Tech And The City

Tech and the cityMy longtime friend Alesandro Piol and his colleague Maria Teresa Cometto have been working on a book project to document the rise of New York City as a tech hub. They researched the book together and Maria wrote it over the past year. The book is called Tech And The City and is now available on Amazon (free for Amazon Prime members on your kindle).

I read a mostly final version of the book a month or two ago and then wrote the foreward.

The book does a very good job of explaining why New York City was not a participant in the early phases of the technology revolution and why it has come on strong in recent years. It also documents the leaders of the technology community in New York City and how they got things moving back in the early and mid 90s.

If you are a member of the NYC tech community or a student of tech hubs around the world, you will want to read this book. If you like technology, startups, and history, I am sure you will enjoy it as well.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Richard

    May want to mention that a free sample is available? Does the book discuss the early days of Nasdaq ?

    1. fredwilson

      how do you get a free sample?

      1. Craig Nicholson

        Logged in with Amazon Account (Prime) you see Try It Free button on right hand side underneath the purchase option. Kindle Version.

  2. John Revay

    Nicely written forward. I liked your comments about – making a fortune…almost loosing it all and then making it back several times over…..and the comment about reinvesting the fruits – I have head/read your comments before on this, I think ala David Packard & the valley.We need to get some Amazon reviews

  3. awaldstein

    On vacation, buying it now, now to figure out how to get it to my laptop then to the kindle while in Mexico.

    1. John Revay

      Arnold – please travel safe.

  4. William Mougayar

    Interesting that you signed your foreword from the west village, not union square where many of the startups are.Very true that New York is in a constant state of renewal and New Yorkers adapt to change very well, except for the banking industry which is doing the opposite, i.e digging their heels with old methods and antics.If anything, the lessons of New York apply to other cities more than the lessons of Silicon Valley.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s where i live and where i was when i wrote it

      1. William Mougayar

        I realized that….but was wondering why not union sq

        1. kenberger

          I see your point, William, even if it’s a bit hard to articulately echo.

          1. William Mougayar

            no worries. just a detail. key point is that the lessons of NY apply to other cities.

        2. LE

          Agree with you on and totally understand that point.

          1. William Mougayar

            Thanks 🙂

    2. John Revay

      Back in 1999 I did a web development project for a company that I worked for at the time called TARGUS – We selected this web development firm called KPE (the P was for Mark Patricof – son of Alan Patricof).They (KPE) had just opened this fun office space – right at Union Square – again this was in 1999.

  5. Tom Labus

    Does it cover tech and wall street?The role of tech in derivatives and trading is little discussed but should be.

    1. fredwilson

      no. it is not focused on wall street at all.

    2. pointsnfigures

      most of the derivative tech started in Chicago. Throw a rock, hit an HFT shop. When those guys get sick of trading, they will move to other stuff. (like med tech)

      1. ShanaC

        True. Already starting to happen (I have at least one friend in transition doing exactly this, though she won’t say so)

  6. kenberger

    They put your name right on the cover, an honor usually reserved for ex-presidents and sports legends 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      i missed that. that was nice of them

      1. kenberger

        Nice, for their marketing.

      2. John Revay

        FRED WILSON – is the Poster child NY Tech

        1. Alessandro Piol

          No question …

  7. tobias peggs

    looking forward reading this. Having tried to run a startup in NYC in 2003/4 (then moving out when we couldn’t hire engineers), and now recently coming back to run another one (choc full of incredible people)… it’s night and day difference.

  8. laurie kalmanson

    sample chapter is awesome. bought to read the rest later. the convo about united media/dilbert reminded me of helping with the dilbert trivia game; 100k+ players in an email multiple choice format. every right answer earned an entry in the prize drawings.

  9. kirklove

    Nice. Will check it out.Keep forgetting to ask you to bring Signal and Noise. Still would like to borrow that.Hope you get some fresh pow pow at the “river”.

  10. Avi Deitcher

    “Free for Amazon Prime members on your Kindle.”Looks like it isn’t. I am logged in as Prime, don’t see it free?

    1. Cam MacRae

      Interesting. I see it free. (Mind you I paid for a copy anyway — at $2.99 it cost less than a beer.)

    2. rich caccappolo

      the free to Prime users program works through the Kindle owners lending library…and ebooks accessed this way can only be read on a kindle device, not a kindle app

      1. ShanaC

        that is just dickish

  11. Cam MacRae

    You give good foreword, Fred.

  12. JLM

    .Sorry to be a bit off topic but maybe not.The new Pope has sent out a TWEET!If one does not think that technology has swept and will continue to sweep the world — think about this:The Pope, who is infallible when opining about about matters of faith and doctrine, is using Twitter and within two days of his ascending to the throne of the Papacy has already reached out to the technology world via Twitter.I wonder if anyone every thought of anything this momentous when they started Twitter or funded it.If Fred plays his cards right, he could be a Cardinal?Pope Francis — see you on Twitter! I’m going to follow you, Pope. Do you follow back?JLM@JLM73TX

    1. fredwilson

      They don’t allow sinners of my magnitude in the Vatican ;)But yes, this is awesome

      1. JLM

        .Actually having been a Catholic, Episcopalian, a Southern Baptist — the great thing about Catholicism is Confession.They almost dare you to engage in a bit of serious sinning in order to have some grist for the mill come Confession. If you are not a sinner of some significant magnitude, what the Hell will you have to talk about with the Priest?Luckily, I have never let the Priest down.JLM.

        1. LE

          In Judaism, at least the way it was practiced in my community, it’s a little different. You don’t get do overs for when you fuck up.

          1. JLM

            .So your point is?BTW, it’s not a “do over” it’s confession, repentance, absolution, penance and a clean slate. It’s better than a simple “do over”.JLM.

          2. LE

            “So your point is?”Don’t fuck up because you suffer the effects of your mistakes.”it’s not a “do over” it’s confession, repentance, absolution, penance and a clean slate.”If a man knows he can confess to his wife for cheating, that she will accept that, and the relationship will continue strong it’s not as big of a deterrent as “1 strike and you are out on your ass”.

          3. JLM

            .Has nothing to do with wives, has to do with the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Your wife is neither the Church or a Priest and she is not likely to confuse those facts. She is forgiving NOTHING.The Church does not recognize divorce. You are married for life and you would require an annulment to be remarried in the eyes of the Church.Of course, you could always buy an annulment, no?JLM.

          4. Dave Pinsen

            Considering that Catholicism has ~1 billion adherents maybe it is doing something right with confession?Granted, it can’t offer the rich rewards of Judaism – feeling left out on Christmas, not eating bacon, buying tickets to fast and pray all day with a bunch of people with bad breath every year, spirited arguments about Jabotinsky, etc. – but no religion is perfect.

          5. LE

            “Considering that Catholicism has ~1 billion adherents maybe it is doing something right with confession?”Well one reason that they have so many followers is that they recruit.http://www.secularstudents….…This is not done in Judaism. You can convert to Judaism but there is no outreach and never has been that I am aware of at least in modern times. And other than the small group of Orthodox jews jews don’t have large families. As a result there are less offspring that are born into the religion that have even more children. Jews of course don’t have a stand against abortion that I know of.The other stuff you mention is no big deal. When I was growing up we had to wait for the “after Christmas sales”. It personally never bothered me not to get Christmas presents although I know it did bother others for some reason and they felt left out. [1] As far as “buying tickets” I don’t – I sneak in. The tickets are quite expensive for that one or two days of the year and they don’t really do a good job of enforcing it anyway. I consider it my duty as a jew to exploit that. Otoh I would never think of sneaking into a concert or another event without paying and I pay for all the songs and other things that I want. Something about the synagogue charging for this bothers me. Oh yeah one more thing I do steal Keurig cups from the local bank which leaves them out for patrons. And any other swag that is there. As far as dietary restrictions I’m not kosher and the large majority of jews I have come in contact with aren’t either. Judaism is a truely bespoke religion. Haven’t had a problem essentially doing what I want to do (or not). My father was studying to be a rabbi actually. Then the holocaust came along so he went into something more practical so he could earn a living.[1] Over time my attitude toward Christmas has changed roughly from “this is stupid” to “this is great”. It’s great because all these people spend money and that brings down the cost of the goods that I want to buy because of the increase in volume. It’s kind of a tax in a way that I don’t have to pay.

          6. Dave Pinsen

            Not only doesn’t Judaism “recruit”, it doesn’t do a good job with retention (with the exception, perhaps, of some small, ultra-religious communities). The two are probably related. The discipline of proselytizing (recruiting)probably has had some salutary effects on the practice of Catholicism.

          7. ShanaC

            there is a huge drop rate within orthodoxy. About 50% who are brought up orthodox don’t remain so in adulthood

          8. Pete Griffiths

            Orthodox isn’t that small a group.”As of 2001, approximately 13 percent of American Jews[1] and 25 percent of Israeli Jews were Orthodox. Among American synagogue members, 27 percent attended Orthodox synagogues.”…

          9. pointsnfigures

            They both have the market cornered on guilt!! (kidding if anyone is offended)

          10. ShanaC

            the reason the ticket thing happened is because synagogues don’t raise money by passing out a plate. Therefore, they have tickets and membership fees. There are synagogues out there that don’t charge for Rosh Hashannah/Yom kippur.Ironically, both methods raise roughly the same amount of money….

          11. ShanaC

            That isn’t quite right. Maimonides is pretty specific about how repentance works (… ) – apparently the final stage is “face the same thing, and don’t do the sin”Truthfully, it is a complicated topic….

          12. JLM

            .Of course, my favorite Saint was Saint Augustine who was a bit of a knave and came to religion and the Church late in life.The Perfect Act of Contrition on one’s deathbed is a big allure if you can pull it off.JLM.

        2. takingpitches

          As a non-catholic attending catholic schools for fifteen years, I was most jealous of Confession and the sip of wine at the Eucharist.

          1. JLM

            .I have probably told you this story but in danger zones when you must spread out to keep from all being hit by the same mortar round, the Catholics always enjoy lots of congregants and converts come Mass — they pass a few bottles of wine around as part of Communion and that seems to strike a resonant chord with the troops.Go figure.JLM.

          2. takingpitches

            Go figure is right!The part of Mass, which I could participate in as a non-Catholic, and I really enjoyed was giving the sign of peace.

          3. JLM

            .Peace be with you.JLM.

          4. takingpitches

            And to you, my brother

        3. John Revay

          nicely said

      2. Charlie Crystle

        actually that’s part of the problem–they do (and greater)

      3. ShanaC

        i thought you were a functional atheist? oof, I am horrible at these sorts of joke

    2. LE

      “The Pope, who is infallible when opining about about matters of faith and doctrine, is using Twitter”Because literally nothing about religion of any kind makes any logical sense or isn’t ironic or contradictory in some way.On the nightly news there was a picture of the new Pope paying for his hotel bill at the front counter. It’s part of the general movement that has developed over the years to make celebrities seem like regular people and approachable with the same problems as the rest of us.

      1. JLM

        .Hell, he just hadn’t gotten the Vatican Am Ex card yet?At least he gets free housing, no?It’s tough out there for a pimp, ooops, I meant a Pope.JLM.

        1. ShanaC

          I don’t think he can get a Vatican AmEx – the Vatican Bank has enough issues that sometimes the Vatican can’t charge people on credit cards

          1. JLM

            .I think I kind of get it but what does “…sometimes the Vatican can’t charge people on credit cards…” mean? Are you implying that the Pope is buying people?JLM.

          2. ShanaC

            I can’t go to the vatican and buy a tchoke of a t-shrt that says “My friend got to see the sistine chapel and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” because the vatican is having issues with bank secrecy.

    3. John Revay

      My father (& mom) were both deeply religious….the alter was filled w/ priest and nuns at both of their funerals (12 & 2 yrs ago).One of the best memories of my dad recently was when Pope Benedict came to the US several years ago – I was able to get us tickets and see him at Yankee Stadium.I forgot to tell you – my dad’s first name (and my middle name) is Francis.I think he had something to do w/ naming the new Pope while in heaven.#Peace

      1. JLM

        .My Mom was one of almost a baseball team strength cohort of Brennan girls raised by a Mom who lived to be over 100 when that was a long time.Religious? Yeah.There is something so comforting and grounding about being in such an environment.The Catholic church was very good to me and those Irish priests and nuns were literally a family into which one was absorbed.They lived their faith and they held all of us children in the bosom of their and God’s love.The priests I knew were rough tough Irishmen and not a second of bad behavior did I ever hear of, witness or endure.They all provided real structure in our lives particularly for kids whose fathers went overseas from time to time.Of course, the big benefit was the ability to communicate so clearly — John Francis! You knew when the middle name was thrown in, you were in some deep crap.JLM.

  13. rich caccappolo

    Really looking forward to reading this book – not just to remember the history and to consider why NYC has come on strong in recent years, but also to identify that which needs to be done to ensure that the tech ecosystem does not slip backwards but continues to grow through the transition of much of our city government later this year.

  14. andrewparker

    Does it emphasize the importance of Google’s office in the city? Google placing their 2nd largest office in NYC (and the timing of it relative to the IPO) is always understated when people try to explain why NYC is a rising tech hotbed.

    1. fredwilson

      I think soAnd I certainly agree about how important that was

      1. LE

        In Panama they had to fix the malaria problem to finish the canal and not suffer defeat like the French.The equivalent in NYC is the housing situation.Luckily because of the age of most of the participants in tech this is easier because they are wiling to live in smaller confined quarters and they don’t have families and require schools. Almost like “55+” communities require fewer resources in the suburbs.It also creates an automatic “McDonald’s wants labor turnover to keep costs down” [1] situation because as the workforce ages they will be forced to move on and out – they simply won’t be able to afford housing large enough for a family. People who stay at companies and don’t provide additional value for each year, and want more money for the same job and productivity, isn’t the way to increase profits or stay in business.[1] It’s easy to teach someone to flip burgers – the job is purposely undesirable so you don’t stay long enough to want more money for a job that they can get another unskilled person trained to do.

        1. awaldstein

          Yes and no…New York transit and trains make community from the boroughs an easy part of life.Housing a an expense but there are lots of options.

          1. LE

            True but if you’ve ever gone college hunting with kids you will find that the environment and lifestyle is an important part of the value that they perceive vs. the actual education.And just like being a commuter student isn’t the same as living on campus I would suspect that working in tech in NYC, and commuting from the boroughs, wouldn’t hold the same attractiveness strictly as a selling point. Not that SV is great with housing either obviously but the impression that I have is the social scene in NYC is a big draw, correct? Or running around the reservoir on a Sunday morning or sitting outside in the spring on one of the avenues in a sidewalk cafe.The way I’ve described NYC to others vs. Philly is like this. Philly has some cool neighborhoods (Old City, Rittenhouse Square, University City near Penn) to name just a few. But in NYC the scale is so much bigger they just seem to go on forever and there are so many more of them. It’s like the difference between having a boat on a lake (you will get bored) and having a boat on the back bay with access to the ocean which you never get tired of.

          2. awaldstein

            All true–but being a student where the campus is the hub is different to me than working in tech where you can work in Flatiron and live in Greenpoint or many others and find community in both places. Very few live where they work.

          3. pointsnfigures

            they artificially control rent don’t they?

          4. awaldstein

            Who is they?

          5. JLM

            .’Going to NYC to live from even a place like Austin — which is a cool place to live for the young folk — is still the Holy Grail.Living in Manhattan, even if you work in Brooklyn, is “the” experience.If I were a 20-something who could talk Dear Old Dad into a bit of a housing stipend I would be there. Even better if I could talk Dad into underwriting a “share” out in the Hamptons.JLM.

    2. Alessandro Piol

      Yes, Andrew. Google is definitely an important component and catalyst and we talk about that.

  15. Alessandro Piol

    Thank you Fred for blogging about the book, for writing the foreword, for being a friend and colleague for many years and, most of all, for what you do for the New York tech community.We wrote this book because we love New York, we love what’s going on in the startup world here, and because this is a story that needs to be told to a wider audience. I have asked friends, New Yorkers not involved in the tech business, to read the book and they were amazed by the amount of activity that is taking place in the city, under their nose, unbeknownst to them. The story needs to come out and be told to our fellow New Yorkers and beyond, because that’s how we can expand the community.We also wanted to write a book that could not only inform, but inspire as well. As Fred wrote in his foreword, New York can be a model for other cities and countries. I am writing this from Italy, where I am in the middle of a book tour, and entrepreneurs, investors and even politicians (the enlightened ones, who are not too many unfortunately) are embracing the story. We hope that this can be of help to young entrepreneurs as well, who can draw some inspiration from the stories in the book and hopefully feel less overwhelmed if/when they decide to come to New York to be part of a startup.Finally I would like to thank the readers of this blog for your comments. I hope you’ll feel inclined to read the book, and that you provide us feedback directly or on Amazon. Good, bad or indifferent, your feedback is important to us. Thanks for reading.

    1. Richard

      Can you share some of the raw data that you compiles in writtinf the book?

      1. Alessandro Piol

        Rich, we did not do any numerical research, like sending out questionnaires and compiling statistics. For that we relied on the many sources of information that are available and that we referenced throughout the book. What we did do is complete over 50 interviews with entrepreneurs, investors, members of the Bloomberg administration and other stakeholders in the NY community, combined that information with some secondary research, and told the story. The key objective was to make the book accessible to a larger audience, so we tried not to make it too technical. And I would also say it is not a history book but rather a book of stories, which is meant to be inspirational, informational and a good read. If you want to chat some more on this I am happy to. @ilmago

    2. Davide Rossi

      Congratulations Alessandro! Finally got the book on my Note and cannot wait to start reading it. Hope you and Maria Teresa are having a blast during your tour in Italy.

      1. Alessandro Piol

        Thanks Davide. It is certainly rewarding to see such a good response in our old country.

    3. takingpitches

      Thanks Alessandro for documenting this and participating on this blog!What’s your take on IAC? I think, among so much of the tech world noise, it goes unnoticed how many iconic web properties that old-media entrepreneur Barry Diller now controls (and has previously controlled) from his Frank Gehry designed beehive on the West Side highway.Maybe it’s happening, and I am missing it, but there would seem to be a whole lot more interaction that can/should be happening between the tech scene in NYC and the IAC porfolio.

      1. ShanaC

        IAC seems to be a bit of a dark horse. I keep thinking Barry Diller has some sort of trick up his sleeve

      2. Alessandro Piol

        We do talk about Barry and IAC in the book, and he is indeed an icon of the West Side, both because of the striking Gehry building and because he is himself an icon of the media business. I guess because all these companies are part of IAC, it’s rare to see them present at events around New York (especially startup or fund raising events) and when they do participate it’s under IAC PR supervision … However, folks like Rich Nelson (SVP of M&A for IAC) speaks on panels and to the various NY organizations (I saw him last at a NY Angels event) to explain IAC’s strategy and look for acquisition targets. Although it has grown inorganically, IAC is the largest tech media company in NY and represents an exit opportunity for some of the smaller NY startups.

        1. takingpitches


    4. RooseveltIslander

      Any thoughts from Fred or Alessandro regarding the impact of the Cornell Technion Applied Sciences & Engineering School on NYC Tech scene? The campus is scheduled to open on Roosevelt Island in 2017 but the school has already begun its first semester with temporary space at Google HQ in Chelsea.Mike Bloomberg sees the school as one of his big Mayoral legacies to NYC and along with Google’s Eric Schmidt and Qualcomm’s Irwin Jacobs will be a Senior Advisor to Cornell Technion. The hope is for this school to be NYC’s version of Stanford and MIT in spinning off businesses and providing engineering talent to NYC companies.FYI – more information available on Cornell/Technion plans for their school on my local community blog.

      1. Alessandro Piol

        As Mayor Bloomberg said, the Cornell NYC Campus project is transformational and it will have a major impact on the city. We talk extensively about that project in the book. It is clearly a big coup for Mayor Bloomberg and it will pay dividends by creating more engineers and entrepreneurs, and consequently more jobs in NY. I also like, and find innovative, the fact that they are gearing their academic program to help students get stuff done in the real world. Students will have mentors from industry who will help them develop new ideas. It’s a unique private/public/academic partnership. And if you are a Roosevelt Islander it will change your way of life as well.

  16. LE

    I just scanned your forward (for some reason there are typos in the amazon copy in the first paragraph.)What’s interesting about Bell Labs (re: Boston/West Coast) is that Bell actually constructed a huge complex in NJ but nothing that I can tell followed or sprouted up around that (at least that hit popular culture company wise).…It would be interesting if an academic studied why that didn’t occur. I suspect that a few choice things that happened by luck elsewhere are the reason it did happen elsewhere (mentioned in th PBS documentary “Silicon Valley”). Showing the role that luck plays.Many things did happen in Bell Labs NJ of course but there was not the seedling effect.

    1. ShanaC

      why did that not happen? It is sitting right there in NJ!

      1. LE

        A first step in seeing why it didn’t happen is to see why it happened where it did. And what you will find is the serendipity as a reason as opposed to something that could necessarily be re creatable. For example Fred is starting AFSE in NYC because Fred is in NYC. And Fred is in NYC for any number of reasons vs. being in Chicago. Doesn’t matter why. Years from now people won’t care why there is an AFSE although they will know Fred was key in it’s founding. That doesn’t sound right for some reason. I guess what I mean is that people won’t care about all the things that lead to AFSE being in NYC they will just focus on it as if it was meant to be here for something more special than Fred’s choice of this city and the things that gave him money and reasons to start that school.Watch the PBS special regarding Silicon Valley as a start to understand. Note the role that defense spending and the location of a few key companies that decided to locate there (for whatever reason they did) did. Maybe even the defense contracts were pushed by deal making among congressman (not saying this happened but it is always possible.)There is always a long list of things that lead to other things. I’m here writing to you because of what happened in Europe in the 1930’s. If it wasn’t for that my father wouldn’t have come to this country and I wouldn’t exist.With regards to many great discoveries (including the internet), thank the Russians and cold war spending.

    2. Alessandro Piol

      LE, first of all, thanks for pointing out the typos. It’s so ironic after all the checking we did that you get typos in the first paragraph. And the original version is correct (!), so something happened during the three conversions the file had to go through to get to Amazon. In any case, it’s our responsibility and a new version is being loaded.I think the issue of Bell Labs is puzzling, but what happened (or didn’t happen) is sort of logical. If you look at Stanford, MIT and Bell Labs, they all got major government funding. Stanford and MIT are not commercial enterprises, so it was in their best interest to help their entrepreneurial students get something going after graduation. Bell Labs, on the other hand, wanted to hold on to their good engineers and provided for them a very comfortable environment. I spent 10 years at AT&T and Bell Labs, and the culture that was created was very much risk-adverse. There was no incentive to leave Ma Bell to go out and risk something. I actually was there after the breakup of AT&T and the Bell Operating Companies, and I participated in the effort to make the company more entrepreneurial, first as part of an “intrapreneurial” organization that was trying to build startups using underutilized or repurposed Bell Labs technologies, and then as a co-founder of AT&T Ventures. The effort was only partially successful (the intrapreneurial one, while AT&T Ventures did very well because it invested like any other VC), and it was hard to find the risk-takers within the monopoly-bred culture …

      1. LE

        “I actually was there after the breakup of AT&T and the Bell Operating Companies, and I participated in the effort to make the company more entrepreneurial”I had an AT&T 3b2/400 Unix system at about the same time. I remember very clearly the other part of the company and a local (for lack of a better way to put it) “repairman” for AT&T being given a contract to start his own telephone service and installation company. AT&T essentially set him up in his own business and gave him work as an independent contractor so he could establish himself.Your points are all good also in addition to the obvious risk averse culture this was back in the day where people essentially had life long jobs working for a company like AT&T. Golden handcuffs. I’m certain the man who started his own repair company would never have done that if he wasn’t forced to (forgetting the other obvious obstacles).”the culture that was created was very much risk-adverse”Also the type of person that goes to work at AT&T would tend to be risk averse to start I would imagine. Simplistically engineering requires assessment of risk that is not the same as running the local liquor store or small wholesale business where the margin of error you are allowed is much greater.

  17. mikenolan99

    As it gets delivered to my iPad – can I do a shout out for the Flat Iron School?This past summer I forwarded a Seth Godin link to my son, a University of Minnesota Computer Science junior who just wasn’t getting much out the traditional University had hundreds of applications for 20 spots. Jack was selected, rented an apartment in Harlem, and took the subway everyday down to the Flat Iron district. (I am the only person in Minnesota who has ever said the phrase “My son is in Harlem, so he’s safe from the hurricane.)Everyday, for 90 days, from 8am – 8pm he was immersed in real life coding projects. He learned from fantastic instructors deeply involved in the New York Tech scene. He went to a reception at the Mayor’s home – and meet even more great tech people.Jack just landed a full time gig at Code42 (just closed $50M+ VC round) in Minneapolis as a Ruby developer – and is loving every minute of it. He promises his dad he’ll finish college.The New York scene is fantastic, and I am excited to learn if we can replicate the best parts here in the Midwest.

    1. fredwilson


    2. pointsnfigures

      It’s happening in the midwest. A lot. We are less dense than a place like SV or NYC (less people) but it’s happening. Check out for some data on Chicago. @1871Chicago is the tech townhall. There are angel groups in Minneapolis that try to coinvest with other midwestern groups via MCOIN. At SXSW, my pal Jeb Ory won with his new app- Phone2Action. There is still much to do, but we have a good base to build off of. If you want to learn to code in the midwest, check out or

      1. mikenolan99

        Looks like great resources… I’ll check them out. I’ve also been involved with the Minnesota Angel Network, Initiative foundations and our own Small business Development centers… If you ever want to connect, drop me a note @mikenolan99:disqus

        1. pointsnfigures

          They are apart of MCOIN I think. Just got invited to this: I am beginning to do some work with the Jump Innovation Center. Might be cool to hook you all up.

    3. John Revay

      Code42 > they make crash plan – it seems like a neat backup solution

  18. Jeff Pester

    Thanks Fred. This is especially timely. In May of 2009 I was invited to Mountain View to speak at the first Twitter conference (140TC). I decided to move to The Valley for the summer, and I ended up staying 4 years 🙂 But New York is calling.I’ve just started a new company (GameDay.TV) and I’ve realized that at its core it’s a media company powered by technology. In my early discussions with potential customers and strategic partners it became obvious that New York was where I needed to be, and from a personal standpoint, where I wanted to be.Really looking forward to jumping into the NY ecosystem with both feet. Thanks again for the head’s up on the book – off to read it now.

  19. jason wright

    I cancelled my Prime two weeks ago.

  20. ShanaC

    ooo, that is not fair. I have prime (so I can ship myself toiletries every few months) but I have to pay for the book because i don’t have a kindle…

  21. Tom Labus

    You see Jack Dorsey on 60 Minutes? He said he wants to be mayor jack!!

    1. fredwilson

      no i did not. but i have known about that ambition since i met him six years ago.

  22. Margaret E. Federico

    If you think Bryan`s story is exceptional,, four weeks agomy auntie’s boy friend basically earned $4542 sitting there fifteen hours aweek from there house and their friend’s mom`s neighbour did this for ninemonths and made more than $4542 in their spare time from a laptop. use the tipson this web-site, jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

  23. William Mougayar

    Good to see the book as #7 in the Entrepreneurship section, but I don’t understand why it’s $3 in the US store and $10 in the Canadian store, both for Kindle versions. That doesn’t make any sense.

  24. Gina Neff

    Congratulations! Looking forward to reading it and seeing the evolution of the incredible creativity of the NYC tech scene since the Web 1.0 days I covered in Venture Labor.

  25. Miguel Angel Gonzalez Cruz

    Hi Fred,Many thanks for the recommendation. The book is in my Kindle App ready to be read.By the way, I will be in NYC from April 14 to 28 to start our ops in the US, I will be more than happy if you guys can recommend me the best places to find the vibrant NYC tech-startup community.Best regardsMiguel