Why Hasn't NYC Produced Many Tech IPOs?

Jeff Bussgang asks an interesting question on his blog.

He suggests that the lack of NYC tech IPOs compared to Boston is a result of:

  • The IPO culture hasn’t fully permeated NYC?  There are only very few public technology companies based in NYC:  I count AOL as the only one with > $1 billion market capitalization, whereas Boston has 30-35 innovation economy companies with greater than > $1 billion market capitalization.  Perhaps Boston CEOs, CFOs and boards feel more pressure to go public sooner and/or are comfortable with the IPO process because they community has done it so many times.  Honestly, this theory doesn’t totally resonate with me as NYC is the heart of Wall Street – all the relevant bankers, accountants and advisors are there.  If any technology hub can build a strong middle market public company ecosystem, it should be NYC.
  • NYC’s tech sectors are out of favor with public markets?  This theory suggests that the sectors that NY is particularly strong in – consumer, advertising technology, media – are out of favor for some reason.  Perhaps the poor performance of the Facebook IPO soured Wall Street on the consumer sector and advertising-based business models?  But then why have consumer plays like Boston-based Kayak, TripAdvisor and Zipcar done so well?  As for the adtech sector, why did DC-based Millenial Media, a mobile advertising network, have such a strong public offering if the sector is out of favor?  Again, I’m not sure this theory holds water.
  • NYC companies are more sizzle than steak?  This theory is that because NYC companies are so heavily covered in the mainstream media, they are perceived to be ahead of where they really are in terms of actual business progress.  E-commerce companies like Etsy, Gilt Group and Rent the Runway get a lot of ink compared to, say, Boston-based Wayfair and RueLaLa.  But if you objectively examined their financials in terms of actual revenue scale and profitability, who is really closer to being ready to file their S-1?  This theory resonates somewhat with me.  For example, there is no TechCrunch reporter in Boston, but a number in New York and Business Insider is a strong local publication that does a nice job cheerleading for the local sector.

I would agree with all of that. Plus as Shai Goldman points out in the comments, time is also a factor:

Hi Jeff, you are missing another reason why NYC hasn't had many IPOs as compared to Boston. Many of the NYC companies that are doing well were started in 2007 or later, so it will take a few more years before they are IPO ready. The Boston IPOs that were stated in this post were started before 2007 I believe. You also forgot to mention Admeld (NYC company) which was a $400M acquisition by Google in June 2011.

I responded in the comments with this:

i think it's all of the above (including Shaig's comment about time)

NYC is a trader town. people like to trade stocks not hold stocks. so what Buddy did is more in line with how NYC folks think. Boston seems to have a long standing culture of building large public companies, like Silicon Valley.

that said, i think we have a couple NYC based companies that will choose the IPO route in the next few years. we are not in a hurry nor are they.

To me this is all about the decades it takes to build a lasting startup community. Boston has been at it since the end of World War II. Silicon Valley has been at it since the 1960s. NYC has been at it since the mid 90s. We will get there. I see it in our portfolio and all around NYC these days.

And while we are talking about Jeff's blog, let's all encourage him to get Disqus on there. He writes good stuff and I am sure he'd get more discussion with a modern comment system.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. bussgang

    Thanks for the highlight, Fred! It does take decades to build a strong ecosystem and NYC is well on its way, with a great community of entrepreneurs and investors and strong mini-clusters developing. We need more “anchors” in the community and more companies that are willing to go for scale and not sell out too early.By the way, I love Disqus and use it throughout the Web but my arcane blogging platform, Typepad, won’t let me use it (unless I just haven’t figured it out).

    1. fredwilson

      Strong anchors are so importantDoubleclick which begat 10gen is a great example for NYCGoogle’s NYC office is another anchor of sorts

    2. JimHirshfield

      AVC.com is on TypePad, so I think we can help. I was recently in your portfolio (33Across), now in @fredwilson ‘s (Disqus). Happy to make sure you’re taken well care of. cc @giannii

      1. Aaron Klein

        Too bad we don’t have any Disqus evangelists around today.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Ha ha ha. 😀

        2. Max Yoder


        3. JamesHRH

          Commenting geek central here!

        4. ShanaC

          They have their cult down well…

      2. Anne Libby

        Would love to install Disqus on my wordpress.com blog — alas, last time I checked, only available on wordpress.org…

        1. Techman

          That is because WordPress.com is a very restrictive service. You can’t install third party plugins that are not approved to be on WordPress.com blogs. If you do want to get Disqus on your blog, you’ll have to look else where. I don’t think you can use third party JavaScript either on WordPress.com blogs.

        2. Ellie Kesselman

          Anne, have a look at this post from Automattic http://en.support.wordpress… Also, see the comment by @MHazell He is correct, given my own experience trying (unsuccessfully) to install Disqus on WordPress dot com. You could try Intense Debate instead, as Automattic owns that. It is a nice comment system but Intense Debate isn’t used nearly as much as Disqus.

          1. Techman

            I wouldn’t use ID either after a horrible story I heard from @GaryRumain:disqus .

    3. falicon

      While we’re updating the blog features…how about adding in a search as well?Ideally one where readers can search both the posts and the comments (ie. the deep conversation that occurs within your blog). 😉

      1. Aaron Klein

        Now, now…don’t make people gawk. Just tell them the name of it.

        1. falicon

          I didn’t want to go overboard with the shameless self-promotion (I’ve spammed this board enough with mentions of it)…ok, ok…truth is I did, hence the comment…was just trying the subtle approach/nudge for once and to have a little fun 🙂

          1. Aaron Klein

            I thought it was a great comment. 🙂

      2. William Mougayar

        There is app called Gawk.it that can do this 🙂

        1. falicon

          …and I hear it’s the bee’s knees!

  2. John Best

    The last paragraph raised a smile :)I wholeheartedly agree about the time needed to build the ecosystem to maturity. I hadn’t considered the possibility NYC was just more in the limelight though. Is that a result of them individually being better at *getting* ink, or because with Bloomberg front and centre there’s more of an expectation of a story from any success or failure?

    1. Mark Birch

      Things were happening in NYC well before Bloomberg took notice. Meetup, Gilt, Etsy, Foursquare, 10gen, and others have been at it for some time now without much local government support. It was only when a corpus of successful startups started forming that NYC started getting involved. But now that Bloomberg is out front trumpeting the tech industry, it builds upon itself and creating even higher expectations.

      1. fredwilson

        I see it as providing oxygen to a fire that was already burning

      2. KG18

        remember the company bloomberg started could be considered financial/media tech

        1. Mark Birch

          Yes, but the history of Bloomberg was to remain insular, thus they had little to no impact on the tech ecosystem in NYC until a few years ago.

          1. KG18

            Well it certainly was/is a proprietary system (Bloomberg Financial)… though I’m not talking about the company… but the individual. Long before he was mayor he trumpeted the virtues of entrepreneurship…. because he himself was an entrepreneur. Now as a public policy you are correct – it’s only been over the past several years as the economy tanked…. Robert Steele and Seth Pinsky have a lot to do with it too.

    2. fredwilson

      Being in the media center of the world is a big plus for NYC but Jeff is also right about the overhype factor

      1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

        Overhype is one of my least favourite things. I think underselling and over delivering is almost always the way to go. However, I do not think NY is overhyping itself too much

  3. Max Yoder

    The tech ecosystem starts to build, but doesn’t do much initially. Then, there are a few small acquisitions; then, a few much-larger ones. We watch as both the large and small acquisitions play out, determining whether the founders sold too early or timed their exits perfectly. Then, we tell stories about both, but mostly the founders who sold too early. It makes us collectively sick that they didn’t press on, and those stories and scars start to harden and create the mindset that an IPO culture needs.Granted, I don’t have much experience building communities. These are just my guesses.

  4. awaldstein

    What comes first, culture to breed success or success that spawns the culture?When i got to the valley in the late 80s, it was already ingrained from both sides.I was fortunate enough to be part of a few teams that added a little to both.What I see in NYC is a culture that is teaming with possibilities and neighborhoods that are overflowing with talent and inspirations. Success will happen big time in it’s own unique NY way.

    1. Mark Birch

      NYC is a culture of entrepreneurship from the earliest days. It is only recently that people in the city started to become aware that tech could be something vital and important here. So I would say that culture is absolutely important in spawning lasting success.That last part of “lasting” is critical because you can have a quick growth spurt based on one or two success stories, but without a culture, those communities fade pretty quickly. Look at the history of cities across the US that tried to start a technology center, spent millions to foster the center, only to see the investments come to naught.

      1. awaldstein

        True…New York not only has depth of community but it is a medley of different communities which have tech as a tool now.We aren’t the valley with tech as the product. We are music, entertainment, media, import/export, fashion, art and on and on. Each with their own cultures, each with deep communities. I see tech and web growing from that really deep core.

  5. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    building communities and ecosystems is the critical part. Each city whether it is big or small will have its own unique set of advantages that will enable it to reach success on its own term.

  6. Colter Bergh

    It’s weird hearing about NY being the underdog since it’s regarded by many as the ‘capitol of the world’.

  7. kidmercury

    are we going to have a sustained IPO window? my bias is no, although perhaps if government continues to transfer wealth from the productive economy to the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) economy the IPO window will remain wide open. alternatively, it may be more open in some sectors than in others — and given that bubble 2.0 is popping, i doubt the internet sector will be where it is most open. biotech ftb! (for the bubble!).crowdsourcing and the JOBS Act is going to help create lots more secondary markets, provided the SEC ever creates the rules everyone is waiting on. that may help investors escape the conundrum of cashing out without going through the IPO process. still, though, my bias is for internet companies to make money and issue dividends. playing hot potato with comapnies that don’t make money is better left to other sectors that have not been bubble-ized in recent history (biotech ftb!)

    1. fredwilson


    2. Max Yoder


      1. Matt A. Myers

        For whatever reason that makes me think of champagne..

      2. kidmercury

        lol i hope it becomes a popular term…..something to toast to when a company goes public

    3. Andy

      What a great line:”although perhaps if government continues to transfer wealth from the productive economy to the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) economy the IPO window will remain wide open. “

    4. Dave Pinsen

      A thought I’ve had for a while is that there is probably a niche available to fill for an investment bank that only brought public profitable companies that commited to paying out, say, 80% of their earnings in dividends (and retaining the other 20% to reinvest in the business).

      1. kidmercury

        dividends are going to be hot again in my opinion, even with the stupid tax laws that let government rob dividend yields. high dividend stocks are on my list of candidates for where the next bubble will be, and my goal for Q3 and Q4 is to load up on dividend plays.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          At least with high dividend stocks, any bubble would be self-deflating: if investors bid the share prices up, the dividend yields will come down.For some historical perspective, it’s worth remembering that dividends used to be a lot higher. At the tail end of the secular bear market that followed the crash of ’29 (round 1950), dividend yields were routinely higher than corporate bond yields. You could buy blue chip companies with high single digit dividend yields (~7%). I suspect we’ll see that again within the next 8-10 years, and that will be the buying opportunity of a lifetime. Bear in mind, though, I don’t think we’ll get there because companies will be raising their dividends that much between now and then; I think it will be because of steep declines in stock prices between now and then.

          1. kidmercury

            i’m a bull! not because i think the economy is actually doing well, but because i think bernanke has the floor in on stocks. i think negative real interest rates will only get worse, capital will flow out of bonds, and risk-averse investors will seek dividends as a substitute for bonds. but i think a lot of the high yield plays will be in canada and non-US exchanges.

          2. Dave Pinsen

            Other markets may be a different story, but US stocks are nowhere near the multiples typical of the end of a secular bear / beginning of a secular bull market.

          3. kidmercury

            yes i don’t think it will normal easily engineered inflation as before. i think the major indices will largely be flat but there will be some big declines in some sectors and bubbles in others. stocks wont rally for any legitimate reason IMO but only because people have to buy something if they are not buying dollars or bonds. should be excessively volatile and a field day for speculators…..or rather a catastrophe for the speculators that get beat by volatility…….

    5. Mark Essel

      Biotech has it’s own cycle. I pushed to tackle rapid pattern matching (my smarter colleague at the time applied superposition and statistical motifs) to the protein database to aid in drug discovery. We had a tool in 3 months that identified motifs in seconds- but…The company we did it for was venture backed and went out of business a few years later.I was trying to get into the startup game back in 2001 before I knew what a startup was.

    6. Abdallah Al-Hakim

      sorry if I sound naive but what is FTB?

      1. kidmercury

        lol not naive at all considering it is an expression i made up! 🙂 “for the bubble,” a play on the common expression “ftw” meaning “for the win”. probably just a bad joke on my part! 🙂

        1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

          Ok. cool. I looked it up on google and got some interesting answers!!

  8. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    I don’t think people have looked at NYC as a tech center … It has always been a Money center and Trend center (music, fashion, entertainment, … you name anything than tech).Secondly since the people here were already busy and arrogantly wealthy with doing that and tech was something looked down at. I strongly believe with few anchors in place … NYC will see the standard ‘hockey stick’ growth of a startup for startups.Edit Added: When i wrote this comment actually I had Mumbai and Bangalore in India.in mind… almost the same is true… i have seen both boston& NY and Mumbai & bangalore

    1. ShanaC

      technology is becoming a trend though. In fact it seems to me that it goes through phases of what is fashionable and what isn’t.It is almost like I could see flickr becoming hipster cool for its retro tech feel 😉

    2. KG18

      well for a long time (until the late 1960’s) it was mainly a port and industrial city…. that’s why the money (and “trends”) was centered here.

  9. Cam MacRae

    Both Jeff and you (and Wall St.) are applying a fairly liberal definition of a tech company. Most of the companies mentioned are service, media, retail, or advertising plays that just happen to deploy a little tech — and substantially less tech than, say, a modern production line.I don’t mean to be finicky, but something about the term being “abused” in this way sticks in my craw.

    1. fredwilson

      To me a tech company is one where greater than half the headcount are engineers. Almost all of our portfolio fits that definition

      1. Cam MacRae

        We’d better order the bottle.I suggest that only a few of your portfolio companies employ even a single engineer. EWD1165 is as true today as it was 20 years ago.

        1. Guest

          Interesting perspective re the term “engineer” being used to describe software developers. That said, Fred has a mechanical engineering degree and isn’t troubled by the usage, so, as a non-engineer, I suppose I shouldn’t be troubled by it either.

        2. fredwilson

          Pardon my ignorance. What is EWD1165

          1. Wavelengths

            My dad wants an answering machine that will play back the messages when he hits the Play button. He doesn’t want to know about EWD1165, but he is a customer for many things.Why should we be precluded from information because we don’t know the buzzwords.Every “profession” has its own vernacular. Medical, legal, etc., etc. But as information becomes more available, and more appropriate across many “vernaculars,” we need to drop our special lingo and start talking to the rest of the world.My doctor told me I was dealing with a “seroma.”I kept thinking “Mmmmmmy seroma!” (play a tune behind that)Often the vernacular is an ego-based exercise to exclude “others” from understanding what we’re talking about — just among ourselves, exclusively, those of us who are so clever and smart as to understand …I don’t discount that the vernacular serves as a useful shortcut to communicate with those in the niche field. I object to it being used as a stick to subdue those who don’t know that particular buzzword.I googled EWD1165 and didn’t find anything helpful. Not that it isn’t there, but that it isn’t easily reachable.

          2. Cam MacRae

            You can’t see the link either, eh?It was a tongue in cheek reference to a famous philosophical discussion.

          3. Cam MacRae

            You can’t see the link?Is engag.io stripping html from comments @wmoug:disqus ?Dijkstra used to write beautiful handwritten manuscripts affectionately called EWDs. See this PDF for an example: http://www.cs.utexas.edu/us…EWD1165 deals with the question of engineers.

          4. fredwilson

            ooh. thanks. i am going to check them out.

          5. Ellie Kesselman

            Esteemed Fred Wilson and @5d2581786aeb9c803397ff304ca39f9a:disqus too (and @cammacrae:disqus as well): The links was not stripped to that Edsger W. Dijkstra post of 198x. Dijkstra discovered, and had named after him, many wonderfully clever, useful algorithms. His work was a constant thread running through my course work in Ops. Research at the Terman Bldg. The C.S. types have a similar regard for him. I wasn’t so delighted with that passage, as he sounded irritable, nonplussed, exagerrating to make a point. But Wavelength, given that Cam MacRae provided a functioning link, twice, and the page was titled, signed and dated, written in 1982, all in accessible non-technical prose, I don’t think you need feel precluded from information. If there are buzzwords on that page, they are elderly ones ~;o)

        3. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          That link is interesting read on “Software Engineering” …. but the first 2-paragraphs are total bullshit.The so called scientists and technologists got struck and not even moving … so the managers took over. And he is comparing computer scientists to Christ and bla bla … is total non-sense.Tell me who does science now ? who is the best scientist in the world? That big bang black-hole theory guy?I have told this many times on this blog …Science is struck for the last several decades So Engineering took over. Engineering got struck so MBA’s took over.

          1. Cam MacRae

            Nothing like a little hyperbole to get your paper off to a good start, eh?

          2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam


      2. Cam MacRae

        Expanding, I don’t believe it disparages those portfolio companies to point out that the primary business of some is the production of technology, whereas the primary business of others lies in some other sector, notwithstanding their technology consumption.I simply prefer a little more precision, and think it allows the discussion to take another direction.

      3. William Wagner

        “tech” and “engineer” are 2 of the fuzziest/buzziest words in our vernacular

      4. ShanaC

        will they stay that way?

      5. Aaron Klein

        Totally agree with this definition. I can’t model my way to a future where my company has < 50% headcount devoted to engineering product.

      6. kidmercury

        siding with fred in this beef

      7. Dave Pinsen

        By that definition, should Exxon Mobil be considered a tech company? There are plenty of engineers (and scientists) at work there.

        1. William Wagner

          exxon mobil probably doesnt have >50% engineers, they have a much more bloated administrative, sales, marketing, business type side – i think those elements are what comes up after the tech exists, and even those engineers aren’t working on new technology, just the intellectual-technical work involved with resource extraction

          1. Dave Pinsen

            I wouldn’t be surprised if they have >50% engineers and scientists, but I don’t know for sure. I just tweeted Ken Cohen to ask. The company is extremely well-run, so I doubt it has much bloat. As for its engineers not creating new tech, that’s nonsense. They’re creating new tech all the time, not just in extracting oil, but in chemicals, materials, etc.

          2. William Wagner

            I’m with you in that exxon mobil is a tech company (see my previous post about public companies in New York) but the majority of the engineers are extremely well educated technicians doing intellectual work; i know a couple petroleum engineers that do that kind of work, they think it’s boring, and definitely technician not technologist work

          3. ShanaC

            I would be surprised if they didn’t have 50% scientist/engineers. Oil extraction and gas extraction are extremely technically difficult thingss to do

      8. William Wagner

        I know some HVAC companies with 100% engineers – are they tech? if not, why?

        1. fredwilson

          I mean software engineers

        2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. William Wagner

            who are the ones who invent the technology? can we call them technologists? inventor has become passe i think.I guess an engineer in the broad sense is one who implements technology. In that case our technology company may be staffed with people implementing (engineering) some old technology.Then, would the true technology company be *led* by technologist(s), those who are coming up with technology from scratch?That division would provide a strong dividing line between the large company that staffs many technologists but is led by business management ( the division most see between a tech startup and IBM)

      9. nikiscevak

        I like that definition but it seems that when the companies are ready to go public sales and marketing is always 2-3x research and development (even Google is up to 1 to 1 spending in its latest quarter).I think it’s fantastic that companies like Dropbox, Atlassian and others are pioneering the creation of large technology companies that don’t require more sales people than engineers and hope that others try to emulate and evolve their approach.



        1. Guest

          Innovation is not only about what we make or how we make it (engineering) but it is also more importantly how we buy and why we buy.http://www.fastcompany.com/

        2. Ellie Kesselman

          Dino,”At least 50% of leadership is engineers” is rather restrictive. It is depends on your definition of “engineer”, too. Terminology is fast and loose, in labeling an engineer. It used to be determined by skill and expertise type. Now it is often a job title, for a role that was not classified as “engineer” before.

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


        3. fredwilson

          ah yes. we have a fair bit of that too.

    2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      tech = computech logic.

    3. Ellie Kesselman

      @Cam MacRae You aren’t being finicky! We were sharing similar thoughts in the WSJ and Bloomberg comments. Volokh Conspiracy too. Technology companies are IBM, Intel, Toshiba, Microsoft, Sony, Phillips, Siemens, NVIDIA. Tech companies are design or process innovators. They do so using physics, materials science or any of the bona fide engineering disciplines such as EE, MechE, Civil or Structural Engineering. Zynga is tech due to their innovative use of GPU v. CPU (if that is the case, I’m uncertain). Cloudera is tech, as a genuine SaaS provider with “custom” Hadoop. Google is tech because of its enterprise and storage products business, research, fiber etc. Amazon is tech because of AWS. Facebook is a social networking service built with PHP. Not tech. Neither AirBnB, Groupon nor Yelp are tech. Most will disagree with me, especially here.NYC hasn’t produced many tech IPO’s. Recently. That’s due to the concentration of tech-friendly resources and history in Silicon Valley. It wasn’t always that way. IBM Research remains in Yorktown Heights. Also, there is technology associated with financial markets. Even if low-latency HFT gets reined in (finally) there is infrastructure to be created, implemented for capital markets, which are concentrated in the NYC (and Chicago!) areas. There is a future for tech IPO’s in NYC, even if defined in my non-traditional way.

      1. KG18

        “That’s due to the concentration of tech-friendly resources and history in Silicon Valley. It wasn’t always that way. IBM Research remains in Yorktown Heights.” You are correct… and it wasn’t just IBM… it’s amazing how quickly ppl forget history.

  10. Lavern Bond

    As I was reading this post, I also felt it was more a matter of Silicon Valley having a longer history of startups (50 years). I have no doubt that NYC will sustain itself long enough to produce more IPOs in the future. However, it is certainly good for NYC to start positioning for that goal in mind now.

  11. Tom Labus

    It’s still the residue of the Nasdaq tech collapse in 2000. There were over 400 filings that year.There was a pick this year but no where near 400.Granted, a lot of those companies (2000 vintage) shouldn’t have been anywhere near the IPO window but it’s still a numbers game.There also seems to be developing infrastructure like secondmarket to let private companies stay private longer longer.What’s the norm today will be turned on it’s head in a few years.

  12. BillMcNeely

    Reasons why I love this blog. I learn about guys like Jeff, who I did not know existed till this morning.

    1. fredwilson

      Jeff is awesome

      1. BillMcNeely

        I was able to share this morning’s post and the book Jeff wrote with a follower moving to Morgan Stanley with dreams of getting in VC at some point. It was nice to share something in his domain. Thanks for making it possible.

  13. William Mougayar

    Re: “NYC is a trader town. people like to trade stocks not hold stocks.”, Is this really affecting the Tech startups evolution or was it a general statement about NYC?

  14. paramendra

    “Modern comment system.” Ha! Google calls Chrome “the modern browser.” 🙂

  15. Michael Elling

    “And while we are talking about Jeff’s blog, let’s all encourage him to get Disqus on there.” I’ve said elsewhere that Disqus could virtualize itself across blog silos by giving the commentator the ability to link their comments across all blogs and publications not using Disqus.

    1. Ric Fulop

      Michael, can you elaborate further? You can already see all your activity across blogs by going to disqus.com/yourusername. How would you link your comments on non Disqus to a Disqus account?

  16. Shai Goldman

    Fred, thanks for the mention on this post. On a related note, I put together a list of NYC startups that have a chance to go IPO or have an exit via M&A. There are roughly 60 companies on this list, so there is a good chance that several of these will be big outcomes – http://shaigoldman.com/2012

    1. fredwilson


  17. paramendra

    This is an insight into the ecosystem that Silicon Valley has that NYC does not have. (Come Early http://bit.ly/NLOkgD)

  18. Brad

    Going public is not the only measure of a successful tech company. I believe facebooks value was it’s “wizard behind the current” allure. Maybe the real problem is the “exit” pressure that a lot of funds out there have and it creates companies with a shaky foundation but lots of pizazz. Maybe New Yorkers realize that having a long term public offering mentality is better than a short term pop.

  19. William Wagner

    By mid 90’s, I hope you mean 1690s. NYC has had a startup culture since the 17th century. We have polo ralph lauren colgate palmolive alcoa aluminum allegheny corporation and dare I say it… Goldman Sachs. Tons of the biggest and oldest public companies in the world started and went public here.

    1. ShanaC

      but outside of IBM and Edison labs, not much in terms of new technology inventions. Palmolive at the end of the day is soap, ralph lauren is clothing, and alcola is steel/aluminum

      1. William Wagner

        beg to differ, all 3 are prolific technology companies, developing, publishing and implementing new inventions on a daily basis. Even Goldman Sachs is continuously developing financial tech. This is evidenced by the oldest technology database, the US PTO, and unfortunately most of “tech” these days would prefer to be measured by website visits than actual technology

      2. awaldstein

        define tech pre computers…sewing machines in the garment district.motorized cabs replacing horse drawn.

      3. KG18

        you forget that much of aircraft engineering took place in NYC and then moved out to the eastern suburbs in Long Island in the same way IBM went to the northern suburbs and Bell went to the western burbs.Even Thomas Edison – working across the river in NJ – chose lower Manhattan to demonstrate the viability of the lightbulb. Shipping and industrial technology was heavy for decades too – until it mostly moved across the river to NJ.You said “new”… but you have to give a time-frame.

    2. fredwilson

      Yes indeed. I meant digital tech companies. But your broader point is spot on.

      1. William Wagner

        we need some better terms, before society starts forgetting the technology in the physical realm,I like the terms “soft tech” and “hard tech”but both have strange, vaguely sexual connotations

        1. fredwilson

          i like atoms and bits

  20. LE

    “He suggests that the lack of NYC tech IPOs compared to Boston is a result of:”One point used to support the lack of NYC tech IPOs from the above:”Perhaps the poor performance of the Facebook IPO soured Wall Street on the consumer sector and advertising-based business models?”The FB ipo was May 18th a little over 2 mos. ago.What relevance does that have at all in a discussion as far as “Why Hasn’t NYC Produced Many Tech IPOs?” I mean 2 mos ago.Juxtaposed interestingly against your correct thinking of “the decades it takes to build a lasting startup community”

  21. LE

    “E-commerce companies like Etsy, Gilt Group and Rent the Runway get a lot of ink compared to, say, Boston-based Wayfair and RueLaLa.”Proximity to people writing about things is important. This can either be done by physical proximity or by way of a PR firm who has the connections and pretty girls to pitch stories. (And cool guys of course). Writers like to attend parties and meet interesting, rich, and cool people. Especially young writers. The people doing this are their peers. They are human and they are susceptible to the same bias that we all are.Yesterday the WSJ had a story titled “No Vacation From Tweeting” in the print and online edition.http://online.wsj.com/artic…The author Elizabeth Holmes normally covers fashion for the WSJ. (She is married to a senior account manager at Google in NYC. If you were google you certainly would find it advantageous to hire someone who is married to a WSJ reporter, right? I know that I would.)Anyway I’m sure if we digged around we would find interesting connections on how that story came to be written. In the WSJ. How much is that worth to a company that is going to have an IPO at some point?This story while interesting is a total fluff piece. It is a big ad for twitter. A story like this could be done with any number of internet companies. (Back in the day I remember a story where the sys admin for Netscape “corrected a problem with the server by cell phone while water skiing on vacation”. That gives you the gist of the point I am making about the types of stories that the media finds interesting. The Twitter story follows this pattern.If you want to get publicity for your company find some angle and build the story for the writers. Then mingle and make connections. Or get people on your payroll if you can afford it that can mingle and make connections and manufacture the buzz so the media picks up on your company.

    1. LE

      attached print edition shot.

  22. lazerow

    This entire topic is a very first world issue. Just sayin’.

    1. fredwilson


  23. Byron Warnken

    Millenial Media is based in Baltimore, not DC. And maybe it’s because NY is smarter than SV or Boston. Your grandfather needed to go public. You, Ms. Founder, do not.Really, other than getting VC’s their large return, why would anyone go public?

  24. Collin Canright

    As a Chicagoan, I start with the unfortunately typical Chicago reaction: what about us and our now thriving startup scene and our IPOs over the years? Forbes put out an article just today “A New Start Up Every 48 Hours. . . ” http://onforb.es/QjaRAX. Not as known here because it does as you say take years to create this.Now more to the point, with the exception of what seems to becoming the notorious Groupon IPO, many of the Chicago exits are not top-of-mind companies: OptionsXpress, Dotomi, TravelClick, ThinkorSwim, Accertify, and other B2B companies. Same applies to fundings for that matter.Perhaps New York has the same? Companies that may well be quite substantial but are not the sexy new thing that gets the press?

    1. ShanaC

      If it helps, I have heard of all of them :). Chicago I get the feeling is a huge b2b town. Same to some degree is NY. The people interested in talking about it isn’t the mainstream press.

      1. Collin Canright

        Yes, huge B2B town. Electronic trading systems, logistics and manufacturing software, embedded systems for mobile phones–not exactly stuff for the mainstream media.

    2. kidmercury

      chicago represent! i’ve live in chicago now, spent 1 year out in san francisco and 10 years in nyc. chicago has two HUGE advantages: (1) significantly lower prices and (2) significantly more real estate while still having sufficient urban density, especially in select neighborhoods. google just moved in here too, although because of the real estate situation, i think it is far more friendly to something homegrown emerging. like groupon, but a real business instead.

      1. Collin Canright

        Very exciting times for technology business in Chicago indeed!

  25. EffectiveWebSolutions.info

    It’s all about people. NYC will catch up to the other places you’ve mentioned only after the people of NYC have!

  26. karen_e

    Boston getting some love on my favorite blog! Thanks for the boost. MIT, Harvard, and a few others create such fertile ground. We live it every day.

  27. andyidsinga

    Like the Bussgang!

  28. Guest

    Personally, while I cheer NYC on (and also Silicon Valley and Boston too) I would like to see the innovation and enthusiasm move downstream.I would like to see the US economy, the small and middle sized companies, the ones who still have all their workforce in the United States learn to partner up with the technology industry; to have “tech” and engineer staffs of their own, in house.I think every company, with 500 or less employees in the United States, and I don’t care where they are located, should have a “tech” department, a group of “techies” (sorry, but that is the term I use) who challenge the company to create a new model….Rather than seeing the internet as a threat they should see it as a new frontier and one that needs to be explored.Here is info on my industry:http://technicaltextilesolu… Here is another example of how technology is changing the way manufacturing thinks:http://opsrules.com/supply-…Imagine the number of jobs that could be created via a partnership of old economy and new technology? Imagine wages increasing, imagine the opportunities that could be created throughout the whole United States, for everyone, rather than just NYC, Boston, and Silicon Valley?

  29. Anonymous

    > And while we are talking about Jeff’s blog, let’s all encourage him to get Disqus on there. He writes good stuff and I am sure he’d get more discussion with a modern comment system.Discus is actually not that great – it requires 3rd party cookies enabled to sign in and comment, and 3rd party cookies are often disabled.

  30. Brad

    NYC has all the right elements, smart folks, big money, location, But for a fledgling firm, the cost of failure is so high in NYC. If your idea or firm bits the dust, it’s gonna hurt in a way that the folks in Silicon Valley just won’t feel.

  31. morefromalan

    Don’t forget doubleclick

  32. BhriguPankaj Prashar

    This is an interesting question. There is a response to the original post on Forbes here: http://onforb.es/OQfAa3.Enjoy the read. Bhrigu

  33. Anne Libby

    Thank you!

  34. ShanaC

    out of curiosity, why?

  35. William Mougayar

    Maybe you could help @bussgang:disqus also migrate his existing comments to Disqus? That would be a bonus. I’m sure it’s a factor in the migration decision not to leave the old stuff behind.

  36. JimHirshfield

    Please share your wish with WP. More voices —> More choices. Hopefully.

  37. Anne Libby

    Jim, I’ve done so via Twitter a couple of times. Is there a better way to catch their attention?

  38. Dale Allyn

    William, this is a big issue to many bloggers with whom I’ve spoken. They want an easy way to migrate existing comments. There’s a third-party solution for ExpressionEngine (I just recently found), but I’m not sure what’s available for others.

  39. ShanaC

    totally huge, I know someone who still can’t figure out how to migrate from haloscan

  40. William Mougayar

    I think @disqus has that ability and they provide scripts for doing it. It’s an import/export of xml data exercise, but you need to be technically inclined to do it. I can’t do it myself for example.

  41. Dale Allyn

    I had seen this hack which may be of help to your friend or others. It’s not new, but I suppose the info will still likely apply. It will be a bit technical for some bloggers though…Edit to add: I now see that disqus has put up a blog post this spring that provides guidance. I hadn’t seen that before and just grabbed my bookmark for the above link.

  42. Dale Allyn

    deleted duplicate content

  43. Anne Libby

    Will do. See you tonight, I hope.

  44. Techman

    That is a good idea — contact big press sites to complain about it. I would if I could, but my site is not very popular (yet) 😉

  45. Dale Allyn

    Right, I’ve been reading through some of the documentation. Many users would appreciate a method which would be a bit more “plug and play” for importing the existing comments into disqus. The installation is pretty easy for non-techies, but it seems the existing comments on long-standing blogs coming over is the pain point for some. I must be clear, I’ve not configured any WP or MT type blogs in a while, so I don’t know how much automation and integration is now in place.

  46. Ellie Kesselman

    Right you are, regarding Disqus! I tried it a few months ago, the xml import, couldn’t get it to work. Maybe if I had been using WordPress dot org instead of WordPress dot com, I would have been more successful.Here is a really good explanation of the difference between WordPress dot com v.s. dot org, directly from Automattic as of July-2012 http://en.support.wordpress… WordPress dot com doesn’t even *have* plug-in’s, though it took me awhile to realize that. And that all those articles about WordPress themes, installs and version changes were totally irrelevant to me as a WordPress dot com user!

  47. Techman

    Automattic want’s to make their platform secure, so they don’t allow plugins and JavaScript that is not approved by them.