California doesn't deserve its bad for business reputation

There's a lot that's been said about why California is not a great state for business.

It regularly makes the lists of the most expensive real estate markets in the U.S.

At 13.3 percent, the highest individual income tax rate in the country comes from California. We also have our fair share of natural disasters. In California, we don't ask whether you've felt an earthquake, but rather it's when you felt your first one.

Yet, defying all the odds, the Golden State continues to top the list of the best place for start-ups, technology companies and software developers. It attracts the nation's top technology talent—particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area that Adobe calls home.

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If you were to ask me why California is great for business, there is one major reason: the people.

California has always attracted people who want to do something new—whether it's panning for gold or founding the next great start-up. This same spirit has driven decades of research-led innovation in Silicon Valley, fueled by some of the best universities in the country, the nation's top venture capital firms, and companies on a mission to change the world.

Mark Garrett
Source: Adobe
Mark Garrett
"If you were to ask me why California is great for business, there is one major reason: the people."

We think big here, and we are culturally attuned to experiment and reinvent.

Whether it's an established company like Adobe or a new enterprise that is counting its age in weeks, innovation is a constant in the Bay Area. It's this spirit of constant inquiry and renewal that keeps us fresh and growing as a company.

In fact, I would contend that California is America's top state for business. People are always trying to recreate Silicon Valley in other parts of the world, but you can't. The perfect storm of factors I've just described makes what we have here unique. It's our competitive edge.

—By Mark Garrett, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Adobe Systems and a CNBC Global CFO Council member.