SAN FRANCISCO — Housing prices in Silicon Valley remain defiantly high. New BMWs and Saabs cruise Highway 101. But for the first time there are signs that the current economic downturn is taking its toll on the country’s cradle of technology and innovation.
Job growth has slowed, start-up companies are hiring and spending more cautiously, and early-stage investors who nurture the start-ups with money and expertise are growing more frugal.
Most of the investors, entrepreneurs and innovators who build companies in the Valley do so with the hope of taking them public or selling them — the rainmaking opportunities that people here call exits. But with gloom pervading the financial markets and the business climate, the exits are hard to find.