New York: Tech Mecca 2.0?

Fortune magazine
is singing the praises of New
York City as a reborn tech mecca
ten years after the dot-com bomb killed
off the first generation of Silicon Alley buzz.

New York: Tech Mecca 2.0Manhattan-based
Foursquare’s geolocation service is the envy of Silicon Valley. Facebook bought
out two New York startups, and Google just purchased the huge Chelsea building
where it employs nearly a tenth of its global workforce. Now incubators are
sprouting downtown, venture capital firms are opening New York offices, and
prominent angel investors are spending more time with the scores of developers
who crowd into shared workspaces across the city.

The venture capital numbers tell some of the story. “In
the first nine months of this year, venture firms invested $138 million in New
York companies, while the Valley’s Net players received $205 million, down from
$554 million a year ago.”

For its part, Google has more than 1,000 engineers in New
York, and the thinking is that some of them will spin out their own
start-ups in an “ecosystem,” that’s
quickly evolving. Even after Facebook bought two New York companies, Hot Potato
and, most employees are staying put rather than being transferred to
the West Coast.

As one commenter puts it:

The main difference between Silicon Valley and New
York is that New Yorkers are more interested in startups that make money instead
of the Silicon Valley nerd-obsessed version of technology being the key. In NY
we really don’t care about the technology behind anything as long as the
product or service solves a problem.

Then again, a dissenter says:

This is wishful thinking for a city that is rapidly turning into a
welfare slum for hipsters. The companies listed here are peanuts compared to
Mass Route 128, the Research Triangle, Dulles, and Dallas to name just a few of
the many places that are WAY ahead of New York in the tech sector. If you want
to invest in New York’s future, invest in Starbucks, weird glasses, and

— Don Willmott

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