Via John Heilemann in NY Mag: "'People in New York feel a chip on their shoulder because they’re not in the center of this thing,' says Seth Goldstein, a longtime Silicon Alley player now decamped to Marin County. 'The question is, why didn’t Netscape start in New York? Why didn’t Google start in New York? Why didn’t Yahoo start in New York?'"
Unfortunately, Seth's wrong.
New York doesn't have that chip on its shoulder. But it should.
New York should feel loser-ish for having not made a Google, eBay, YouTube or Facebook. I do.
Instead, New York is self-confident because it makes the TV commercials (who cares), it's got Wall Street and hedge funds (no real value-creation), and Time Inc and Conde Nast are here (old farts). New York's economy is made of increasingly irrelevant and/or unsustainable and/or uninteresting cash cows and cash machines.
13 years ago, I was 22 in Iowa with 2 job offers: 1 in Silicon Valley, 1 New York. I chose New York because New York created SNL, MTV, and VU. This was BNGEE (Before Netscape Google Ebay Etc), and while I worshipped Apple, I placed my bet on the creative hotbed with the best track-record: New York.
Now SNL & MTV are irrelevant. The Silicon Valley Company is the future, but smart New Yorkers generally don't care or they're defensive. They care when Silicon Valley Money is thrust onto the NYT, but they're not bothered by the fact that Silicon Valley invents the future of everything but hedge funds.
The best example of a Silicon Valley Company in New York is Bloomberg. Like Google, eBay, and Facebook, Bloomberg isn't a media company. Mayor Mike should be a role model to New York's aspiring entrepreneurs. Instead, they're too interested in media moguls. New York loves its content and it's "creatives". That's why it didn't make a Google, eBay, YouTube, or Facebook.
If I was 22 today, in Iowa, making that decision, I'd probably choose Silicon Valley. It's a shame because New York really is a great place to live. Thankfully, you can escape New York's finance-media-advertising obsession. The Bay Area & technology is like LA & entertainment: Inescapable. I can leave the office, escape those industries, and be surrounded by the U.N., art, food, and 1000 other worlds.
I love New York. And I've got a great company to grow. Silicon Valley Companies succeed because of who they are, how they are, why they are... not where they are. It's just been a coincidence. The non-SV companies haven't had the right who/how/why. A company that NEEDS to exist -- a company with a vital purpose to serve milions of people's real needs -- will attract the people to bring it to life -- and it can exist anywhere.
I'm seeing that chip on my shoulder --- the chip from not being in the center of this thing, as Seth says --- and aim to make a Silicon Valley Company at Broadway & Houston.