This is a very good meme, but is it willing to relocate to San Francisco?

The Bay Area-centrism of the software industry is so strong it borders on the absurd. This week, techies marveled at the hypocrisy of a industry that connects millions of people, regardless of physical distance, continuing to insist that its employees move to expensive, overcrowded, feces-strewn San Francisco: 

A certain moneyed segment of the Bay seems to be oblivious to life as an average American, and even an average American in the tech industry. And thus arose the “must be willing to relocate to San Francisco” meme, a lighthearted mockery of our depressing new startup economy reality. 

It’s a meme that captures the mood of a certain time. It probably won’t age well as San Francisco fills up with recently graduated trust-fund bros and America’s remote workforce burgeons, but for now, it’s perfect. 

One particular version of the joke became especially popular: 



Confidential to San Francisco employers: You know Slack exists, right?

Update 6:05pm CT, March 22: Welp, Slack itself appears to be part of the problem: All new hires are expected to move to—yep—San Francisco. Guess the company just can’t trust its own product!

Photo via Jeffrey Zeldman/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Jay Hathaway

Jay Hathaway

Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on,, and the Morning News.