Thursday, November 12, 2009

Green Shoots

Two contrasting stories from above the fold. First the bad news on the local employment front:

Santa Clara-based Applied [Materials], the world's largest maker of semiconductor production equipment, said it will cut 1,300 to 1,500 jobs, or 10 percent to 12 percent of its global work force. The news followed layoffs announced Tuesday by software maker Adobe Systems and Monday by video-gaming company Electronic Arts.
[Note: if you read all the way to the bottom of the Mercury News article, you'll see Adobe's term for cheap-labor countries, "lower-cost geographies." Creative, but I don't think it'll catch on.]

Now some good news for Bay Area techworkers:
There is a hint of that old boomtown feeling again in the Bay Area [emphasis added]-- this time in living rooms and garages and cubicles where a cottage industry is unfolding around the iPhone app.

Despite the recession, hundreds of start-ups have sprung up in the area since Apple Inc. launched the iPhone two years ago and opened up the device so third-party developers could create games and other software applications for it.
This creative energy, talent, and money devoted to furthering the iPod and iPhone can only help the fortunes of Apple, a Bay Area employer. And many of these companies must be working to port their applications to other platforms, such as the Android developed by Mountain View-based Google. It's way early to mark the start of another boom in Bay Area employment and real estate, but the seeds have been planted. © 2009 Stephen Yuen

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