San Francisco is a city of endless reinvention-and now, again, it's recreating itself as one of the most dynamic hubs of Internet and e-commerce activity. "Talented people just like living and working in San Francisco," says Jon Gregory, president and CEO of Golden State Capital Network, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance and access to capital to businesses.
What's hot: Talent, money and an entrenched entrepreneurial culture: "All the related resources are at hand," says Mo Bjornestad, development director for the Bay Area Regional Technology Alliance, a state-funded agency dedicated to helping tech businesses grow.
What's not hot: Got bucks? If you don't, "the City" is a tough playground. One-bedroom apartments in so-so neighborhoods go for $1,500 per month-and there are often waiting lists of prospective tenants. Office rental space is about as pricey, and vacancies are few. Other hassles: traffic and parking. However, a first-rate public transit system, Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, alleviates some of that problem.
Hot eats: Elizabeth Ripley, the marketing communications manager with hot b2b dotcom WorldRes.com, points to 42 Degrees and Moma's. Lots of dotcommers favor both eateries. A third choice: Moose's, where the City's heaviest hitters hang out. Big deals get done at the bar.
Hot networking spots: The hot ticket is the Friday night bashes hosted by trade publication The Industry Standard. Also hot: the San Francisco Bay Club, a members-only workout salon. Try dotcom launch parties-they're lavish, with invites easy to come by.