Fun Friday: Coming Up With A Better Name For NYC's Tech Community
It’s no secret that I HATE the term Silicon Alley. It’s a wannabe term if there ever was one. NYC’s tech community doesn’t want to be Silicon Valley. If they wanted that, they’d move there. NYC’s tech community is gritty, artsy, and full of edges like NYC itself. I am in no way dissing or dismissing Silicon Valley. It’s mecca when it comes to tech. Everyone knows that. I’m just saying that calling ourselves Silicon Alley is lame. We can do so much better.
So I’m turning this over to the AVC community. What’s a better term for the hundreds of thousands of people who work in thousands of tech companies, large and small, in NYC?
I’ve got lots of sympathy for this problem — in London, the tech cluster is called ‘Silicon Roundabout,’ which is much, much worse. At least Silicon Alley rhymes! 🙂
Wannabe Roundabout? 🙂
Of course, we also have “I <3 LDN” t-shirts, which is like “I <3 NY” but without the design sense. London has an America complex, for sure.
silicon roundabout does seem to be getting used less, and predominantly by those not really involved in the industry. Very much wannabe and overlooks the vast startup culture not just present on Old Street roundabout/Shoreditch. Fortunately TechCity seems to be used increasingly and despite not being the most original is much much better
Funny thing is that neither NYC nor London has much to do with silicon. Chip design and manufacture *is* mostly out West in CA or Tel Aviv. NY has software firms, online firms, even some manufacturing. But silicon and chips? Nah.
yessss, exactly. there isn’t any silicon produced in “silicon alley”
Media, entertainment, fashion…and food!
And FWIW, weren’t they calling Israel “Silicon Wadi” for a while? At least they – Intel, Motorola, IBM, Apple, others – do chip design and manufacture there!
Wadi is an Arabic word that means Valley.
Doesn’t it mean a dry riverbed? Or is it a valley generally that has come to be used for dry riverbeds?
In some cases it seems. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/w…
How language evolves. I first learned it from Hebrew, knowing it was an Arabic word. But I thought it really meant dry riverbed, like Wadi Qelt (great hike). Learn something new every day. Thanks, WM.
So many locales keep trying to be another Silicon Valley, but independent and standalone, looking for the combination of clime/academic research/incentives/education/populace/etc. that make it work. Could the “wannabe” names be holding them back subconsciously?
Bit Town, Synergy City, Pandora’s Box Canyon
In NY it is not really one community but a bunch intersecting ones, very distinct.It’s about the city not the platform, its about diversity not sameness.It’s about the street.
NYC is about the street. and what’s below it too.
I love this phrase. “NYC is about the street – and what’s below it also.”More on the ridiculousness of Silicon Valley envy that reinforces that each place has it’s own identity.http://feld.com/archives/20…
NYC is definitely street+train. It’s the connective tissue, from Brooklyn to Flatiron district to Harlem.I will never forget when I was coding in the B train and Scott Heiferman was sitting by me and asked me about the project I was working on, and invited my to present at the NYTech Meetup.So I think something related to street+train would be appropriate.722 is the number of miles in the MTA subway systemThe 722? ( as opposed to the 212 )
awful to brand yourself a derivative of someone else. Wadi/Alley/Roundabout – position themselves as the ugly sister of SV.I’ve always loved the cool acronyms associated with parts of NYC.TRIBECANOHODUMBOMy vote would be for a clever one of those.Short, easy to say, very brandable and like an iceberg has depth under the surface
There are pronunciation issues, but Githam, Gothub, something that mixed Gotham and Github
now we are getting somewherethis is some seriously good thinking LIAD
coolest thing about these acronyms is how iconic and strange they stand for.TriBeCa–triangle below canal. tiny-really tiny park. central to nothing.DUMBO–down under manhattan bridge overpass. to strange and wonderful.
i love them. i wish someone with a more creative mind than me would take LIAD’s idea and run with it
as do i.i’m seriously in love with the diversity of culture and the ever changing possibilities of this place.the long string between an immigrant past, my past where my grandfather organized the sweat shops to an insanely vertical connected future culture.where i can walk in and out of my communities from a bar in cobble hill where I bumped into other wine bloggers, a client in the art space to an all nite bash last night celebrating our local bar where there were people form everywhere who do just about anything you can think of.so freakin grand. so much about human touch.so much the worlds stage. so personal.owned by each of us personally and collectively.
Vertical. Great image.
THNYC (think)Tech Hub of New York City
Won’t work. It works in NYC (or in SF) because there are many of them by legacy and people understand and are familiar with that nomenclature. In Philly we don’t have those types of acronyms we have “Old City, University City, Center City, Rittenhouse Square, Society Hill, The Badlands” and so on.  Down the shore we have “Downbeach” which refers to “Ventnor, Margate, Longport”. (Being “down” from AC basically).All you will end up doing is confusing people outside the area who don’t have a fingerprint in their mind for that type of naming.Lastly, naming like that just happens, it’s not invented. Nobody woke up one morning, brainstormed and said “fuck” would be a really cool word let’s use that instead of “coitus”. We also have “Temple Oh”. You know what that is? Popularized in the 70’s (by John Bunting a bank President who went there) when someone was asked him where he went to college and he replied “Temple” the person asking said “oh”. Ouch.
I recently learned of “Chitaly.” From my sister, who lives in “Chicagoland.”Hmmm.
Definitely a recursive acronym.
It can get silly playing with acronyms. Nonetheless:Streets Avenues Subways Highrises ==> SASH City TechOrSubwayTechSecondStreet Tech
And for those of us who knew NYC in the 70s and even into the 80s:Metropolitan Underground Gotham Gorge Internet Newtech Growth(do the acronym….)
I’m with LIAD on this (as many of you are).TIBONY (pronounced Ta Bow Knee) – The Innovation Borough of New York
What about just “Innovation Borough”… ?I Like NYx from above as well.
Or something with Broadway
Techattan. New Tech City. 🙂
My suggestion is the same one you made in 2008 when you made a plea to bury the name Silicon Alley.http://feld.com/archives/20…Call it “New York.”Everyone knows what New York represents. And whether it’s the “startup community” or “tech community” it’s completely aligned with the city.It’s easy. New York. And if anyone calls it Silicon Alley, send them a coupon for a fake plane ticket to SFO as a reminder to ban the phrase.
What do people call Colorado?
Colorado.We have the Boulder Startup Community. The Denver Startup Community. The Fort Collins Startup Community. The Colorado Springs Startup Community. And the Colorado Startup Community.When I moved her in 1995 there was a trend toward calling this Silicon Flatirons. I fucking hated it and refused to play. Eventually I started throwing public fits. Around 2010 there was a public call for a new name for the tech community in the Front Range (those four cities). I advocated for the above. The naming consensus was “Mile High Tech.” It wasn’t miserable, but it wasn’t necessary. And it quickly faded away.CU Boulder does have an organization called Silicon Flatirons that I’m very involved in (http://www.silicon-flatiron…. I’ve asked hundreds of times to change the name. Phil Weiser, Dean of CU Law and the founder/head of Silicon Flatirons has told me I can name it when I make a $5 million gift. He’s clever that way.
this post is my public fit!
I guess part of you want us to conclude that all these names are silly, and it should be called what it is:NYC Tech Community
what’s tech?go spend an afternoon of meetings in the Soho house where art meets fashion meets software meets food meets sports meets broadcast meets movies meets every possible outfit and age and point of view.nada to do with tech. everything to do with innovation and culture.not one community but a community of communities.
yessssssssswe should hire you to solve this problem. you are so all over it Arnold
“Silicon City,” is stupid simple abso-obvious branding that encompasses all innovation within the gazillion mini communities everyone calls NYtech, the “city,” of technology. It’s also cool to have this stupid simple name because there’s only one real place on earth that you can refer to being in, just by saying, “the city.” Shameful and sad this stupid simple term hasn’t stuck. Alley is so 2008. The guy that said, “Tech City,” also sees the stupid simple way to keep the core of what NYC is to the world, New York City, without ignoring the obvious tidal wave demand from SF re: their birthing rights and force branding too. I know this is old, but if there’s a campaign to be had, this is the one to fight for, before Portland, Austin, Chicago, San Diego (which should have been Silicon Beach for its small size alone), or whatever city in Colorado takes it. S I L I C O N C I T Y”Where innovation in tech never sleeps”-Just keep it stupid simple
that’s what the NY Historical Society is calling its exhibition this fall on the 200 year history of tech in NYC
Sounds like NYHS got it right. Everyone should just fall in.
Community of communities alternative tech COCAT(Bonus for the word Cat in it)
Reminds me of a place I used to work in called CCAT (Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology). 🙂
This is a great argument to just call it New York.
one of the strongest brands on the planet.actually the verticals simply exist–fashion, film and that is how they self define regarless of organizations names of which there are many.the only horizontal piece may be the entrepreneurial community which crosses every one of the verticals.there is an answer and even after you create it, you need to do the hard work of making it mean something.names on their own mean nada
Go upscale, Silicon Gallery.
It wasn’t miserable…but it wasn’t necessary. Nice point.
Which begs the question: If NY is NY, and Boulder is Boulder, and Israel is Israel… why the heck does there need to be a nickname at all? I think only SV needed it, because “San Francisco Bay Area Between SFO and San Jose but West of the Bay” isn’t very catchy. I think of SV were just San Fran, it wouldn’t be “Silicon Valley”, just “San Fran”.
Yup! And, SFO and “Silicon Valley” (which theoretically runs from Sunnyvale to about Palo Alto – certainly not further north than SFO airport) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wik… – does NOT include San Francisco. It’s been “co-opted” to include San Francisco but anyone who spends any time in San Francisco and what I like to call “the peninsula” know that they are culturally VERY different. So in some ways Silicon Valley isn’t even Silicon Valley anymore.
Agreed 100%. When I visit businesses in SF it is very different than the culture in Daly City, which is different than further south in the Mountain View / Cupertino / Palo Alto / San Jose / etc. area.
And great pickup ice hockey 2x weekly in Redwood City. I dragged my gear 9,000 miles to play one game there!
This point is totally key to the absurdity.While others are trying to co-opt their version of Silicon Valley (I’m from Scotland, the belt of light electronics companies from Canon to Cadence became hide your ears in your shoulders embarassingly known as Silicon Glen) most startups in the Bay Area are not in the Valley, and have moved ever more north into San Francsico (and are starting to creep north east into Oakland).There’s also the Silicon part. The NYC startup scene isn’t creating the next Fairchild, Intel or Shockley.NYC is one of the most iconic brands in the world. It stands for so much already. Most startups would kill for that kind of brand affinity.
Front Range is good by itself.
I’ve asked hundreds of times to change the name. Phil Weiser, Dean of CU Law and the founder/head of Silicon Flatirons has told me I can name it when I make a $5 million gift. He’s clever that way.I think on next April’s fool day you should return the “cleverness” by showing up in his office saying that you are going to make a large donation and take him up on that.With a camera crew. I will pay for the camera crew to film this.
What is funny is how hard marketing people want to force something to happen (never works). If a real person does not use the term, then you are done.Don’t know if it is true in TX / OK / LA / CO, but in AB the energy industry has been casually called the Oilpatch for decades.No f*&king billboards of that, obviously.
well you know i agreebut there are people who want to create a hollywood style signand NYC won’t workso they are going to use Silicon Alley and that makes me cringe
Cringe? C’mon.That’s fucking stupid. It’s a waste of money. It’s a throwback to the misery of 2001 when there were tattered Silicon Alley flags hanging outside DoubleClick’s windows and giant billboards that eventually came down out of neglect and embarrassment.I suppose there is no avoiding the Mark Twain quote “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
people are working hard to recreate 99/00 as you well know
Yup. And, like the scorpion, it is their nature. And they will eventually fuck themselves.
Can we raise more money to pay $120/sq ft for real estate on a ten year lease?
Ha, second time this week somebody brought up the Scorpion and the Frog.
I’m going to use this scorpion metaphor in the future — it’s great and punchy, LOL.
Why. History (and that odd textbook from my history of business class that you were in) showed that large chunks of that was a disaster. Not just because of the crash, but also because certain cultural motifs just don’t work in person for the long term
No camera phones everywhere yet
I agree. So many words, so little meaning.Why on earth anyone need to brand the ‘NY tech scene’??? Seriously, why? because there’s a “silicon valley” brand for ‘SF tech scene’?? If that’s the case, then Silicon alley for NY is probably the right name.
There are already flags and ads around town for we work. While I like what they are doing in terms of networks of spaces, the flags and ads make me cringe. My work is not my branded life. I’m a person in my spare time 😉
Seriously? What the hell is the Hollywood-style sign for? As if anyone who sees the NYC skyline does not know exactly where they are?If they really want one, tell them to convince Google to place it in the Maps app without a physical one and be done with it. With option to remove!
A sign? Where would it go?Um.
I have some thoughts where it could go 😉
I <3 NYC Tech and pay milton glaserhttp://en.m.wikipedia.org/w…
Who are these people? Where do they want to put the sign? Maybe our efforts should go into a resistance movement against this sign ;)Let’s call it Voidoid Alley and screw anybody who doesn’t get it.
O_o. Hollywood sign. Do they not get that we get cynical here?
LA’s afflicted by the same wannabe branding. They’re creating “Silicon Beach” at Playa Vista:* http://www.latimes.com/busi…Meanwhile in LDN, there’s “Silicon Roundabout”:* http://www.economist.com/no…NY Tech should just call itself “NY Works” as a wordplay on “Net Works” and to reflect how every sector in NY literally WORKS (finance, media, fashion, local govt, transport etc.) and is workaholic-y.
Silicon Roundabout was Matt Biddulph’s joke. The “serious” name is TechCity
It has to be a subset.NYC encompasses all these tech assets these days, PLUS a whole lot more.And you named a state that has much more than NYC.”better term for the hundreds of thousands of people who work in thousands of tech companies, large and small, in NYC”
Yeah, I don’t think we need to coin a neologism or real estate agent’s neighb. So much existing history!New York encompasses many different industry neighbs with established names. Wall St, the Garment District. That’s better than Silicon Valley, which is just semiconductors, and the subsequent generations of software companies funded by the VC’s who grew rich from funding the semiconductor industry. I suppose there’s the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, but that seems a bit aspirational to me to lump Dumbo’s digital media stronghold in with the more 3-dimensional tech of the Navy Yard.Closest we had in NYC to a direct Silicon Valley analog was Radio Row, which of course predated the innovations that made Silicon Valley possible. It could have been great! Unfortunately, NYC demolished Radio Row to build the Trade Center….http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…
And we’re about to add some more with the Cornell-Technion campus. Israeli engineers and schools tend to be on the cutting edge of biological engineering and bio informatics.
Yeah, totally forgot about that. Are they still repurposing Roosevelt Island for the campus?
I believe so
The first paragraph says it all
I approve of this. New York transcends this nonsense
If a new name beyond New York is even necessary…I tend to like TechCentral – a throwback to Grand Central station. Or something like Tech Futures for Wallstreet flare. I see no real reason to stick with Silicon at this point.
How about…Bit Apple
Much better than Silicon Alley, however I’d imagine Tim Cook’s lawyers would come after you pretty quickly
It is the New York Tech community so why not keep it simple: NYTech (pronounced Nigh-Tech)
it is missing the C
Hmm — NYCTech (Nice-tech?)
In NYC, there is Broadway, Wall Street, Madison St, 5th Ave, Times Square. These are streets / locations as symbols of theater, finance, advertising, shopping, bustle, etc.Is NYC, tech is everywhere in the city, mostly in Manhattan & Brooklyn though and some spillover into NJ. It’s in the cement mostly.Cementech
William, that was 1920’s technology primarily used by the Mofia.
Fred, I love this post! I hate the name silicon alley! I think we should just own the term “the city.” City tech. Tech city, etc. If Manchester City can do it for soccer, nyc can do it for tech & startups.
Hmmm, that actually does not make sense. I like to include “Gotham” somewhere though
And nothing with “cyber” in it – agreed?
What? That would exclude “Big Apple Cyber”. Haha
“silicon” is associated with technology around the world (silicon prarie in the midwest which is even more comical, silicon flatirons as brad noted, silicon plateau in bangalore….). sometimes you have to give props to the GOAT (in this case silicon valley) and respect their legacy and the inspiration they’ve created.though i’ve always though new york was an inappropriate name, given that it is no longer “new” and not really associated with york. “expensive rats” is my suggestion. #burn #ouch
Aaaannnnddddd bubble confirmed.
You want bubble signs? Read this from the Slack financing.”We signed a lease on our San Francisco office at $62 a square feet, and we sublet it at $75, nine months later. And down in Palo Alto, people are paying $120 per square foot, and not even fancy offices. And it’s not a great thing, necessarily, for our local economy.”http://mobile.nytimes.com/b…
Wow. We paid $115/sq to OWN our space.
Well no question it’s possible that depending on how things go those in high rent places could take a bath.If you are a certain type of business it could easily pay to spend more on space for a wide and varied number of reasons. Some people do stupid things and make bad choices but the crowd typically doesn’t. There is value to being in the right place (at the right time) in terms of serendipity. And try getting the young and the restless to relocate to a place that isn’t “the right place at the right time”.That said the space that you have at $115 per square foot is worth about $115 per square foot (unless you drove a hard bargain and got it down from $130 per square foot which was, let’s say, the listing price.)In the market that I am in office/medical space goes for anywhere from $90 per sf (approx) to perhaps $180 per sf depending on the location and other amenities and all of that. And the rents that can be charged are tied to those prices in general.
I agree… I don’t argue with markets. I also can’t imagine our cashflows with that kind of rent.
I so agree with you. I don’t know how people do it other than to raise money and use it.Nobody says: Well you are based in SF and I’ll pay you more. Its not just the rent its the employees:In Louisville if you pay somebody low six figures if they are single they are rich, if married it means their spouse has a choice of working.In SF it means they are just getting by.
You’ve now you will have arrived when you get to the point where you can piss in the weeds with the big dogs like that.
haha no doubt. That or I’ll know my cap table is FUBAR
The crowd _routinely_ does stupid things and makes bad choices. it’s precisely _how_ we have boom and bust cycles. It’s precisely the reason Buffet and Munger make so much money.
Don’t compare operating businesses to people. In theory operating businesses will and should carefully consider pros and cons of how they spend their money. This isn’t some guy getting a no doc loan (that I was talking about at least) when I said “crowd”. Are there fuckups? Sure.The early adopters and the companies who don’t overpay recognize the right place at the right time and flock there. I’m not talking about companies who end up going bust because they end up grossly overpaying and don’t run the numbers.If you think movies you think Hollywood. Fashion let’s say NYC (in the US). Tech is Silicon Valley. Jewelers are on Jewelers row in various cities (although that is a ship that sailed it was good for a long time). Autos it was Detroit. For a long long time (business wise not life of the world or anything). All of these places are examples of locations that would be more expensive than being somewhere else but held advantages that were worth paying for. After you run the numbers and take all things into consideration. It’s precisely the reason Buffet and Munger make so much money.They are investors they aren’t a company although they run companies and invest in them. I’d be wary of anyone following Buffet and Munger simply because what works for them given their reputation (and bank account) is not the same thing that will work for someone else. And since (in theory) everyone could easily follow what they say as “the method” the question is why don’t they? Because they can negotiate favorable terms and have special relationships that have been built up over the years and who they are. Just like if you are Apple (with or w/o Jobs at this point) you can do things that won’t work for Samsung. And they aren’t picking stocks anyway. Most people can’t do what they do or even come close.
Wow William, good article. Thanks for sharing. I wonder at what point companies start to think it makes sense to raise in the Valley and/or spend a small amount of time there and then move to less expensive pastures.
I think it shows the value of the human network in Silicon Valley. Blogged about that today.
Thing is, when you’re deep in SV money and system, your perspective and thus your product is more at risk. How many “successful” startups are really just co’s that got acquired and folded. Tons of blog posts out there with “it’s been a great ride and now X company that acquired us has a competing svc and is closing what we do down.”In that scenario everyone gets their needs met except the people actually using the product.
It depends where you are in your evolution. If you’re not in the Valley, and you want to reach VCs from there, my advice is to get warm intros & that will get you there if they are interested.
Some options:- Techattan- Eastech- Gothech- Six borough / borough tech- WorldTechCenter- Metrotech / Metroplotech
+1 for NYCTech (Nice-Tech) 🙂 or otherwise as a complete outside only other thing I could understand is Tech Apple
Let’s use design thinking to solve this :1. First – acknowledge history.Throw a graduation party to honor & farewell Silicon Alley . 2. Let NY’s streets breathe in the clarity that comes with it just being itself , identity & label free.3. Wait . Breathe.4. Welcome to NYx. NY as it is everyday – x for everything it is . NYx.
I like this. A lot.
If that’s not it, it’s darn close.
NYx sounds like the perfect fit.It solves the issue of NYC being many things to many people, and ‘x’ takes well into account the idea of innovation via a variable (or array that goes on infinitely).
I was thinking of a similar play on the NYC abbreviation. nvc = new venture city. If one wants to make a logo or sign out of it, make the “v” look like a “y” that has a broken tail dangling.
Look to the same place Seth Godin found Yoyodyne: awesome fiction. So ideas would include: Metaverse, The Black Sun, The Grid (I like the pun here), OASIS, Permutation City, Elysium, etc…
The Sprawl. Heh.
the street finds its own uses for things
Oh, so so perfect.
There were clocks in the office set to world headquarters, and planet 10
I’d link it to Superheroes (who always seem to be from New York or a version thereof). Gotham is cool, NYtropolis, http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…
I vote for *anything* superhero. Always. Daredevil Alley 😉
I have observed in the last years with the rise of the city (Salesforce, Twitter et all) that more and more people seem to ditch Silicon Valley for just San Francisco (Bay Area) so NY makes plenty of good sense.
how bout new tech city?
Manoush Zomorodi hosts a great WNYC podcast with that title:http://www.wnyc.org/shows/n…
When you name something you own it. No one can own New York tech. It belongs to everyone.
vacaNCYEmployment opportunity, a void that needs filling, has AVC (cleverly hidden) and NCYand suggests a bubble !!!
NYC. over and out.
it has to be a subset. see my comment to bfeld.
If you want broad acceptance, there are only very few options. As Brad Feld has said, call it “New York”. Or perhaps call it “The Big Apple”. Otherwise you’re stuck with Sillicon Alley whether you like it or not, I’m afraid.You want something that everybody, including the press, will agree to latch on.And then go public on Twitter and in the press with “Fred Wilson wants to bury the Sillicon Alley moniker once and for all”.You’ll need to preach it for a long while, and only then will it change, if it does at all.Do you need it that badly? 🙂
Are we talking about”The Core”(of the apple, of the community, hard core)
How about “Silicon Fucking Alley”
That’s New Jersey.
Good god… I think best to avoid brand confusion with Jersey…
“The precision of naming takes away from the uniqueness of seeing.”- Pierre Bonnard
Manhattan invented acronyms. TriBeCa, DUMBO, Soho, Noho – perhaps something along those lines.
I don’t know NYC well enough but how about a number or an address of someplace significant/relevant? For example the modern art hub in Beijing is called “798” which is the address of one of the factory structures.
Apple Nucleus ?I am French (= not a lot of experience/ English expertise) but to me NY Tech is :-Real Tech lover (NY loves more tech than marketing unicorns that are represented by Silicon valley IMO )-Hyper connected-World center for Business -DynamicNucleus (with my French vision) gathers 1) hyperconnectivity 2) Tech 3) ExpertiseI think also that Apple nucleus = the hidden vibrant part of the Big apple : It defines the NY Tech, right ? :)Maybe not the right term but maybe something you guys can think around ?
I’m in the camp for NYC as well. Thankfully I can’t remember a time in recent memory where someone referred to it as Silicon Alley in conversation.That said, thinking back to ’99, I’m still not sure why we did not go with Tech District if we were to go with anything. That seems to be the more NY way of it. Finance, Theater, Garment, etc and the Tech District.
that’s not a bad idea. Why does it have to be clever or cute? You’re implying that it does not need to be.The one exception to your list is “Wall St.” which definitely substitutes for the nyc finance district. NYC sort of had Flatiron as a geographic approximation but the tech community there didn’t last long enough to catch on long term.
NY CISTA og just CISTA is my suggestion an abriviaion for New York City Startup Scene 🙂
Technycentral (pronounced technicentral)
How about Hudson Edge or Gotham Edge?I like Fred’s description of NYC as edgy and gritty. Edge also works well because it’s a location, and also because the tech scene here is pushing things that are on the cutting edge, just like NYC generally. I definitely think the scene goes well beyond pure tech, so don’t think the name should be geared towards pure tech. Also hate anything with “Apple” just because of Apple.
Who is trying to label it and market it as Silicon Alley?
And you’re opposed to “The Flatiron District”?Feld tried to steal it, but we have the building.
The words “flat” and “iron” might work in NYC because of the building, but outside the area they don’t have positive connotation. “Flat” is more negative than positive, and “iron” is industrial. Contrast with “Valley” which is typically positive. You know the hills are alive with the sound of music and all of that.Likewise, “District” isn’t great either. It’s useful for government or if you are going to build Walt Disney World but that’s about it.
I hate Silicon Prairie too. They tagged the Midwest and Chicago with that. At our first Hyde Park Angels meeting someone asked me if we were going to be like Silicon Valley and I said we weren’t going to be Silicon Anything. We were going to be Chicago. Invest in the stuff the city of Big Shoulders was good at. I sort of think that NYC is so unique you don’t call it anything. Just, The Big Apple. There is so much “juice” in NYC compared to other places in the US.
Will think about this more but definitely liking @liad suggestion of a famous NYC acronym like TriBeCa or DUMBO.My recommendation is simply- NYTBut hoping to get others to thinking outside the box with these:- MANTEC- FABL (short for Fashion to Blockchain)- MIDLO (short for Midtown to lower Manhattan)- LOMID (short for lower Manhattan to Midtown)- FLATIRON
Note this WSJ article does not use the “Alley” term in headline or article body. Yipee!”Etsy’s IPO is a Milestone for New York’s Startup Scene”http://blogs.wsj.com/ventur…
No, but the word Scene is very NYC.
Is it? I thought it was fairly universally used…at least in the USA
Makes me think Warhol….
Universal: It is  but it’s interesting that a Canadian like James has somehow associated it with NYC. I associate Canada with comedians, ice hockey and being nice guys. One quick example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…
Can we PLEASE not do this, NYC stands on its own. If Fred goes out and says Sillicon Alley (or any other name for that matter) is lame then hopefully people will stop trying to come up with pointless gimmicks. New York sounds fantastic.
New Tech City. Startup City. Techway. Software City.
Tech York City…very self explanatory
Abbreviated to TYC
http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…There are some threads going on in the names “Hill”, “District”, “Village” it should take inspiration from these but the name should not be tied down to a geography.It should be a layer, a common thread that goes across the city.I am going to do some thinking around this and post a list of names here, this is what I feel is important to capture:Diversity FlexibilityInclusivenessComplexity (The good kind)Strength/BoldSome of these sentiments do not have to ALL be capture in the name, some can be captured in a mark or logo. i.e. I love the boldness of the NYC logo in the side of taxi cabs.An open google doc may be best to parse these.
To me LA means empty money, indulgence, dreams. New York means grit, hard work, determination that pays off. For the European immigrants New York was where the American Dream began. California was where it ended.
Long time reader. First time poster.Agreed. It makes every other startup community seem like a second-class citizen – Silicon Beach, Silicon Round-a-bout etc.I vote for something that reinforces the fact NYC is (one of) the greatest cities in the world. Something that few other places can offer with such a vibrant tech community.My lame suggestions: Tech-tropolis or Startup City.
Very lucky. ;)Sadly I don’t have any good ideas, although the data community in NYC had a conference called Data Gotham that I thought was a cool community name: https://twitter.com/datagotham
The Rat Pack
something based on ‘entrepreneur’ which expresses so much of what innovative new yorkers aspire to be. ‘eny’ , ‘enyc’, – ‘enewrs’ would also be a better replacement for ‘entrepreneur’ which we also need.
The big Apple (Watch)?Sorry #Illgetmecoat
Maybe this is where we should use the name “Python and Pull-ups” which was suggested for “Get Fit or Be Hacking”.Or, could “The Bad-Ass Baller Boros” work?
“NYC”, Tech City”, or “The City”As in, at tech circles you say, “I work in The City”, and people who are in the know will get it.Silicon Valley was created out of necessity to describe a region without a center. San Francisco had little of the original tech companies, those were spread out in bedroom communities like Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose – places that weren’t well known globally and so they needed a new name.But you guys work in *The City*, and everyone in the world knows it. Even if your physical location is NJ or Conn, the overwhelming center of gravity is The City.”NYC” also works, but I agree that Silicon Alley is a terrible name. Not only is it a knock-off to the big show, Alley is the wrong message. Dead ends, back street dealings, trash cans. It’s a place you go to get mugged.I agree with bfeld, NYC is widely known, it is unique and plays to your strengths.
New Gotham District
I’m borrowing from Charlie O’Donnell here but I’m quite partial to the New York Innovation Community. That’s what we are. It’s not about tech, or startups, or coding — it’s about innovation.And the only place that needs a Hollywood-type sign is Hollywood.
New Tech City NTC
If not Code City, how about Nerd York.
Here are a couple of ideas:CoNYCT – Connect (Connecting NYC Tech) OR NYC TechWay. Subway (whats below) Broadway (intersecting many neighborhoods “above) providing a way or path between many of the amazing innovations and collaborations happening every day in this incredible vibrant city.
something based on ‘entrepreneur’ which expresses so much of what innovative new yorkers aspire to be. ‘eny’ , ‘enyc’, – ‘enewrs’ would also be a better replacement for ‘entrepreneur’ which we also need.
I always felt that NYC was slightly ahead of us in Silicon Valley regarding design and art combined with technology… the important marriage of right and left brain… It’s a bit of a riff on TED, and the iconic D&D bldg in Manhattan… D&D&T
It’s easier to copy a model than to make something new. Horizontal progress is easy to image because we already know what it looks like. Silicon Valley and every other place in the world that is suppose to have startup thinking still make the same mistake i.e taking things that work somewhere and making them work everywhere. What we need to be doing is making vertical progress in each of the different Startup communities around the world. The paradox of startup communities is that no patterns work, the single most powerful pattern that I believe in is that successful startup founders find value in unexpected places, and they do this by thinking about business from first principles instead of formulas. When we start thinking in formulas I think we have failed.
I also hate Silicon Alley. NYC or New York is original & iconic and it is its own brand, no room for copycats here.NYC represents the American Dream and has global appeal. There is no place in the world that has not heard of NYC. I wouldn’t say the same about Silicon Valley. Ask a random person in Europe or Asia about Silicon Valley and see how much they know about it, zero, nada. By trying to be creative to find an acronym less people will talk about it.If I ever become a successful entrepreneur I will maintain that my startup was proudly made in NYC (regardless of any smart acronym suggestions in this forum or others).Not only will I feel great by saying NYC but I will also know that the person in front of me will know exactly what I am talking about (no need for me to decipher or translate the meaning).I read all of the blog posts here and have huge respect for the community, but I am just an immigrant chasing my dream, and I don’t want that dream to become a ‘cool acronym’.
New York was the historic gateway to the New World. There’s always been that contrast between glamour and grit, opportunity and danger. Find a brand that says that!
On one hand I agree with Brad it doesn’t need a nickname. Though on the other hand it’s fun to have a neat one and it also installs a sense of community pride. I’m biased, but things like “City of Brotherly Love” actually mean something to me. More so than just “Philadelphia”. So there is indeed, real galvanizing power in a solid, identifiable name.As for New York I’ve always liked the term “The 5 Boroughs”. It just feels badass. Could be the Beastie Boys pounded that into my head, nonetheless it’s there. Plus, I dig alliteration. So “The Bit Boroughs”
“City of Brotherly Love” I hate that one. As if.I’m with you on the New York State of mind thing though. Any small shit town in New York State when I was growing up automatically seemed more important than a small shit town in Pennsylvania. And Jersey of course was “lucky” enough to have the NJ Turnpike running by oil refineries to shit up their halo. Philly’s version of that was running I-95 smack through the waterfront area. Had they buried it under a tunnel everything would have turned out differently in that part of the city (and we could be Boston).You know why Morris opened up a Discmakers office in NYC way back? He told me “LE, New Yorkers want to deal with a New York Company”. He could have easily not spent the money to do that but recognized the opportunity.
Ha, I stand by my love of that saying. And Morris, was and will forever be the man. Smart dude.
how ’bout ‘HACK CITY’
Ha, nice. New Hack City popped into my head, too. Pooooookie! 😉
I like New Hack City – thought of that one as well. It also incidentally rhymes with Rack City.I could also go for New Tech City.
what about “big apple valley” or, more appropriately but less elegantly, “big apple startup circus”
Hack City is good.
Building on that: TECHborough I do like just “Borough” a lot.
As you know we like to keep things short and to the point in NY
The Projects*taking pride in starting from nothing*as in tech projects, fashion, finance etc …*as in you have to be tough to make it here*yes, if you are not from nyc you don’t get it
How about rebranding it simply as “Gotham”. Some benefits:a) It differentiates it from New York the city e.g., Silicon Valley vs South Bay (physically the same area, but when someone says Silicon Valley you instantly think tech).b) It has a historic/mystical element to it. Gotham as a term for New York City was coined by Washington Irving in 1807 [wikipedia]. Yet most people will think Batman and NYC and the term is recognizable. There is an opportunity to rebrand the term.c) It’s shot/memorable and can easily be used in sentences and news headlines e.g., “Meanwhile, in Gotham Etsy went public”.
I think it’s problematic to reinvent the wheel here.Everyone in the entire world automatically knows the brand “NYC”. Everyone. Why start and develop a new brand when you have the most memorable one already? The only people that do that are banks when they merge and ditch brands that have been built over decades or even a century.
Was thinking the same thing earlier this morning. I went with “NYT”. Owned by NYTimes right now but could easily be taken over.
Ok so what are you guesstimating it would cost to “easily” take over nyt.com which is what I assume you mean.
??? That would be a bit strange to go for a .com community site. I would prefer a .org for that or if the community ‘had’ to have a .com go with something like http://newyorktech.com/
You always want the .com if you can get it no matter what the usage. And even if you redirect to something else. And in this case shorter is better.
Perfect. Then newyorktech.com it is..
Gotham is a cool one, well done
New New York.
Some thoughts, in no particular order:TechTown not uptown, not downtown and not midtown, but techtownxNY where x Stands for “all or everyone”DISTRICTx similar to xNY, borrows from fashion district, financial district, etc.TECLA or (NYTECLA)tech + layer, tech layer, also spanish word for a single key on a keyboardTechSec or TecSec Technology sectorTECHborough or just “Borough” borrows inspiration from “the 5 “boroughs””11Tech (Eleven Tech)NYC is/was the 11th state, plus 11 = two ones :)TECH TECHas in New York New YorkGrandTech or TechCentral borrows inspiration from Grand Central
TechTown I like. Reminds me of Toon Town in Roger Rabbit, which always felt New Yorky to me.Everybody has heard of Grand Central and admires it. Rich seam there.
SHAKE SHACK LAND
My minions…*bwa ha ha ha*
How about tech.nyc ?This domain is on the name collision list but I’m sure when its released Neustar would agree to let it be used for branding in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office of Tech and Innovation.They already use digital.nyc as a hub for tech and startups.Wouldn’t be the first time a URL was used for branding…
The Big Floppy Disk
LOL. So LOL.
come on Fred! NY is not that lame kid trying to find a nickname to sound cool 😉 New York is coolness… it does not need a name. It’s way too cool to need a name. You’re either part of it or you’re not and it doesn’t care if you’re part of it. It just is it 😉 Let the NY community continue to be awesome and whatever it’ll be called will emerge as the new real symbol of coolness and innovation. I’ve been back here for a few months from SV and our tech community has nothing to envy to the west coast. It is buzzing, innovative, ambitious and successful (congrats on Etsy btw). Besides, the only thing that should ever pick its own nickname should remain Prince… seriously
Blech. This is the equivalent of a pre-fab boy band. Might sound good, but no soul. Good names come about organically. I love Liad’s suggestion of going with something that echoes the neighborhood names, but again, those came about organically didn’t they?Let’s just be known for our refusal to be labeled. The Place Formerly Known As Silicon Alley.
Not really much silicon-related products. Lots of “media”-based companies. So, let’s drop the “silicon” part of the name and focus on the “media” part.How about “The Media Empire?” (as in “Empire State”) Or, “Media Alley,” if you prefer to keep the “alley” part of it.
Thinking more on this, when I talk about the Flatiron now, I have called it the ‘tech district’ in conversation, just naturally.Just The Tech District. NYC already ‘owns’ the term ‘district’. Otherwise, I think we should just stick with the Flatiron District. Just like NYC overall, it stays the same, but changes. That’s what we love about it.
Just call it “The Big Tech”
NY Tech, as in the NY Tech Meetup.
“Silicon Wadi” is just as bad if not worse
More on the Gotham theme..”Gotham Web” or “Gotham’s Web”Gotham because it’s a great branded name for the city. Web as in “the web”, the Internet. May sound a bit too comic strip but it’s cool.
Since you’ve been the face and voice of NYC tech for decades, why not “WilsonCity?” or some derivative 🙂
My vote is for something along these lines:- web island- internet islandI agree with Brad that we should just call it “New York” but Fred brings up a good point that we would need a branded name to displace “Silicon Alley” in people’s minds.The reason I thought of going in the above direction is that the phrase “Silicon Valley” follows the formula of a noun adjunct (a noun acting as an adjective) followed by a place type. I would choose a name that fits this formula but doesn’t use either the words “silicon” or “valley”.In “web island”, island refers to manhattan (and is more attractive than “alley”) and “web” is a tech-related word that stands in for “silicon”.(thanks @glepage:disqus for brainstorming with me)
In many industries, fashion particularly, the branding of New York is a stamp of approval. In fashion New York is the Silicon Valley of location branding.NYC is world class in the following:FashionDiningArtFinanceAdvertisingEtc…NYC’s greatest advantage is the intersection of these communities. That’s why we are based here. @disqus_Awy3Cl8ObF:disqus mentioned SoHo House, which is a perfect example. NYC has the opportunity to see its tech scene propagate into the other industries immediately by bringing disparate people together under the same roof. This is our edge. I think our name should reflect this idea.
Manhattan. As a Vancouverite who feels similarly about all the stupid “Silicon” adaptations foisted on our tech communities by media mental midgets, I would offer the following. Firstly, I love New York and its vibrancy and have spent much time there. As an outsider though I can only offer an outsider’s viewpoint. That being said, I would love to see some riff on Manhattan. I know NY is larger than the downtown island but it seems to be the core of so much activity. Maybe some sort of coolness could be created with Manhattan Project esk.
How about something with “side” or “borough” in it (those are both distinctively NYC/Manhattan geo flavors). Five Boroughs Tech (FBT), Upper Tech Side (or lower tech side if you want a little edge). Maybe Five Tech, Tech Boroughs, or Tech Side is distinctive enough?
How about Silicon Knicks ? Welcome to the party !
The advice given to startups is to begin with a niche and not a large market, perhaps the same tactic applies here. NYC is too big and trying to find a name for that will be too general or ‘wannabe’.A neighborhood where startups work should become the ‘naming’ identity for the whole city.
The Little Apple
There are new top level domain names now for .tech and .nyc similar to .com. The name could simply be a URL:Tech.NYC (http://tech.nyc)-or-NYC.Tech (http://nyc.tech)I agree with others that it probably doesn’t need a name. What it does need is a marketing campaign of some sort… something along the lines of the old “I ♥ NY” campaign. The “Made In NY” initiative is a good example:http://wearemadeinny.com
NYC.tech is the first one I’ve seen that could make it main stream. The concept can be applied to many other geos who are also looking to shift the silly Silicon names:http://en.wikipedia.org/wik…
BloomBurgh. Name it after the city’s most successful tech entrepreneur, Mike Bloomberg.
Thoughts: Rebranding SA is a really difficult task. The name has now become much more symbolic and overarching in meaning, having evolved well beyond its physical takeoff characterization. Other communities have emerged from the origins of Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley; you now have the birth of Silicon Beach, Silicon Canal, Silicon Bayou, Silicon Hills, etc…I think it’s going to be really challenging to unwind meaning and unilaterally cancel your membership; the halo effect has already set in.
Silicon Granddaddy. After all, Fairchild was an East coast company
reclaim WTC. World Tech City.
“circuit city” (legacy IP issues from the once behemoth retailer, notwithstanding)And of course, a hearty nod to “silicon effing alley”
Guys! Guys! I got it: Silly Putty Alley.
NYC “Tech Grid” — the name has to capture the fabric, interconnections and possibilities that are uniquely NYC and be sufficiently abstract to be universally applicable.
Thanks for trying to take us in a better direction.I guess if we take “Silicon Valley” as an example that seems to have worked for the bay area and deconstruct it; we see two distinct parts, a product (silicon) and a geographic feature (valley). But I don’t think this syntax matches up with how NYC has historically been able to define it’s excellence in a particular industry. It seems that history tells us to expect the names of specific streets to become prevalent in America’s cultural consciousness eg: Madison Avenue (60’s Marketing), Wall Street (Finance), Park Avenue, etc…Derivative thinking only makes the original look better in these situations, essentially placing the derivative version into a perpetual second place.If we were to look at history as a guide it might make sense to choose a street and start making that street worth something for tech companies, even now I see many Bitcoin companies in NYC saying they were made on Wall Street as a way to claim superiority over similar solutions coming from the Valley.I guess I don’t have an answer, just a question that might be directionally correct; what street in New York exemplifies and creates a sense of pride for the tech companies that reside there?
Startup New York.Simple. And also works everywhere else (e.g. Startup Seattle), without people making a play the on the word Silicon (as if any startup is fabricating semi-conductors anymore).Silicon Beach might still work. However, in their case I am less certain Silicon refers to semi-conductors.
My wife walked into a tech incubator once in the middle of summer and remarked how everyone was sitting on couches, wearing converse, and obviously working too hard because it smelled like a gymnasium.So she says, ‘Well….this is your “Tech-nasium”….funky”
“The Big App”
All suck. Get outta here
You’re a deusche. Go clean yourself off.
you stinking gut. dont ever clean yourself ‘cuz you are born stunk
lol… I’d reply, but probably get banned by moderators. Why don’t you get out of here troll.
“THe INnovation(K) Borou(I)ghs – Think Big!”
“The NYC Stack”
You could call it TechNYC …. if you were ok with bad puns
I would call it Tech Square.
I think working Empire or City into the name could work?”Empire IOS””CitySW””Ideas Empire”Just some food for thought…
“Beta City” – Beta has a software vibe. Also, if I put some grit on it with my New Yawk accent, it kinda sounds like “Better City”… Yo 🙂
I’ve always hated it for all the reasons you state. “Silicon” is OK for obvious reasons. Frankly a “Valley” is a place you look down into from on high… not so good.NY is made of ROCK which is as solid as…So… as I wanted 20 years ago – I stand by Silicon Rock.
This is easy. Just follow the lead of the real estate brokers who have branded neighborhoods and build on that.I get:TechBurgTechHoTechMadSoTechHell’s LaboratoryTechseaTech VillageTech StreetNoHoTe (North of Houston Tech)Alphabet Tech CityLower Tech SideBushTechTechPackingetc.
Big Apple Valley? That would be in Western Mass, though. Big Appie Valley?! I am inclined to stick with New York.
How about The Bigger Apple =)
How about The Bigger Apple
How about The Bigger Apple
‘bit city’ or ‘bit borough’. idea is to transcend manhattan but still conveys new york + is easy to say.
I come late to the discussion but here is my view on it:People here have suggested NYCTech; in my opinion, it is not a real nickname as Sillicon Valley kinda is, as NYC Tech is New York Technology.Therefore, shorter, I suggest NYCT.People know NYPD, NYFD, LAPD even, etc…These 4 letters acronyms resonate well in people’s mind.NYCT is short and sound well in my opinion”Thursday Friday I am going to NYCT to meet a few investors interested in my new startup”
They have NYTimes actually and it wouldn’t take much to take over NYT from them.