At a friend’s house for a Christmas day party (yesterday), I speak with her 20-something nephew, who has worked at several NY area start ups. I mentioned this map, and he said it misses lots of small and newer start ups — the density is even greater.

I believe 2011 was the year NYC start ups received more invested Venture Capital money than Boston for the first time. Given the massive difference in size, that is fairly astonishing.


click for larger version

Source: NYT

Re-engineering New York: More Than a Sci-Fi Dream?
GINIA BELLAFANTE November 18, 2011

Category: Technology, Venture Capital

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

4 Responses to “Technology Footprint: Starting Up in New York”

  1. flocktard says:

    Its smart to encourage it- the coming years will not be kind to the industry on Wall & Broad.

  2. dsawy says:

    There will always be some tech-ish startups in NYC, but none of them will be of the sort of disruptive startups like those in Silicon Valley or the 128/495 area outside Boston during the 70′s. None of those places listed are what I think of when I think “tech startup.” There’s no chip designs in there, no hardware I see mentioned. Software startups are a dime a dozen – even in Silicon Valley. Most of them go nowhere.

    The questions they’re asking “what would engineers wear? what do engineers eat?” and so on… show that they don’t even remotely understand what it takes to attract engineering talent. They’re approaching this as tho they wanted to set up some sort of primate exhibit at the zoo.

    If they really want to understand what was the genesis of Silicon Valley, they need to go read up on the life and work of one man, F.E. Terman and how he jump-started Silicon Valley in the very early days. Long story short: You can’t replicate his vision with the daydreams of real estate agents, urban planners, professors of business, this, that, or something else. You need some shit-hot engineers in the latter stages of their careers, guys who have track records that impress other engineers, giving advice to young(er) engineers on where they should locate, who they should hire, and *why*.

    When Terman kick-started Silicon Valley, no one outside Stanford’s community really cared what he was doing. No one outside the California engineering community really noticed, and no one cared. I doubt that if Terman’s equivalent appeared today that he could pull off the same feats again.

    One other major contributing factor to Silicon Valley’s success over the years from the 70′s to the 2000 crashmust be mentioned and recognized: PARC. No other company contributed as many fundamentally disruptive technologies to the computer industry as Xerox, and no other company so thoroughly threw away their inventions and creative genius as Xerox. PARC is where Ethernet, laser printing, file servers, print servers, page description language(s), GUI-driven computers, workstations, etc got their start. Xerox let all of this innovation walk out the doors and become capitalized and commercialized by others in Silicon Valley.

    BTW, back on Terman: One of my most treasured possessions is a copy of the 1938 edition of “Radio Engineering” by Terman. Even back then, in the days long before the huge advances of radio engineering due to WWII, and well before semiconductors became even a research field, Terman’s treatment of radio engineering was exhaustive, concise and highly useful. Long before he started Silicon Valley, one could see that Terman was a shit-hot EE.

  3. bonzo says:

    I don’t care what anyone says about face-to-face being necessary. Fact is, the model for the big innovations of the future is telecommuting. Think of really innovative scientists like Charles Darwin, the 19th century monk Mendel, Einstein working at a flunky job in the Swiss Patent office, Josiah Gibbs (of Gibbs free energy fame) working off by himself in 19th century Yale, Isaac Newton not even bothering to publish his ideas for many years, etc. Did they have to move to whatever was the center of scientific world of their day to be around shit-hot fellow scientists? No. Really innovative geniuses are self-motivated. They can and do work in isolation. In the past, applied scientists and engineers did indeed have to migrate to some central location, because applied science and engineering is a group activity. But the internet changes that. What do really innovative people need nowadays, more than anything? They need time to develop their ideas, which means they need a steady salary at a flunky job, low rents, good facilities. Other than the flunky jobs (which are in short supply right now), more or less what you find in inexpensive college towns like Purdue IN, Lawrence KS, etc. If you really want a boom in innovation in a town like this, fix the problem with the shortage of flunky jobs. Basically, come up with a system that allows scientists and engineers to graduate with no debt, then to pay their living and start-up expenses by working half-time at a flunky job that leaves them with plenty of energy for nurturing their ideas. And don’t let the provider of the flunky jobs demand 100% of any patents they are granted, 50% is plenty. You can’t limit the flunky jobs to the “good” engineers because you don’t know who is good or not ex ante. You have to allow all the young engineers who want to develop ideas have a flunky job, and they only way you can afford that is for the jobs to be in areas with a low cost of living and hence low wages for said flunky jobs. And that is not NYC, or Silicon Valley anymore, for that matter.

  4. EIB says:

    dsawy, why does someone as smart as you waste their time on something as brain dead as financial news and stocks?