JFK to SFO and back
I've been doing that route for 25 years. And never have I felt that these two cites/regions have been more connected at the hip than I do right now.
This past week brought the news that Facebook plans to open an engineering office in NYC. Serkan Piantino, the Facebook engineer who will lead the NYC team said:
This isn’t a satellite office. This is going to be a core part of our engineering stack.
This follows on the heels of eBay's Hunch acquisition and the news that eBay will build a team of 200 engineers in NYC. Twitter has a team of engineers in NYC now after the acquisition of Julpan this summer and Zynga has a game development team in NYC as a result of its acquisition of Area/Code almost a year ago.
For many years, Google was the sole big bay area company with a strong engineering presence in NYC. That's changing and changing quickly.
Sales offices are one thing. Tech companies have had strong sales offices in NYC forever. But adding product and engineering to the mix changes things in important ways. Most importantly for NYC, it brings talent flowing here that would not have otherwise come here. And it makes it easier for the talent to stay here through multiple job changes.
Kudos to our mayor and his team for recognizing that NYC has an important new industry developing and pouring fuel on the fire to get things going even stronger. The city's leadership is on its game right now and showing how to lead. It's great to see.
Congratulations Fred. Well deserved! It’s lovely to see you express what I like to call ‘Builder Joy’. And this is years of work to build NYC as a city hub that’s finally coming to fruition. And it’s evident how much this matters to you. You’ve mentioned more than once over the past few days. 🙂 Happy to hear! Have a great weekend!
It’s funny because Fred openly talks about how he never ran a startup himself, but I view him as one of the founders of the NY tech community. That is his startup.Sure, NYC as a tech startup hub has been years in making, but it is finally starting to get the hockey stick growth the last few years that make the VCs get that warm and fuzzy feeling about a new startup. Fred has been an integral part in building the NYC tech community for many years, and just like a startup it mostly went unnoticed in the early years. But you keep laying that foundation and building the infrastructure and gathering feedback and iterating.And then people finally start to take notice well after all the early investors and adopters have staked a claim. But that’s ok, because you still welcome the late comers and early skeptics with open arms.
Cannot agree more, John.He’s a builder. And builders build great ecosystems. Always.
credit is overvaluedjoy is undervalued
spoken like a true startup ceo 🙂
Cool news/trend. How do living costs compare nowadays re: SF/NYC?Personally, I’d prefer to settle in NYC, rather than SF – much as I love SF. I can see the NYC location being a huge draw for talent that hitherto ‘had’ to head West or Mass’ way, etc.
I can’t speak to the cost of living, but SF’s public transit options are terrible relative to NYC’s, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that become a big big issue going forward.
Good point – and an increasingly-important factor in where one chooses to live/work. Can save a fortune if one doesn’t need a car for daily use. When I moved over to NYC for a year or so I was initially going to get a car but when I saw garaging fees and re-realised just how easy it was to pretty much walk most places, I elected not to. Best thing I did in my time there. Driving in a horrible anti-social eco-unfriendly steel box insulates us from so many experiences.I love urban spaces where one can walk most places, or jump on a tram/bus. Is why I prefer NYC (Manhattan-wise) to (eg) London – London is simply way too big. May seem silly, but Sheffield is more the model I like and more like NYC, to me – walkable, a clear ‘heartland’ and easy public transport – trams, even!Although we live in rural Yorkshire nowadays, I could get by without a car as I work from home so much – I should make the leap. We have a bus stop just 30secs from our home and whilst a poor service is enough to get one to most places – I could still get to Manchester airport for example is probably about 90mins, door to door.My wife by contrast has to travel some 300+ miles a week with her teaching job – let alone wear and tear on her and the car, the cost is a awful £70pw in fuel – her poor VW Beetle has done some 185k miles now(!).Anyway, sorry for the waffle, is just a subject I think of increasing importance.Funny how life goes full circle – the 1880s cottage we live in is a former miner’s cottage – granted by the colliery owner to miners to live close to work – our village was a former mining village; the mine was closed during the Thatcher cuts in the 1980s. Transportation is a massive issue, nowadays – so many related issues – lifestyle, cost, eco, stress, humanise.I’ll shut up now, lol 😉
i think its roughly similar. the mission and williamsburg are in the same range and that seems to be where tech talent wants to live
Mayor Bloomberg indeed deserves a great deal of credit for his leadership, but folks like you and dozens others who have been championing the ecosystem should also take a bow, Fred. It’s a case study in strategic development towards a start-up ecosystem. Now for more engineers! I am very psyched to see NYC close the deal with Stanford, Cornell or whomever to build the new engineering school – perhaps on Roosevelt Island: http://bit.ly/uIAfAX
i am hoping the city backs two projects, either a Stanford or Cornell grad school on Roosevelt, and the CUSP project in downtown Brooklyn. CUSP is a way more interesting project than either Stanford or Cornell’s proposals in my view. CUSP is a consortium of engineering schools including Carnegie Mellon, Univ of Toronto, NYU Poly, Univ of Warwick in the UK, and IIT in Mumbai to build the world’s leading institute of urban engineering and science. http://www.nyu.edu/about/un…
Why is CUSP so much more interesting? I would think the Roosevelt Island project would bring a computer science center of excellence that the city needs so desperately across all industries (startups, financial services, media, advertising, even health care/hospitals).————————————-Jeffrey J. BussgangFlybridge Capital Partners500 Boylston St, 18th floorBoston, MA 02116Book: Mastering the VC Game – http://www.jeffbussgang.comE: [email protected]: http://www.SeeingBothSides.comTwitter: http://www.twitter.com/bussgangURL: http://www.flybridge.comT: 617 307-9295F: 617 307-9293________________________________
the problem with roosevelt island is two foldfirst, it is an island and very far from the startup sector. nobody goes there and nobody will. stanford literally sits in the center of silicon valley.second, the proposals from stanford is to create a satellite grad school, including its business school. i think the cornell proposal is much better. but i’m all for doing something on roosevelt island. i’m just saying CUSP is more interesting. it brings not one but four world class engineering schools into the city for a cross disciplinary effort to do research and science and commercialize technology (including of course comp sci) focused on urban living which will be how 7bn people live on this planet by the end of the century. it’s something new and different and uniquely NYC
I fully agree with your points though the single variable is that the Stamford brand can attract talented students competing for the established places to go early on. A model such as CUSP needs years to prove itself to the future student population as a top choice in its own right rather than being the sum of its parts.
Cornell and CMU can’t?
NEED MORE THAN JUST ENGINEERS.NEED TOP UX PROGRAMS TOO. CULTURE OF OBSOLETE PRINT DESIGNERS SHOEHORNED INTO WEB IN NY NOT GOING TO CUT IT.
Need to cross breed a new brain that includes artistic (analog) and digital into one creative being.
THAT MIND EXIST.IT CALLED “BE UNDER 30”.
Nope. Not an age issue though that helps, sure. There have always been people that can do both. They are special. I’ve worked with artists for some time. And there are few people who possess both sides of the brain. Of course they do exist though. Just like there are VC’s that blog.From the Journal of “no study but I swear it’s true”:Take 100 random people from, say, MIT in engineering and 100 random people in, say, liberal arts at an equivalent school. Give them some kind of art test (take out anyone that is an artist to start or whatever). You will be able to tell the difference between the two groups. http://painting.about.com/o…http://painting.about.com/l…Brains are different. (Homosexuality and creativity)http://www.psychologytoday….Consequently people can’t be made to be creative (of course you can improve your creativity obviously) anymore than you can change someone’s gender orientation (although they can stay in the closet).Interesting fact (sorry no link). Part of Starbucks’ “canary in the coal mine” for deciding where to open new locations is keeping track of where the gay population is starting to migrate. Gays tend to be early adopters and transformers of neighborhoods.
YOU USE WRONG WORDS. FOR UNDER 30, CREATIVE IS DIGITAL. DIGITAL != ENGINEER.
It is really difficult to make that transition. It is really not obvious how to design something that, strictly speaking, feels like print, BUT, you can interact with it in new ways that you can’t do with a magazine.There are a lot of new issues that need to be worked out…
IT EASY TO MAKE TRANSITION FOR REAL DESIGNER.CORE ISSUE IS DESIGN FIELD MOSTLY FULL OF GRAPHIC ARTISTS.THEM NOT HAVE RIGHT BRAIN.
Winner winner chicken dinner.
for example … “a magazine is an ipad that’s broken”http://www.youtube.com/watc…
such a good point FGmy colleague Gary Chou has made it his personal mission to connect the leading design schools in NYC to the startup community. he’s doing a great job at it.
LEADING DESIGN SCHOOLS LEARN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UX AND GRAPHICS YET?ME, GRIMLOCK, NOT FAMILIAR WITH STATE OF NY SCHOOLS.
they are getting better at it. their students are driving it, of course
PROFESSORS SO FAR AWAY FROM CUTTING EDGE THEM BARELY ON HANDLE.THIS BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR OBSOLETE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM.
I am not sure this can be taught. It is a personality driven issue.
Jeff,Your first two sentences are fine.But then with:”Now for more engineers! I am very psyched to see NYC close the deal with Stanford, Cornell or whomever to build the new engineering school – perhaps on Roosevelt Island”it would appear that you should be less “psyched” and calm down! :-)!!The “tech talent” (as Fred puts it) needed by VC funded startups is as at:http://www.avc.com/a_vc/201…and mostly not available at Stanford, Cornell, CMU, MIT, Princeton, Harvard, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, etc. Closer would be Mid Hudson Valley Community College or Dutchess County Community College.E.g., athttp://www.avc.com/a_vc/201…is a short discussion of courses:Stanford class on Information Theoryhttp://www.infotheory-class…Computer Science 101http://www.cs101-class.org/#Machine Learninghttp://jan2012.ml-class.org/Probabilistic Graphical Modelshttp://www.pgm-class.org/These appear to be the leading, current on-line computer science courses from Stanford.Maybe I’m wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time! :-)!! So, let’s assume I’m wrong (I’m willing to do that!). So, let’s assume that your stated interests in computer science are solid; I can do that!Now, consider a ‘problem’: At high end server farms and networks, important considerations include reliability, security, and performance. Come up short on one or more of those can be a “really bad day” at a high end location — electronic trading site, major bank, cloud, major ISP, peering center, corporate network, national security installation, etc.So, we monitor sites in real time to detect problems ASAP ‘before the damage gets any worse’.The amount of real time data readily available for such monitoring is one of the larger real time data flows in the world — for some typical numbers, 4 bytes per number, 1000 numbers per second per variable, 100 variables per ‘target’ system, 2000 systems means4 * 1000 * 100 * 2000 * 3600 * 24 = 69,120,000,000,000or 69 terabytes a day. Did someone mention ‘big data’?Microsoft, Cisco, Mercury Interactive, HP, etc. are awash variables on which they can collect data.At a high end site, when a problem is detected, typically it is diagnosed and corrected and never seen again. So the problems to detect are the ones never seen before, i.e., the ‘zero day’ problems.Necessarily and inescapably in such detection there are two ways to be wrong, (1) a false alarm, saying that a target system is sick when it is healthy and (2) a missed detection, saying that a target system is healthy when it is sick. A ‘perfect’ detector would have rates of zero for both errors, but such detectors are in short supply! So, typically for whatever false alarm rate we are willing to tolerate, we want the lowest rate of missed detections we can get.How to do that is in the now classic Neyman-Pearson result (right, J. Neyman was long at Berkeley). I can give you a nice, relatively general proof based on the Hahn decomposition. Yes, in principle the application is a knapsack problem which is known to be in NP-complete (see the description at Clay Math Institute in Boston). Alas, for this detection problem, ‘big data’ is still not nearly big enough to permit applying the Neyman-Pearson result.So, what to do? That is, how to do such monitoring?This problem is in ‘computer science’, e.g., was long pursued in the RAD Lab at Stanford and Berkeley led by D. Patterson and A. Fox and funded by Google, Microsoft, and Sun.The problem was also pursued by several projects at the Watson Lab in Yorktown Heights including an approach via artificial intelligence.But as we see from the two ways of being wrong and the Neyman-Pearson result, really the problem is inescapably close to statistical hypothesis testing. There we would want some tests that are both multidimensional and distribution free, but that combination is rare, e.g., is not in the classicE. L. Lehmann, ‘Nonparametrics: Statistical Methods Based on Ranks’, ISBN 0-8162-4994-6, Holden-Day, San Francisco, 1975.Also there is little help from the otherwise relatively well informed:David J. Marchette, ‘Computer Intrusion Detection: A Statistical Viewpoint’, ISBN 0-387-95281-0, Springer-Verlag, New York, 2001.Well, I was a member of a team of three researchers at Yorktown Heights that did several years of research on this problem, generated two IBM Program Products, and published several papers, including one given at a Stanford AAAI IAAI conference.One day I put my feet up, popped open a cold can of caffeinated cola, reviewed some of my grad school math, checked with:P. Billingsley, ‘Convergence of Probability Measures, 2ed’, ISBN: 0-471-19745-9, John Wiley, New York, 1999.reviewed some of the techniques in classic ergodic theory, and had some ideas that resulted in a large, new class of statistical hypothesis tests that are both multidimensional and distribution-free. I wrote some prototype software and tested the ideas on some real data from a parallel cluster and also on some simulated data — the results worked just as the math said they should. I wrote and published a paper on the work. I found a relatively fast way to do the computations. From all I could tell from the RAD project Web site, my work was ahead of theirs.Since you are in Boston, J. Jaffe at W3C can tell you something about my work!So, it’s computer science, original, advanced, peer-reviewed, for an important real problem, with prototype software, and tested on real data.But, gotta tell you what you already know: There is exactly zip, zilch, zero, no, none, nichts, nil, nada, not a chance interest anywhere, coast to coast, in US venture capital for such a project. We’re taking a dead duck, “a late parrot”, a non-starter, a total failure, couldn’t be worse.So, net, the conclusion is clear: The “tech talent” VC is interested in is ‘programming skills’ as inhttp://www.avc.com/a_vc/201…and from many community colleges and not computer science as inhttp://www.avc.com/a_vc/201…Moreover, in evaluating projects, VCs consider team and ‘traction’ but ignore advanced, original, powerful core technology — won’t even look at it.So, why waste time, money, and effort on ‘computer science’? So, what’s the big interest in more ‘computer science’ for the startup community in NYC?I’m sure you know this lesson. I learned it. So, I put my feet up again, popped open another can of cold caffeinated cola, had some other ideas, ones I have a good chance of bringing to a successful company without VC funding, and am writing software. Yes, my ideas are advanced, original, and powerful and computer science would say that they are, but I just want a business, 10 pizza shops would be fine, but my current project has much more potential and is cheaper to start than even one pizza shop. Net, to heck with bringing computer science to VCs.VCs: Your interests in “tech talent” are at the level of community college courses; for the people, mostly you want them on H1Bs from Taiwan, India, and Russia; you are not interested in computer science; be not confused and just f’get about ‘computer science’; trust me on this one.
Why do you think funding advanced comp sci is such a problem?
Because on this blog and in this thread we’re talking about information technology startups where computing, the Internet, software, etc. are just crucial.So, a temptation is to assume, as is ubiquitous, that a ‘computer science’ department is the relevant source of education and that one at a ‘better’ university is better.In particular the assumption is that the leading sources of relevant education are the computer science departments at Stanford, MIT, and CMU.Then for such education we throw a lot of time, money, and effort, allocate a big fraction of our society’s ‘seed corn’ and, in particular, a big fraction of the lives of some of our best young people doing quite challenging work. So, these are high costs.For the US Congress, the reason has been mostly just US national security (which is after all what the heck actually built Silicon Valley).For these high costs, and for information technology startups, what are the benefits?First, as I explained, the education for Fred’s “tech talent” is not what the computer science departments at the ‘best’ universities provide. Instead the relevant education is mostly from, say, community colleges. Actually, in the US, mostly the material is learned on the job or from independent study.In particular, if a startup is to be based on Microsoft instead of Linux, then crucial topics will be .NET, the CLR, and system management and administration of Windows Server and, likely, SQL Server, and at the computer science departments of Stanford, MIT, CMU, etc., it will be tough to find courses that teach this material or even professors who know it. And the situation is similar for Linux. Sorry ’bout that.Second, for the material from ‘computer science’, venture capital ignores it — won’t read about it, pay attention to it, try to understand it, comment on it, or value it and certainly won’t regard it as important in writing a check.Net, for the interests of this blog and thread and for venture funded information technology startups, what is taught in, say, the Stanford computer science department has big costs but is essentially irrelevant.So, all the big push for more in high end academic research university computer science for the NYC information technology startup community, especially the venture funded part, is a big cost for little gain.Could do about as well pushing for some theological seminaries!To be clear, nowhere did I say that research in computer science is necessarily worthless for startups! Such material would, could, and should be not just relevant but crucial. Alas, clearly at present it just is not, indeed, is just irrelevant.Yes, the crucial core of my project is original research with some advanced prerequisites and could be called ‘computer science’, although to me it is just applied math and, net, of higher quality than ‘computer science’, but there is zip, zilch, zero chance that work such as mine will become common in the information technology startup community or valued by venture capital. To venture capital, some traction with research ‘secret sauce’ is not nearly as good as just traction alone! So my work is an exception. Of course, each significant success in the startup world, which I don’t have so far, is an ‘exception’, necessarily so!Again, the information technology startup world, especially the venture funded part of it, wants nothing to do with what is taught in the Stanford computer science department. So, the NYC startup community should just f’get about such computer science; talking about it, pursuing it, funding it are all just wasted. In a sense Roosevelt Island would be a good place for research computer science since it is out in the middle of a river and tough to get to!Instead, for a startup, just think up some simple ‘business idea’ — social, mobile — that maybe will get the eyeballs of 100 million people, hire some programmers who were self taught, learned on the job, or learned in a community college (or in a trade school in a foreign country), even if they did go to Stanford, write some routine code, and see if are successful. Have a ‘lean’ project, and ‘pivot’ quickly ‘searching’ for ‘product-market’ fit. For such work, computer science is irrelevant and otherwise a big waste.Yes, there is a sense in which Hunch is a partial exception! There it might have been good to understand the eigen structure of a symmetric, positive definite matrix as in a junior level course in linear algebra! Some people at Hunch may have chatted about some such topics for an afternoon or so with some profs at MIT or some such!
For some clarity and balance:Research — math, science, engineering, biomedical science — is terrific stuff with historically likely the highest ROI of anything humans have done.The golden age of research started after WWII in the US with funding mostly for national security and, later, health care. While the US remains the leader, there have been good results from all the more industrialized countries. The best results in all respects have been fantastic, beyond belief.Research in the US is generally in good shape: The NSF and NIH funding processes seem to be working well. The environment for the work has a good combination of freedom and competition.Connections from research to the economy have large variety, sometimes quite direct and other times via long paths of indirection.Usually the goal of research is big results on big problems. E.g., in computer science (CS) commonly the goal is better understanding of the ‘fundamentals’ of computing, e.g., the question of P versus NP.Due to the freedom and competitiveness, the difficulty of good research is necessarily right at the hardest work the best researchers can do. Evaluating that work is necessarily also usually difficult. The usual process of evaluation is the system of publication in peer reviewed journals of original research where the evaluations are by appropriately specialized reviewers, editors, and editors in chief, and each of these positions is filled by successful researchers who spend several years in each of the steps.It appears that biomedical entrepreneurship is making good use of biomedical research quickly and that biomedical VCs take such research seriously and are able to direct evaluations of the work.The situation seems to be comparable in information technology hardware entrepreneurship.But at present, for the part of information technology (IT) entrepreneurship based heavily on software, e.g., social and mobile, the usual assumption is that research is irrelevant; indeed, the corresponding VC is not eager to evaluate or value research.Such research could still be important if a researcher could find or create some results and find a good application; then the research could be advantageous ‘secret sauce’. But the research and the advantage will mostly have to be just the entrepreneur’s ‘secret advantage’ the real power and value of which only he appreciates. So far in practice such research leading to business success is nearly unheard of.For the US and NSF, CS research for software should continue on. Maybe someday it will actually get some impressive fundamental results; if so, then in time, from some months to some decades, there should be good effects on business. Such research can be done nearly anywhere in the US coast to coast and still have enough of the important connections with the rest of the US and even the world. In particular, for benefit for business in NYC, the research doesn’t have to be done in NYC.If a student wants a career in research, then, sure, they should work hard to get the best relevant education they can. But for students interested in, say, entrepreneurship in currently popular directions in the software part of IT, it is not so clear just what benefits are to be had from the material in CS courses such at being taught at Stanford, MIT, and CMU. Instead, what such a student needs to know are software ‘skills’ most often taught in vocational education and most often learned by independent study.So, net, for the software part of IT in NYC now, it is not clear what value there would be for more emphasis on CS research, in NYC or elsewhere. I believe that the value would, could, and should be high and am working to create an example, but so far the list of examples is meager.My approach to such an example is really via research in pure and applied math, that could be called CS, but, as enrollments in graduate math programs show, basically such math is not very popular and is seen as too difficult and, thus, is not promising as a common approach.What will be the basis of software IT entrepreneurship in 10 years I don’t know but suspect that the time of mobile and social will have passed. For more success, it may be necessary to pursue some very different approaches that will present some severe challenges for business. I believe that my approach will remain promising, but I don’t see it as being at all popular.For now, for software IT in NYC, f’get about computer science, think up something in mobile and social, type in some routine software, go live, and see if people like it.For the future, jump off that bridge when come to it.
Jeff, do you think the development will impact other engineering developments in NY? I’m worried about a friend of mine – new Cooper Union Masters Grad (wooo) in Mechanical Engineering. They need the space to develop. Same with a friend of mine going for a masters in Biomechanical (that seems a tad more likely, NYC has the hospital infrastructure for testing at least).The internet isn’t everything in engineering. There are lots of possibilities that seem undervalues right not in other engineering fields…
Hey Shana – My vote is the more engineering of all types as well as CS the better. We are way, way far away from a “crowding out” effect when it comes to developing great scientific talent.
That’s great news for New York. Now, watch Facebook hit every startup in NYC as they go after Facebook apps development. That seems to be their focused mission. FB is on an aggressive evangelistic campaign to convert anyone writing software to write it on the Facebook platform. Have you heard of their “social by design” pitch? It’s pure brainwashing. After being invited for the 3rd time at FB as they will parade their California “visitors” to local offices, I said No thanks…, but I will loan you my brain and you can wash it and then return it.
yeah. but just because that’s what they want doesn’t mean that’s what they will get.
Exactly. My brain is still intact from their washing.
We should start a list of Facebook oxymorons:Privacy settings (sure, go figure that out)Open graph (well, 1/3 Open is not open)Frictionless sharing (I didn’t share! I read something. Stop scaring me)
“loan you my brain and you can wash it and then return it.”Illustrates the benefits having older entrepreneurs on a team or as mentors or advisers. Perspective and wisdom. Something you learn over time and can’t be taught as a Rhodes scholar.”FB is on an aggressive evangelistic campaign to convert anyone writing software to write it on the Facebook platform”Admirable though. Know that.Something Apple failed at and should have done a better job at.
Apple failed at attracting developers Huh? I thought iOS had way more developers on it than the Facebook platform. The difference I think is pull/push. FB is pushing to get developers whereas with Apple, developers are attracted to its platform on their own. Facebook just hired James Pearce as head of mobile development relations http://www.readwriteweb.com…, so they are serious about that. After reaching 800 million users, now Facebook is boasting their # of developers. I recently heard something like 1 million developers are on FB’s platform.
TWO WAYS TO GET DEVELOPERS IN ECOSYSTEM.1. MAKE IT PLACE THEM WANT TO GO2. FORCE THEM IN SCREAMINGFACEBOOK TRYING TO DO 2. APPLE DO 1.
Well said. Funny but true.How would you rank the following vendors pertaining to developer relations & ecosystem. I’m mixing enterprise ones on purpose. AppleOracleFacebookTwitterMicrosoftGoogle AndroidGoogle AppsSAPSalesforce
IT NOT SINGLE-AXIS CHART.SOME MAKE DEVELOP FOR PLATFORM GREAT, BUT NOT MAKE GOOD ROI. WEBOS.OTHERS MAKE DEVELOP OK, DEAL WITH COMPANY PAIN, BUT ROI VERY HIGH. APPLE.MICROSOFT HAVE GREAT TOOLS, HIGH ROI, BUT MADE OF PURE EVIL, SO THAT KIND OF DRAWBACK.ANDROID HAVE CRAP TOOLS FOR DEV, NO SUPPORT OF DEV ECOSYSTEM, NO ROI.IT COMPLICATED. LOTS OF FACTORS. DIFFERENT DEVS CARE DIFFERENT AMOUNT ABOUT EACH ONE.
Very true observations. And it’s a healthy debate to have. You’re right that each one will have different motivations and ROI factors.
“Apple failed at attracting developers Huh? I thought iOS had way more developers on it than the Facebook platform”I’m talking about prior to ios released in 2007 a very significant part of their history, right? Apple could have better incentivized developers to write for Mac OS.
I see. I guess, there were waiting for iOS perhaps 🙂
We are lucky to have tech entrepreneur for mayor. He is a great guy.http://m.techcrunch.com/201…I love this city in so many ways!
http://www.youtube.com/watc…Does Mark know what his company is planning?
Over the past four months as I’ve been putting together Namely, my NYC-based startup, there was a brief window where I could have moved to the Valley. I considered it for about it for ten minutes and then dismissed the thought. All the momentum is right here and there’s absolutely no reason to leave.The Facebook and EBay decisions, as well as Valley firms like Accel opening up shop, makes me more convinced than ever that New York is the best (and coolest) place in the world right now to do a startup.
The logistics of transportation and distances in NYC are far superior than the SV area. Suppose you’re a visitor from out of town doing business, contrast the difference between having 2 appointments in the same day- say one in SF and a second one in San Jose (taking 2 extreme points), vs. 2 appointments in NYC, one downtown and the other in midtown. In SV, your day is shot and you either have to rent a car at $100/day (with gas & everything), or pay ridiculous taxi charges. Whereas in NYC, you get a Subway pass for $10, and still can fit 3 other appointments that same day anywhere in NYC.
Indeed. A real plus. I think you can even do 8 meetings a day in NYC 😉
i’ve done that more than a few timesit’s a fun day but exhausting
Yeah, especially if you add breakfast, lunch, pre-dinner, dinner and a couple of Starbucks quickies. I love the intensity of getting things done efficiently.
yes…that’s what it is….intensity. thank you.It’s a nice escape from the “slow” environment around here—which I also love.
If there was an intensity knob and NY is 10, SF is like on 4.
Surely nyc goes to 11?
That is exactly how my last two visits were like. Loved it.
make everyone meet you at one coffee shop, decamp, and drink lots of green tea?
Yes! Agreed 🙂
Every time I go to NYC I feel it’s almost an obligation to do 6-8 meetings while there. Part of me just loves forcing that “quick! to the subway!” feeling that I just don’t get anywhere else.
depends – I had a client out in the far reaches of the bronx. Getting back to midtown took over 1 hour on the 2. Same goes with some more out there areas of brooklyn.
I heard a guy on TV describe NYC as the in-person linkedin in. The same issues you mention above apply to London. When London based companies get a taste of the networking opportunities in NYC facilitated by the logistical benefits they want to move here
Yes, but I prefer London cabbies to NYC taxis. You can have a comfortable meeting in the back of those in London!
if you don’t mind dealing with a meter that looks like it is moving as fast as the national debt clock…except it in sterling!
I know exactly what you are taking about, but sometimes convenience and comfort trumps costs. Not as bad as Paris where they start running the meter when you call them.
Lemme know when you’re in London next, William. I’ll take you on the lovely tube wherever you want to go. ;)Beats taxis anyday!! haha 😀
I’ll admit I have never taken the tube in London, after 12-14 trips, except the train from Heathrow to Paddington.
The underground is the way to get around in NY, London or Paris and even Milan as I recently discovered.
I was encouraged by how much usage I got out of a $15 subway pass in NYC last time. Frankly, I couldn’t have done it without the http://hopstop.com/ app. These subway multiple lines may seem like a piece of cake for a resident, but it’s a freakin maze to a visitor.
See. That’s why you need to visit.. soon. 😀
Excuse me but Caltrain goes directly from SOMA in SF to San Jose and its a lot faster than any other option including driving. And a hell of a lot cheaper. The same reason I always take LIRR from JFK.
Sounds nice in theory, not so much if you’ve done it. Takes forever (the route you mention is usually 1.5 hours), not very frequent trains. Far worse is that your destination in the Valley might not be anywhere near a train station. And the Caltrain in SF is not central at all (although recently many new tech businesses are opening near it).The cheaper part is true enough.Biggest diff NY to bay area is you can plan a day’s worth of meetings all over NYC since everyone is within a few miles apart. You can’t just zip from SF to the many valley locations in 1 day, back and forth all day, with or without a car.
Yeah but it drops you off in the middle of nowhere and you can’t really walk to many places. Would be difficult to attend meetings in San Jose without a car.
I’ll have to try that one, but if you’ve got meetings peppered in Palo Alto, Mountain View, Cupertino, etc…public transportation is not option.
you can also take NJ Transit to and from EWR. I do both. less than 30 mins from midtown to both airports and very little variability
I do this all the time. The kicker is if you live in commuting distance, then you’re day can be shot with the commuting time. Lirr/nj transit/metronorth don’t leave as regularly as one would like. They need to be integrated more closely into the subway and bus system.
False dichotomy. More likely to have multiple meetings in SF, say in SOMA and Financial District. That’s equivalent to Manhattan meetings. Or meetings in Mountain View and Cupertino. That’s equivalent to Greenwich and Stamford, CT. Have you ever tried to have meetings in Stamford, CT and Great Neck, NY without a car? Metro North to LIRR? Aweful! LIRR which cut service on Pt. Wash line to once an hour? Even BART is better. Anyone know how much Google innovation comes out of their NYC office vs their SV office? I love NYC and I love the Bay Area, but they both have their advantages and disadvantages, and I don’t see NYC replacing SV – even with a Welfare Island Stanford Campus. The Farm (Stanford) is more than the sum of its component schools. And the weather is too die for.
correct. but a lot less of the interesting companies in NY metro are in the burbs. in the bay area, its about 50/50
Yes, great news for NYC.BTW, did Mayor Mike sign Facebook’s NDA?Seriously though, I think we’ll see lots more engineers moving to NYC, more jumping from Wall St (but less than some think), and I predict FB will acqui-hire at least 8 NYC Startups in 2012.
the acqui-hire is a good thing for the startup ecosystem. it transfers some of facebook’s wealth to the NYC ecosystem
acqui-hire is wealth consolidation and trickle down economics in action. it’s a raw deal and an example of how the internet is connected to the banking system (facebook is basically money jpm/goldman/fed printed into existence). the acqui-hire flow of wealth is exactly what occupy wall st is really protesting, whether they realize it or not. this process also is a part of the bubble process which obfuscates real value and slows forward progress.
Maybe with the increase in high-profile companies inhabiting NYC, some of the tech infrastructure will get the needed upgrades. Chris Dixon, just one of many, laments the difficulty with reliable internet connectivity. Some of my friends have said the same. And I’ve never experienced worse cell phone service than while in NYC. Even while on the Thai-Burma border I get flawless service, but in NYC every call (I really mean _every_ call) was dropped at least once during a recent visit. I’m not being snarky here at all. I think it’s great that some big brands are nesting in NY. Hopefully, that will help get some simple needs delivered to the area as well.
tell me about it. my partner Brad and I have been lobbying city hall on this issue for the past four years. it is a big problem.
The Oyster office is at the corner of Spring St. and 6th Ave. Not exactly the middle of nowhere. We’ve been waiting for 8+ months for a 100Mbps internet connection (on fiber) to be installed.
I’m on Spring and Crosby – also, not exactly in the middle of nowhere – my building is maxed out on DSL. You simply can’t get it unless a company moves out. Forget anything faster than 5mb … fiber, no way!My business runs completely on SaaS – Salesforce, M5 for voice, Hosted Exchange. Getting the required bandwidth to expand is problematic.
what? They disturb traffic for a week to put in the line underground?
ME, GRIMLOCK, LIKE DC. ULTRA BROADBAND EVERYWHERE CHEAP.
Congressmen need their porn.
we have a family friends who helps designs and implements cell towers, primarily in europe and Africa (though he is based out of Israel). he mentions the reason why once upon a time (forgot this line)The reason this is happening is twofold1) NIMBY! People are afraid of the radiation, not realizing the more towers you put it, the less radiation you are overall exposed to (don’t need as much power to transmit/receive)2) NYC is a city made of reflective glass and old stone, brick, and steel. One type of building tends to reflect signals, the other is hard to penetrate with signals.
It takes a long time to build a city into a business destination. There is some SF envy here in Portland, OR, or at least there used to be. A decade ago the dot com crash wiped out some promising software starts here in PDX which was really pretty hardware centric at the time. But over the last decade it seems that investment has grown and a pretty cutting edge tech crowd is attracting both SF companies here and growing some interesting and promising start-ups of its own. Start-up is where the home is.SF/Bar area and NY lead the way, but it sure feels like there are some strong tech centers building now. Portland, Austin, Bolder, just to name a few, not to mention what is happening overseas in London and Israel, to name two.Congrats to NY!
absolutelyi have said again and again that there are many many startup hubs out there with critical mass. you’ve named a few. add Berlin, Beijing, Shanghai, and a few places in India to that list.
Amen Fred. Watching this unfold over the past 5-7 years has been nothing short of amazing. You are right, the credit goes to Bloomberg, and it also to you, Union Square Ventures and the amazing NYC venture community. A great example of how business and government can and should work together in 21st century to bring around the transformation.
i think you are leaving out the most important factor Alexentrepreneurs like you are the fuel that starts this fire and sustains it
Let there be a 1000 start ups in the City.
i would like to beef with the notion that bloomberg is a good leader. 1. exhibit A: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/… bloomberg views the nypd as his army. if you’ve ever been to nyc, you may have noticed how there are way too many police there. in order for police to justify their existence (i.e. job security), people must go to jail. 2. exhibit B: http://www.nytimes.com/2007… this is also the same guy who tried (unsuccesfully, thankfully) to make public photography requiring a license. of course people will believe whatever they want to believe, as they always do with politics. fortunately, the truth can set us free. 9/11 was an inside job,kid mercury
(I’ll bite)Not sure the exhibits you cite refute that Bloomberg is a good leader.http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/b…
Harvard can say what they like, althoug for me personally once a “leader” employs fascist policies he/she is a failure and a disgrace, and his/her proponents will end up learning some valuable lessons the hard way.
“once = failure & disgrace”To absolute. Best to make decisions in analog (not digital) considering more of the entire picture. Like not multiplying by zero but adding a zero if appropriate. Edit: (And look at total score).
Well, I suppose that is a personal issue and a question of values. For me, bloomberg is of insufficient moral quality for the reasons I’ve listed. I cannot trust such a person and so their intellect, charisma, net worth or whatever else is irrelevant.
If you’ve ever been to Munich you would be amazed at how many police officers there are on duty at any one time. They are everywhere, but not overbearing or oppressive in their conduct or style. Rather civil and not at all quasi military.http://www.youtube.com/watc…This would not happen in Munich – the bicycle rules!
yes nypd is out of control, that has been shown time and time again as their violence in the occupy wall st protests illustrate.
ACCOMPLISH SOME GOOD THINGS NOT MEAN EVERYTHING ACCOMPLISH GOOD.
i think FG wins this beef with the Kid
It was Bloomberg (the company) who legally challenged the Fed to release the amounts of big banks borrowings during the 08/09 crisis.
May this be the beginning of the end of NYC’s financial dependence on a single industry.
Which industry is that?
Financial services. I can’t put my hands on a solid reference to the proportion of the NYC tax base that comes from banking, but it’s big. I’ve often heard that every banking job supports another 10 jobs. So when things don’t go well in financial services, the city’s finances take a hit.
Thanks Anne.Perhaps this explains why there’s now this attempt by Bloomberg et al to push the web tech sector, a reaction to the vulnerability of a tax income base so heavily dependent on the health of the financial services sector, a sector that has been battered in the last three years. Diversification would be a smart move.In the last three years the other ten jobs have probably been supporting the one banking job. How times change 🙂
You’re welcome! I’m not sure why the time is now — the city has lived with a boom and bust cycle forever (well, my “forever” dates back to 1987.) Maybe the movement of comp from cash to restricted stock is part of what awakened the powers that be.
By no means will we see a complete shift of technology companies to the East Coast. Rather, we’ll see more coexistence.SF, NYC, London, Berlin – it may be more fun to guess which city will be added to the list as the next hotbed of tech entrepreneurship.http://www.bombtune.com/201…
beijing, shanghai, pune, mumbai, bangalore, sau paulo
I really love NYC and I think this is awesome. And you’re right. It’s leadership. Not just political leadership (which is very important in this kind of local development), but it is also leadership from guys like you, entrepreneurs like Dixon, etc…..beating the “NYC is a great place for startups drum” consistently and loudly….and backing it up with successes! The one cautionary note I have here is that this kind of success at luring big business to town happens, it usually results in even higher cost of starting up from scratch. The pool of talent is wider and deeper….but also more demanding. Plus, I am not impressed with the tech infrastructure in NYC….actually my mind boggles at how much easier it is to get big-time connectivity in bourbon-country than in the big apple… And the rent is too damn high.But that’s not the point we’re celebrating today…..we all know NYC is a very expensive place to start anything…but now it’s getting more and more costly to NOT be there. And that’s a big win..
such good cautions andy. it is getting more expensive to do a startup in NYC. and the broadband and wireless suck in this town. spot on observations.
Better and consistent wifi on Long Island as well. I get wifi all over plus my $50 for my home broad band extends to wifi spots all around the north east (go Cablevision).
Correlation does not imply causation of course, but I wonder what (might be close to the longest running advertisement in TV history) “Saturday Night Live” (est. 1975) played in part of the rise of NYC in later years. How much did SNL aid the economy of the city? Remember what cities do to get the Olympics and the economic benefits they cite as justification. “Image” is a top reason. And that’s for something in a single year.This is tldr but it gives an overview of the city if you are not of the age to remember NYC in earlier years:http://digitaljournalist.or…The following MPAA page mentions SNL but it doesn’t address my point specifically in it’s data. The advertising and image value of the benefit *must* exist – the only question is the exact benefit.http://www.mpaa.org/policy/…The following (note link is currently “503” error) is for a great documentary that was recently on CNBC “Nightmare in the city that never sleeps” about the city when it was on the verge of bankruptcy. http://www.cnbc.com/id/4349…
“connected at the hip” has a runaway factor that reinforces itself and leads to another key result now: since so many other industry people are also doing the frequent JFK<->SFO shuffle, it’s easier to meet with people in either place.I’ve been a bi-coastal citizen since ’05. It’s now much less necessary to go back to “Mecca” (the valley) since most everyone makes it to NY soon enough, there’s so much action here.I talked with MArrington in ’05 about doing a Techcrunch NY. He said “there’s nothing out there!” Sure isn’t true anymore, and Disrupt launched here.
PG in 2008:This suggests an answer to a question people in New York have wondered about since the Bubble: whether New York could grow into a startup hub to rival Silicon Valley. One reason that’s unlikely is that someone starting a startup in New York would feel like a second class citizen.  There’s already something else people in New York admire more.http://www.paulgraham.com/c…
Where are all these engineers going to come from? I’m in Rochester, we have a major computer science school at RIT and I have one friend trying to hire fifteen developers. Practically impossible. I know it’s NYC we’re talking about but it is not easy relocating there and very costly.That being said, I think this is very good news for innovation across the US. The message is that it’s not just Silicon Valley!
RELOCATION BECOMING EASIER. THIS DRIVE MORE CONSOLIDATION OF TALENT, HOLLOW OUT COUNTRY UNTIL ONLY HUBS HAVE TOP TALENT.BUILD STARTUP TO MAKE RELOCATION EASIER GOOD IDEA. BIG POTENTIAL.
Relocation is still really expensive. For whatever the reason we subsidize buyers and not renters. It really makes no sense from an economic mobility perspective. I wish the government would change subsidy process to get more people to rent…..
i’m coming to rochester to get them to move to NYC!!!!
Actually, I have been wondering what role Bell Labs and the other older New Jersey and Westchester labs (Bellcore, IBM, and later AT&T, Avaya, NEC, and others), and their decline over the last 15 years, had in the rise of engineering labs in NYC. My understanding is that for Google, one motivation for coming to NYC was to be able to pick up people leaving the labs, and some of the very earliest NYC Googlers were from the labs. And I find that a surprising number of the slightly older entrepreneurs I meet have some lab background in their resume. These labs were a great store of talent in earlier decades, and hopefully the new Google, eBay, Facebook, etc, labs can take over that role.
i am looking at the old Bell Labs building in the west village as i write thisi look at it every morningit is an nonstop source of inspiration for me
Sounds like the tech companies are maturing and following the lead of many ad/PR agencies with bi-coastal offices (NY and SF). Makes perfect sense as advertising become more ingrained into their DNA.I would also counter your comments about Bloomberg being a leader in this case. It sounds more like ambulance chasing a la Al Gore inventing the internet. Fred, I think you should give yourself as much or more credit for the growth in NYC as a major tech center. Regardless,this is a very welcome development.
Isn’t this bad in certain ways – we’re leaning to heavily on ads here in ny (i happen to like ads) but what of other technologies and technology needs?
Not really so bad if you look at like an evolution of new applications of technology waves. early markets like consumer, advertising, etc helps develop the platforms that then can be extended into new realms. I see more startup ideas going into education, healthcare and energy, much tougher problems to solve now that the advertising markets are reaching maturity (or saturation).
didn’t start the fire for sure. but pouring needed fuel on it now.
We’ve got to fix the broadband problem.All these engineering offices will crush NYC’s already terrible bandwidth.
As with everyone I am elated at the news. In the long term this is among the many exciting moves of late that are putting NY back on the map as one of the top places to start a tech company.In the short term though, for a company not the size of Facebook and their ilk, the game of talent acquisition and retention just got way harder, with startups competing with Wall Street and now with a plethora of cool tech companies.So while i applaud this we need to be aware of the effects it will have and work on a plan to attract the talent to the city while creating a new talent pool.
I feel like i’ve been asleep at the wheel – didn’t realize hunch got bought. Know someone else here had mentioned they had their board ebay stacked from the word go. the taste graph is not insignificant. that example of hunch/movies that was posted yesterday (where they link netflix/hunch/facebook and give you recommendations) on a conceptual level actually blows my mind when i start to think of the implications to so many of my clients businesses.
the hunch technology is very impressivethey just never made it into a consumer experience
Why do you think?
Yeah, where have you been?
Gotta give props to Google for being early on this one.But the news about Facebook coming to NYC isn’t super exciting just because it is Facebook. It is because they recognize and praise the strength of the NYC startup community. I wrote more about this here: https://nytechday.com/posts…Don’t get me wrong. It’s awesome to have them here, but it’s just another layer of validation on what many already know. The NYC tech community is incredibly strong.
Kudos to the mayor.Kudos to you Fred especially and a number of other VCs who have said that they are going to make it happen here.Kudos to all who have said that they are determined to make it work in NYC over the last decade even when it has been the harder path.
There’s another reason for this change.The social web is not about technology and business centered solutions.It’s about people to people interactions. It’s about the blurred line between off and online. It’s about platforms for behavior.No place is more dense, more dynamic and more about people than here. NYC is the web sandbox for innovation.
So who do you think will propagate more of these policies, considering Bloomberg can’t run in 2012?
i don’t have a “candidate” yetbut Chris Quinn will get the mayor’s backingi know Chris really well. she’s my city council rep in addition to having run the city council for quite a long time nowshe has some weaknesses which she’s been addressing in the past few yearsbut she has great strengths as welli think she has the best shot, because of the mayor’s supportand she is the most likely to continue his policies for sure
Hmmm. I do know she is being covered by New York quite a lot because of the election. I hope as we get closer you’ll talk about this (as well as presidential) too
“Practically impossible”.I know someone (not me) with serious expertise in C, C++, C#, VB.NET, ADO.NET, ASP.NET, T-SQL, system management and administration of networks, Windows Server, SQL Server, and Exchange, and more.Also, they made PBK.But usually the source of ‘developers’ from education is from the community colleges, NOT the university departments of computer science. E.g., seehttp://www.avc.com/a_vc/201…and the links there.In particular, it would be tough to find a computer science professor who had done much with .NET or system management and administration of SQL Server: moreover, as you can see from my links, these topics are not what is taught in university computer science. Uh, university computer science is about research on the fundamentals of computing, and .NET, while a fundamental of current practical computing, is not such a research topic.Of course, mostly in startups, the founder should be the main ‘developer’. If that is not the situation, then inform the founder they need to start reading and typing as outlined in some of my links.But hiring 15 developers is for a relatively large project: All costs considered — salary, benefits, taxes, health care, office, equipment, travel, etc. — you are looking at maybe $150,000 a year per developer. To get 15 developers started, introduced, on the team, and working productively could take six months and, thus,15 * 150,000 / 2 = 1,125,000dollars.Toss in another two years until a product with self-sustaining revenue and you are looking at ‘burning’2.5 * 15 * 150,000 = 5,625,000dollars. These days, for some software, that’s a relatively large chunk of change.Hopefully I will have to hire ‘developers’, system managers and administrators, etc., but then I will hire just for (1) demonstrated basic talent (SAT math over 600 should be okay, over 700 is more than okay), (2) basic seriousness, (3) no serious personality problems, (4) good interest, (5) good abilities at technical writing and speaking and at independent technical learning, (6) good at ‘critical thinking’, and (7) some start in computer usage and programming. For the rest, they will learn on the job. Also it would be good if they knew Ohm’s law!May I suggest:Frederick P. Brooks, ‘The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering’, ISBN 0-201-00650-2, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts, 1975.and there especially the remarks on ‘chief-programmer teams’. E.g., maybe instead of 15 developers you need one ‘chief programmer’.
Agreed. I make this trip about twice per month and the growing connection between the cities is undeniable.
Great points. NYC is vastly different than it was 20 years ago. The NYU/Poly merger and the coming of Stanford or Cornell/Technion is going to make it even better. I’m sure this improvement in educational institutions helps justify a long-term investment in New York by large technology companies.
Regardless what Bloomberg does….you’ve single handedly have made tech sexy in nyc…and maybe to a lesser extent, the demise of wall street
excuse my grammar
I believe anything to make NYC a more attractive destination for tech talent should be applauded. Now, that said, NY tech companies are adding many more than 200 jobs to the city’s economy every day.It would be fantastic for Mr. Bloomberg to show his leadership with initiatives such as:- salary tax breaks for tech start-ups willing to hire additional resources- up-skilling training opportunities for engineers trying to move from more traditional tech environments (e.g., financial services)- promotion of partnerships between east coast academic institutions and NYC tech companiesNames such as Facebook, Yahoo, and the like sound great in press releases and tweets. Let’s not forget that there is already a vibrant tech community in the city that is deserving of at least that much attention
is twitter selling those shirts? Just did SFO <–> JFK this week and could use more t-shirt ammo. 🙂
no, but their office in NYC has hundreds of them. give them a visit and come away with one for free
Exciting, but not nearly as exciting as what the alumni will do in a few years time.
What’s the commercial office space occupancy rate in NYC right now?
For those of you that do not live in NYC and are looking for a new employment opportunity would you move to NYC based on this information? Is it still too early to ride the *WavE*? Does NYC already have enough candidates to fill the positions that are becoming available from this *BooM*?I would love to take my technology operations background to an opportunity in NYC, but how many other candidates would I be up against? JJD – On the outside…..
Having run so many of those sales offices for the Silicon Valley gods I see this as a huge step. Gives all those bored folks plugging away in the banks a place to stretch out some creativity. SFO has its culture for innovation but coupled with the NYC culture of getting it done would be a good bond for two company offices. We have so much talent here in NYC that needs a place to plant their flag. Our engineering skills are way more practical here in a city grounded on the biggest tech buyers in the world.
Also forgot to mention some of the biggest tech companies in the world are also based here, IBM, CA and so many other midsize companies or big offices from the likes of Cisco and Oracle.
maybe we are finally reaching the point where i will not have to answer the question “why are you in new york?” !(which i have been answering for the past 15 years since founding my first internet company here).