There is a disconnect in the city by the bay.
San Francisco is home to dozens of tech startups working on innovative ideas to disrupt entire industries. Yet just outside their offices, city residents remain frustrated by basic problems, like finding cabs or avoiding parking tickets.
Now, the city's tech community is hoping to change that.
In a new video, local startup founders -- including Twitter founders Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone -- have come together to suggest ways that San Francisco could use its tech sector to improve residents' lives.
"San Francisco is the innovation capital of the world," Dorsey, who is now chief executive of Square, said in the video released Tuesday. “It would be awesome if we used technology to fix the problems that San Franciscans see every day."
Stone, who is now chief executive of Obvious, a startup incubator, suggested the city could install visual displays in bus stops that show real-time data for “every cab, every train, every bus, every boat that’s available to you right now so you can get that ride.” He also said residents should be able to use a mobile app to pay for parking and receive a text message when they are running out of time.
Hosain Rahman, founder of Jawbone, which designs wireless speakers and headsets, said in the video that his company is building a crime-reporting tool that allows San Francisco residents to send Tweets to the police -- @SFPD -- and receive an immediate response. And Brian Chesky, the chief executive of Airbnb, said his company is looking at converting old phone booths into Wi-Fi hotspots.
The video was created by San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation, or sf.citi, a tech advocacy group created by angel investor Ron Conway. On its website, the group says it is “leveraging the collective power of the tech sector as a force for civic action" in San Francisco. The group says it has more than 330 member companies and represents more than 20,000 workers.
The video ends by asking viewers to vote “Yes” on Proposition E, an overhaul of the city's business tax that is on the Nov. 8 ballot. The business community says Prop. E should be approved because the current tax deters them from hiring.
The video's release coincides with the launch of “Innovation Month” in San Francisco, in which Mayor Ed Lee is trying to showcase the potential for tech companies to make city government more efficient. This month's events will include app and program launches and several open coding sessions, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Lee has also announced the creation of a “Startup Map” to pinpoint where the city’s startups are located.
The city is already using technology in innovative ways. In June, the city launched a new mobile application that allows San Francisco police officers to report remotely from the field and share reports in real time to make them more efficient.
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