make the growing divide in the US between the technology disrupters in Silicon valley, and the declining income of those unskilled workers who lose their jobs to the disruption of the technological revolution. With all that money from the stock IPO’s going into those companies, it will only speed up the progress of the disruption.
So it will be interesting to see what happens in 2019. The impact on San Francisco will be interesting to watch, and hopefully it will drive some discussion about how to deal with this continued disruption across the country.