Thursday June 21, 2018

#SiliconAlley Cool vs #SiliconValley Nerds

As NY’s tech and startup industry continues to grow, it is becoming more confident about being compared to Silicon Valley. NY founders are taking pride in the differences between the culture of the two cities. According to paidContent, founder of Tumblr David Karp said, “The west is about making things scale but not making people’s lives better. It is about indexing, but not about creating.” And Buzzfeed‘s Jonah Peretti agreed, “If you’re building a pure technology company, Silicon Valley is still the best place to do it. People there are still nerds; pure technology. But sometimes that hurts them when they need knowledge of a specific field.”

Both entrepreneurs spoke to these differences recently  at the Monaco Media Forum panel, which included other important tech personalities like Birchbox’s Katie Beauchamp and Thrillist founder Ben Lerer.  Karp said NY has a unique atmosphere for tech founders and startups. He said, “West Coast VCs are starting to spend a lot more time out in New York. We’re now getting people from Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock and Sequoia come over. They come to New York and they make a week of it… they hang out with us over the weekend doing something cool.” Karp noted that 50% of Tumblr’s staff were re-locators.

Additionally, Peretti added, “As technology becomes cheaper and easier to deploy, you’re seeing people already passionate about these fields in New York building new technology companies in these technology verticals.” Peretti did note that it would be good for NY to have some big exits, like Silicon Valley has had, to demonstrate an equivalent amount of success.