San Diego A Destination for Digital Nomads: Ryan Mack

The number of digital nomads has risen exponentially in recent years. The problem is—just like their occupation—it’s very hard to identify these segment by a single definition. In fact, even some of them would balk at being called by that term.

Ryan Mack, head of marketing for RM Marketing Group, says that the simplest definition of a digital nomad is somebody whose income is derived mostly from online activities. They may be employed by a single company or, as is often the case, they are freelancers working in the field of SEO, web design, tutorials, consultation, IT, and writing.

“They telecommute or work remotely using all the technologies available like voice over Internet protocol, Wi-Fi, smartphones, and laptops to submit their work or communicate with their clients or employers,” he says.

Despite the name, not all digital nomads travel around the world although a good number managed to do so by staying at length in countries (mostly developing nations) where the power of the dollar goes a long way due to the exchange rate. Some of them telecommute in the comforts of their home office, in which case they pay bills, rental and rooted in a particular area.

“For digital nomads who have no plans of traveling outside of the United States, San Diego is the place to be,” he explains. “Rent prices here are just a fraction of the real property costs of San Francisco or Los Angeles. Plus you get sun all year round like a true Californian. There are a lot of coffee shops and bars where they can work on their projects if they are tired of staying at home.”

He says that San Diego is considered rent-friendly, which is perfect for Millennials and digital nomads who don’t really see the value of owning a home. According to the report from San Diego Tribune, a studio apartment in the downtown area will cost $1,372 per month. A one-bedroom apartment is $200 more expensive. A four-bedroom spread, meanwhile, will cost about $3,000. Compare that to a one-bedroom apartment in San Diego that fetches $250,000 in mortgage costs.

San Diego is also perfect because there are so many things to do. The best thing about people who work remotely is they can combine work with leisure.

“There are a lot of beaches in San Diego if they want to keep their tan. It’s also near the Mexican border so going to Cabo San Lucas is just a two-hour plane ride away. They can actually go there in the morning and fly back in the evening,” Mack adds.

“However, they also have to factor in the high tax costs because we are still in California, after all,” he says.

Ryan Mack considers himself a proud San Diegan, having lived in the area most of his life. The entrepreneur and marketing guru is one of the more successful digital marketers around having built over 20 companies in a 20-year span. He sold most of them for a hefty profit, but he’s always looking for a new challenge.

Forget Silicon Valley, Head to San Diego Instead

As early as 2014, the death of Silicon Valley has already been predicted. However, it’s still alive today and the numbers point to its resiliency.

The year 2015 seemed to be the tipping point as outmigration trounced in-migration for the first time in a very long time. That year, according to the study from the Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project, more than 7,500 former residents of the tech corridor left for other cities.

However, the 2017 Silicon Valley index revealed that the region’s economy still outpaced that of California and major cities in the country in the number of jobs, amount of investments, median income, and real estate space. Last year, for instance, 45,621 new jobs were generated with an average annual income of $125,580.

Apple even breathed new life into the region with its $5-billion campus, said to be visible from space, which will become home to about 12,000 people.

“Silicon Valley attracted inventors, dreamers, scientists and even the adventurous,” says Ryan Mack of RM Marketing Group. “It has become synonymous with the digital revolution that people still go there by its reputation alone.”

However, there are cracks showing as reported ( that more than 3 in 10 of job searches on its website were from Silicon Valley residents looking to leave the valley. A large concentration of the searches was for Austin, TX and Seattle, WA. Also, the amount of venture capital investments also declined last year.

But Mack says that San Diego, California should not be discounted by tech entrepreneurs looking for a fresh start. Silicon Valley, he adds, is already saturated which explains the traffic woes. While the income is indeed higher than the US average, the high standard of living is a great equalizer.

Last year, the US Chamber of Commerce released its “Innovation that Matters” report which counted San Diego, along with Denver, San Francisco, Boston, and Raleigh-Durham, as among the rising digital hubs.

“The study found out that collaborative networks are crucial for digital economies to thrive. San Diego is poised to benefit because of strong government support and partnership with the private sector. The big-brother-small-brother concept is maximized to pick up struggling small enterprises and startups,” he says.

“This is why San Diego is the natural fallback for Silicon Valley residents or those who are thinking about going to the valley,” Mack explains. “This is a haven especially for work-from-home entrepreneurs who will appreciate the low rent and tech infrastructure.”

He said the idea that a startup or a tech business needs to be in Silicon Valley in order to succeed just doesn’t hold water when faced up against the evidence.

Mack is a successful digital marketing entrepreneur who joined RM Marketing Group to take the helm of the company’s marketing campaign. In the past two decades, he has built and sold over 20 businesses. “If startups are having difficulty getting their name out there, we certainly have the expertise and experience to make that happen. This is the kind of collaborative effort I’m talking about.”

Victoria Brewood
[email protected]

Hi I'm Victoria, a British girl from Manchester. After graduating from university I decided there was more to life than the hours between 9 and 5, so I packed my journalism degree into my suitcase to travel the world and find a way to make money at the same time. I now call London home, although I still travel whenever I can. I hope to inspire you to be your own boss, live life and see the world.

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