Those traversing San Francisco's downtown have probably noticed the placard-wearing hordes, and the minders shepherding them to South of Market, outfitted in teal uniforms befitting a regimental band in the Albanian military.
That's Dreamforce. Salesforce.com's 11th-annual extravaganza is promised to be the biggest this city has ever seen. And, as everyone knows, bigger is better. That's certainly the case when it comes to inflatable architecture.
This year's Dreamforce will feature, per Peter Coffee, a tent billed as "the largest inflatable structure ever erected in North America." Coffee is Salesforce's vice president of strategic research so, presumably, he's strategically researched the history of North American inflatable structures.
The massive blow-up at Moscone is of particular resonance to those of us here at SF Weekly. Just two weeks ago, we published our tongue-in-cheek "Non-Voting Edition." Readers may recall that one faux-measure, "Proposition F," proposed "Bouncy Offices for Tech Firms."
At last, that faux-day has arrived. And it is real.
See Also: Our Special Non-Voting Edition
Here's the full text of "Prop. F":
Bouncy Offices for Tech Firms
Shall the City create a special downtown district allowing the construction of pneumatic ("bouncy") office spaces, which could be fully inflated to house tech firms with names containing no vowels and/or especially frivolous products, and which could be quickly deflated and removed in the (likely) event that said firms fail?
The Way it is Now: Business leaders say the high cost of office space in the City is forcing them to make unsustainable compromises, such as sharing their game rooms with other tenants, and forcing employees to sit so close together that they cannot avoid verbal communication. However, most of the companies seeking office space in the City are technology start-ups, and thus frequently implode before even hiring an assistant to pick up senior executives' dry cleaning.
The Proposal: Proposition F would allow the creation of "bouncy" pneumatic offices, similar to so-called bouncy houses, which would offer all the amenities of brick-and-mortar buildings (save for walls and floors) while not permanently affecting the landscape of the city.
Proponent's Argument in Favor of Proposition F:
They're cheap! They're fun! They're easy! And will never hurt if you happen to trip and fall!!!! Temporary inflatable offices are just what San Francisco's tech industry needs: space for companies that come and go like the breeze. Cloud-based solutions for our booming cloud corridor, if you will. Besides being affordable by default, entry-level start-ups in bouncy offices will also no longer need a separate "fun room" for their overworked employees -- their whole building would be a "fun room." Neat!!
The Committee for Bouncier Cities
Society for the Advancement of Rubber, Northern California Chapter
Rebuttal to Proponent's Argument in Favor of Proposition F:
Don't blow up San Francisco! Inflatable office buildings will be unsafe at any P.S.I. They will be big, bloated blights on our beautiful urban landscape, and make the city's already unsettled tech economy even more prone to deflation. What's next? Affordable housing in the form of teepees? Replacing Muni trains with bumper cars? If whippersnapper tech firms can't find room in a real building, maybe they don't deserve room at all. And as for the whole game-room issue, can't tech kids just go to the bowling alley after work like the rest of us?
S.F. Needle Exchange
Union for a More Puncture-Resistant Planet
Bricklayers, Who Still Exist