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NYC Tech Sector Growing Faster Than City Can Keep Up

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the a-little-breathing-and-typing-room dept.

Businesses 243

BioTitan writes "New York City's plans to build its tech sector have turned out like a party gone wrong — someone inviting 100 people expecting 10 to show up, but finding that not only did everyone come, but they also brought their friends. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to build NYC into the second Silicon Valley. Dedicated spaces complete with 3-D printers, workshops, and computers with design software are being built — with the Brooklyn Navy Yard leading the way — yet there is far from enough space to meet demand. Tucker Reed, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, said, 'Despite the presence of a considerable number of commercial buildings in downtown Brooklyn, longer term leases have tied up much of the current space over the next five years.'"

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Yay more social startups! (4, Funny)

hsmith (818216) | about a year ago | (#44069041)

It's like Facebook, for cats!

Re:Yay more social startups! (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44069111)

I can't wait before my social mobile app goes viral, using new media on tablet interfaces!

Re:Yay more social startups! (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#44069433)

Yeah, and HTML 5!

Re:Yay more social startups! (2)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about a year ago | (#44069321)

Excuse me. I'm working here at a just-went-public stock photography marketplace [shutterstock.com] a block south of the NYSE. Don't knock the WHOLE sector. :P

Re:Yay more social startups! (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about a year ago | (#44069583)

It's like Facebook, for cats!

You, sir, are infringing on my patent. Facebook. For Cats. With a Computer. On the Internet!

Maybe Wall Street should have given them the memo (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#44069055)

Seriously, it would have been less blatant if you just told Bloomberg that the whole recession hoax was just created to push wages down and that there isn't really a lack of money waiting for investment. Now look what you've done.

Re:Maybe Wall Street should have given them the me (2)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44069521)

Well, we have to set things up for the next recession.

As to the recession, what part of it was a hoax? The banks and investment firms failing? The incredibly bad decisions or ridiculous leverage? The substantial drop in house prices? The poorly thought out policy decisions that dug the hole deeper?

My take is that wages were going down even if that recession never happened. It's supply and demand. There's too much supply of labor and not enough demand for it.

that there isn't really a lack of money waiting for investment

It's waiting for opportunities like Bloomberg's or to avoid some of the crazy uncertainty of the past few years (for example, some of the costs of hiring people). That's my take.

It was engineered to collapse at the right time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069811)

After the right people had maximized their profit taking but before they had to face the music for their misdeeds

Stop the presses! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069057)

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! High real estate prices in New York City?

Re:Stop the presses! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069565)

You think New York is bad, have a look at the market in Vancouver Canada. Rated the second most unaffordable place in the world to live or work and has a city government absolutely determined that more density will lead to better affordablility so we're losing all our single family dwellings and light industrial space to high rise condo projects.

They haven't figured out yet that the developer's will not overbuild the demand and drive the price down. They'll only build to just below the demand and keep the price high.

Re:Stop the presses! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069855)

No doubt. All the taxes, stop and frisk, frivolous citations, traffic, and no room to set up a hammock. I'll work elsewhere.

Re:Stop the presses! (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#44069869)

Soon, they'll be as expensive as San Francisco, Pacifica, Atherton or Belmont

Just who... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069089)

wants to work or live in NYC?

Re:Just who... (3)

sunsurfandsand (1959680) | about a year ago | (#44069961)

wants to work or live in NYC?

Me.

Fuck Bloomberg, and fuck NYC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069091)

Fuck Bloomberg, and fuck NYC. I'm going back to 4chan.

Fuhgeddaboudit (1, Funny)

Andover Chick (1859494) | about a year ago | (#44069093)

No cutting edge tech person wants to work in Brooklyn when they can work in Manhattan.

Re:Fuhgeddaboudit (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44069125)

Fuckin' A!! (Fuckin' B, fuckin' C, fuckin' D...)

Re:Fuhgeddaboudit (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44069169)

No cutting edge tech person wants to work in Brooklyn when they can work in Manhattan.

Manhattan is where we send the rubes that don't know any better. Ed Norton got it right when he told a reporter where he lived: the garden spot of the world, Brooklyn USA!

Re:Fuhgeddaboudit (1)

msauve (701917) | about a year ago | (#44069351)

Don't forget Ed's best friend, Ralph Kramden.

Re:Fuhgeddaboudit (1)

superwiz (655733) | about a year ago | (#44069403)

Brooklyn is a jail. And every inmate is just taking pride in their own cell block.

Re:Fuhgeddaboudit (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44069967)

Brooklyn is a jail. And every inmate is just taking pride in their own cell block.

No, everybody who doesn't live in Manhattan is a bridge-and-tunnel person. Or maybe it's really bad, and you're from Staten Island. Might as well be in Joisey!

Re:Fuhgeddaboudit (1)

superwiz (655733) | about a year ago | (#44070027)

Tiny living quarters = jail cells. Congested roads = prison corridors. Unsanitary overcrowding = unsanitary overcrowding. Pride in misery and suffering = prison mentality. Brooklyn = jail.

Re:Fuhgeddaboudit (0)

superwiz (655733) | about a year ago | (#44070055)

Forgot to mention: small-mindedness and thinking that the world doesn't exist beyond the 10 miles surrounding your jail compound = Brooklyn.

Re:Fuhgeddaboudit (2)

Andover Chick (1859494) | about a year ago | (#44069497)

I worked for SIAC at Metro Tech on Jay Street. Everyday the workers wondered if they'd get shot or shanked. On top of the fact that the buses full of convicts from the local prison would be hooting at everyone as the drove by. Of course in Brooklyn this is considered a "garden".

Re:Fuhgeddaboudit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069973)

Not sure when you worked there, but the area has really improved a lot in the last 10 years. I went to Polytechnic 10 years ago, and it's weird going back now that Fort Greene is pretty gentrified. The ghetto area we used to go to buy liquor was razed to make room for new condos, and it seems like a much nicer place now.

Re:Fuhgeddaboudit (2)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about a year ago | (#44069271)

You know what's amazing? DUMBO real estate prices match or exceed SOHO and midtown? Who would have ever thought that?

Re:Fuhgeddaboudit (2)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about a year ago | (#44069413)

What about that crowd over at Etsy? I mean, I their tech leadership isn't Google-level, but statsd and loupe ain't nothing.

Some things you can also buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069129)

Dedicated spaces complete with 3-D printers, workshops, and computers with design software are being built.

So they are building computers and not only that, they are building computers with design software inside.

Re:Some things you can also buy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069249)

Repent! The Singularity is near!

Re:Some things you can also buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069925)

/coffeespit

Re:Some things you can also buy (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#44069891)

Maybe the city could get into the business of writing liberated software, paying the software vendors and then giving it away along w/ those computers.

What's the appeal? (4, Insightful)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year ago | (#44069139)

Unless your tech company is providing services which require a physical presence, what's the appeal of NYC? Real estate prices alone are a very compelling reason to locate elsewhere.

Re:What's the appeal? (4, Insightful)

dkf (304284) | about a year ago | (#44069181)

Unless your tech company is providing services which require a physical presence, what's the appeal of NYC?

Network effects from being close to all those other tech companies. (Seriously. This is why cities are generally more economically effective, and why large cities tend to be more effective than small cities; the effect is super-linear.)

Re:What's the appeal? (1, Funny)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#44069211)

Network effects from being close to all those other tech companies. (Seriously. This is why cities are generally more economically effective, and why large cities tend to be more effective than small cities; the effect is super-linear.)

ya but dat was before *DA INTERNETS*.

Re:What's the appeal? (5, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about a year ago | (#44069293)

Well... Really good technology workers tend to be well-paid, for starters. But beyond just being paid well, such people also like to have enjoyable life experiences. In fact, I saw some fascinating coverage (which I was trying to look up to link you to but failed, thanks google) about the divergence in the fortunes of various cities, suggesting that places such as New York and San Francisco in fact can offer higher real wages for high-income people like software engineers when you use a high-income person's market-basket of goods and services, because they have a variety of goods and services (and opportunities for life experiences) which would be more expensive to get out in the middle-of-nowhere suburbs.

in summary... because that's where the cool kids want to hang out. and you want to hire the cool kids.

Re:What's the appeal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069551)

I'd question that just because the cost of living *IS* higher. You could find a smaller town/city than NYC that would still give you enjoyable life experiences (in fact in many ways better with less crime, traffic, etc).

While some of the options may not be as high known as in the city (say for example the Yankees there vs the Spikes here), not dealing with city life alone to me is more than enough of a reason for myself

Re:What's the appeal? (2)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44069563)

Network effects from being close to all those other tech companies. (Seriously. This is why cities are generally more economically effective, and why large cities tend to be more effective than small cities; the effect is super-linear.)

Or sublinear if you account more for crime, overcrowding, and corruption. It depends on what you value. I'm sure the companies who relocate get good people, but it's a certain type of good people.

Re:What's the appeal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069989)

By "super-linear" do you mean "beyond linear", therefore geometric, or do you mean "incredibly linear"?

Re:What's the appeal? (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#44069215)

If real estate prices were the primary consideration, tech companies would be starting up in rural Oklahoma, not Silicon Valley. Companies need to access to a concentration of talent, and professionals like to live in places where they have multiple career opportunities. A good place to locate your tech company is near other tech companies.

Personally, I think for tech companies to be located near universities is also an advantage, because it gives them access to interns and makes recruiting easier.

Re:What's the appeal? (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44069259)

I think for tech companies to be located near universities is also an advantage, because it gives them access to interns and makes recruiting easier.

No shortage in NYC. Columbia, NYU and a host of smaller but often very good schools.

Re:What's the appeal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069451)

However, people (and their partners) are diverse, so it makes sense to have multiple centres with different characteristics, or businesses on the fringes of those centres. Some people will have partners who work in industries concentrated in NYC and not Silicon Valley, some people will have a preference for suburban or rural environments, some people will have children and need space, and so on. In the UK, for example (I know the UK better), there's a lot of software being written around Cambridge and around London. They're very different cities, not far apart, have good transport links and have market towns and villages in between from which it's possible to commute to either. So they can cater to a wider variety of different preferences whilst still providing access to networks of accountants, lawyers, universities, suppliers, banks and so on.

Re:What's the appeal? (3, Insightful)

Rakishi (759894) | about a year ago | (#44069227)

Your tech company won't get far without employees and there's plenty of those in NYC. Also, investors won't enjoy having to go to Bumfuck, Iowa to talk to you and see the operation.

Bumfuck is actually a real nice place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069379)

But don't let me convince you, then Bumfuck would be overrun with some _real_ assholes...

Re:What's the appeal? (1)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#44069387)

Also, investors won't enjoy having to go to Bumfuck, Iowa to talk to you and see the operation.

Honey, don't knock it till you've tried it.

Re:What's the appeal? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069505)

Also, investors won't enjoy having to go to Bumfuck, Iowa to talk to you and see the operation.

The company I work for just acquired a tech company based in Bumfuck. We paid a very good price because they were having a hard time accessing capital...

Re:What's the appeal? (3, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44069585)

. Also, investors won't enjoy having to go to Bumfuck, Iowa to talk to you and see the operation.

Another indication that investment is an entertainment sector industry, not a financial one.

Re:What's the appeal? (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44069235)

Unless your tech company is providing services which require a physical presence, what's the appeal of NYC? Real estate prices alone are a very compelling reason to locate elsewhere.

The same is true of Silicon Valley or San Francisco, but they're "the" places. VC's only seems to recognize things within a short range of their offices, or on the other side of the planet.

I know the standard argument for SV or SF is that there's a lot of talent there, but that doesn't jibe with those who complain about how hard it is to hire people. Which is it folks? There are some very good talent pools in places like Pittsburgh, South Florida, etc., but they're not the cool places, dontchaknow.

Re:What's the appeal? (Bingo!) (3, Interesting)

King_TJ (85913) | about a year ago | (#44069257)

I may not be fortunate enough to own a big tech company myself, but if I did? NYC would probably be one of the LAST places on my list where I'd consider an expansion or a move.

Real estate is insane, obviously ... but you're also dealing with the transportation headaches. Where I work now, we already have some big problems with that, and we don't have NYC's density. (Everyone's pushed and prodded to use public transportation since cars are impractical with high daily parking costs, traffic jams, etc.) But with public transportation, you're really limited in what you can carry. Any kind of office outing requires renting an expensive bus to shuttle everyone to or from the event, too. And if the subway has a problem, you may as well shut the place down until they get things fixed. Additionally, your employees who might otherwise be happy to work late or odd hours to finish some project are constrained by the hours the bus or metro runs. So you lose some potential productivity there too.

You also have to figure that in many ways, the tech market there is saturated. It's not like all the Wall Street traders don't have any contacts to work with to provide their network bandwidth or computer maintenance. If you move out to NYC, it sounds to me like a tough, uphill battle if you want to establish yourself as a contender?

If the physical presence makes no difference (software development, for example) -- then you want the CHEAPEST place you can build an office and still be able to hire good talent. I think what many companies would find if they actually thought "outside the box" a bit, is that there's a LOT of great computer talent in the small, rural communities. Kids growing up there don't have as much to do, so many gravitate towards the home computer and the internet, and spend a lot of time with it. The technical minded who don't envision themselves working the family farm like their parents did constitute a good hiring pool that's neglected.

Re:What's the appeal? (Bingo!) (1)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#44069373)

Mod this shit up.

There's also quality of life factors to consider: big cities are great for the young and accomodating ("Sure I can work through the weekend."), but as for the rest of us schlubs, there are other things to keep in mind, like family, and life outside the office. Basically the best bits of your workforce have matured to the point where having living in a cramped metropolitan area - to compete ferociously for seats on the metro, housing, parking spaces, schools - doesn't have quite the same, ah, aura, to it that it may have once had when career was the only thing. And it doesn't have to be this way, it really doesn't: this is a technological problem with a technological solution.

Re:What's the appeal? (Bingo!) (3, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about a year ago | (#44069389)

While some of these points are not without merits: (0) what exactly are you proposing to carry that public transit would interfere with? big fat server racks? (1) "constrained by the hours the metro runs" it runs ALL NIGHT - thank you - they're quite proud of it, though it makes maintenance obnoxious - and moreover for historical reasons there are like 3 ALMOST COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT subway SYSTEMS (not just lines, systems, IRT BMT IND) so if one is down there's probably a backup(2) office outing: just tell everyone to hop on the subway, 80%+ of them will have an unlimited pass anyway, and the rest you can let expense it if you really want (3) I'm not sure that the hiring pool dynamics work exactly like you imagine; the big tech hubs support businesses of the sort where you say "I am in a high-margin business and I can make a lot of money per employee; I can afford to pay them lots and I am constrained by my ability to find and attract large numbers of skilled people and to grow the business much bigger". If your business isn't like that it's another matter and sure, go for cheap programmers, have fun, I won't be working there :D

Re:What's the appeal? (Bingo!) (1)

mforbes (575538) | about a year ago | (#44069589)

I can't speak to the experience of living in NYC as well as you, having never tried it. I've visited and been fairly impressed, at least with everything other than the century or so of grime on every building.

That said, there's a lot to be said for those of us living in the hinterlands (also known as "places beyond the Hudson"). I'm here in Upstate South Carolina, which is noticeably different from Upstate New York, which does not begin at Poughkeepsie! The labor rates are certainly cheaper than in NYC or surrounding areas, but then, so is the cost of living. The lovely three-bedroom split-level house on two acres with a backyard pool that I own here would easily have cost well over 10 times what I spent on it, had I bought in or around NYC. Yes, we have our drawbacks: there's nearly no public transportation here, the arts scene while vibrant is still extremely small, and we have to travel long distances to see most great live entertainment (musicals, opera, what-have-you). Still, to wake up in the morning and see a family of deer slowly wending their way across my front lawn, while munching on the shrubbery that I've been too lazy to prune anyway, more than makes up for it.

Re:What's the appeal? (Bingo!) (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44069629)

I'll just note that 1) is constrained by night time crime and who will do both 2) and 3) at the same time? 3) is just status signalling (we're awesome and we show it by staying in a really expensive location). 2) is rather opposite of status signalling.

If your business isn't like that it's another matter and sure, go for cheap programmers, have fun, I won't be working there :D

I find where you want to work is irrelevant since there are more IT workers than just you.

Transportation is not a limiting factor here! (4, Insightful)

Phoenix666 (184391) | about a year ago | (#44069417)

But with public transportation, you're really limited in what you can carry. Any kind of office outing requires renting an expensive bus to shuttle everyone to or from the event, too. And if the subway has a problem, you may as well shut the place down until they get things fixed. Additionally, your employees who might otherwise be happy to work late or odd hours to finish some project are constrained by the hours the bus or metro runs. So you lose some potential productivity there too.

Or you could have to drive, only to find that some idiot cut off some other idiot and caused a massive accident that has the expressway backed up for miles, and you have to wait around for hours until they clear the accident. Constrained by the hours the bus or metro runs? Do you have any idea how many public transportation options there are in NYC? There are 24 subway lines that run all night. There's the Metro North, Long Island Railroad, New Jersey PATH trains, New Jersey Light Rail, and Amtrak if you don't like the subway. There are scores and scores of bus lines, dozens of express buses from Staten Island and the like, and those are just the MTA buses; and they run all night. There's Greyhound, Trailways, and about 30 other lines that go into Port Authority on 42nd. There are ferries and water taxis. There are yellow cabs, car services, gypsy cabs, and peddle-cabs. There's a freaking gondola if you live on Roosevelt Island. Or you could rent a bike with CitiBike or ride your own around the extensive network of protected bike lanes.

In short, transportation without owning a car is not even remotely a problem in this town. It's also why you want to locate your startup here instead of somewhere else where the options are limited.

Re:Transportation is not a limiting factor here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069557)

Or you could have to drive, only to find that some idiot cut off some other idiot and caused a massive accident that has the expressway backed up for miles, and you have to wait around for hours until they clear the accident.

Dumbest post here.

Re:Transportation is not a limiting factor here! (1)

djlemma (1053860) | about a year ago | (#44069671)

Or you could have to drive, only to find that some idiot cut off some other idiot and caused a massive accident that has the expressway backed up for miles, and you have to wait around for hours until they clear the accident.

Dumbest post here.

Apparently you haven't been to LA...

Re:Transportation is not a limiting factor here! (1)

psychokitten (819123) | about a year ago | (#44069905)

Seriously. I don't even live in LA (But I've visited multiple times,) and in my city my short 14 mile commute takes an hour on the best days. If there's an accident or even someone simply pulled over by the police it's guaranteed to double it at the very least.

Re:Transportation is not a limiting factor here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069813)

There's the Metro North, Long Island Railroad, New Jersey PATH trains, New Jersey Light Rail, and Amtrak if you don't like the subway.

I love NYC, but you're making less than no sense here. If I don't like the subway I should take Amtrak?

Re:Transportation is not a limiting factor here! (1, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year ago | (#44069979)

I live in NJ, across the river from Manhattan. Public transit inside Manhattan is not bad: it's very fast, as the subway trains run very frequently. It's not cheap though: it seems to have skyrocketed in price over the last 10 years. I think the current price is $2.25 per ride; back in 2000 it was $17 for a weeklong unlimited ride pass, which doesn't seem to exist any more.

However, public transit outside of Manhattan sucks. Yes, there's a light rail that goes to NJ (there's a stop just a couple miles from my house here), but it's horribly slow, and only runs once per hour, and costs $8 per trip. It's actually faster and easier to just take a bus, though that isn't exactly quick, but the train is so slow and infrequent (and parking is a giant problem and expense unless you happen to live within walking distance of the train station) that the bus becomes better by default.

From what I've seen of the Long Island Railroad, it's much the same. Too-slow trains running much too infrequently.

Public transit in this area could be much better; they just need to quadruple the frequency of train trips, and provide better and cheaper parking solutions at the train stations (i.e., free parking garages) for all the people who live only a few miles away: close enough to use the train, but too far to walk.

So yes, transportation inside Manhattan is perfectly adequate, if you only want to employ 20-something workers who live in the city in tiny shared apartments. If you want any older workers (i.e., people with more than a few years of experience, people who might have families), it really isn't that great.

Re:What's the appeal? (Bingo!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069503)

If the physical presence makes no difference (software development, for example) -- then you want the CHEAPEST place you can build an office and still be able to hire good talent. I think what many companies would find if they actually thought "outside the box" a bit, is that there's a LOT of great computer talent in the small, rural communities. Kids growing up there don't have as much to do, so many gravitate towards the home computer and the internet, and spend a lot of time with it. The technical minded who don't envision themselves working the family farm like their parents did constitute a good hiring pool that's neglected.

If a place is cheap is because nobody will like to to stay or have a business in that place most of the time. If you are building a factory with the working turns and an internal dining room and is so big that you have a private railway inside is a thing. If you are a tech company and your employees can't fill a 10 m bus and it's possible that you have to ask flex hours it's another thing.

Having a choice between herding goats and making tech support by phone I'll prefer herding goats. You can always butcher a obxonious goat.

Re:What's the appeal? (Bingo!) (1)

djlemma (1053860) | about a year ago | (#44069579)

I may not be fortunate enough to own a big tech company myself, but if I did? NYC would probably be one of the LAST places on my list where I'd consider an expansion or a move.

Real estate is insane, obviously ... but you're also dealing with the transportation headaches. Where I work now, we already have some big problems with that, and we don't have NYC's density. (Everyone's pushed and prodded to use public transportation since cars are impractical with high daily parking costs, traffic jams, etc.) But with public transportation, you're really limited in what you can carry. Any kind of office outing requires renting an expensive bus to shuttle everyone to or from the event, too. And if the subway has a problem, you may as well shut the place down until they get things fixed. Additionally, your employees who might otherwise be happy to work late or odd hours to finish some project are constrained by the hours the bus or metro runs. So you lose some potential productivity there too.

You pretty obviously don't live in NYC...
Transit runs 24 hours a day 365 days a year, any time they do maintenance there are alternatives routes, if there's no nearby train they will set up shuttle service, and there's an extensive bus network too. Beyond that, the infrastructure for taxis and cars for hire is better than anywhere in the world that I've been. This place does NOT shut down due to transit issues. Even after Sandy came by and completely flooded a bunch of tunnels, service got restored quickly to all the other lines. There was no power in lover Manhattan for weeks, but I could still take the train to work in Queens without problems.

You also have to figure that in many ways, the tech market there is saturated. It's not like all the Wall Street traders don't have any contacts to work with to provide their network bandwidth or computer maintenance. If you move out to NYC, it sounds to me like a tough, uphill battle if you want to establish yourself as a contender?

I'd say that's true anywhere. NYC is pretty unforgiving of mediocrity, so I imagine you'll go out of business faster here if your company sucks, but if you start a sucky business elsewhere it'd just be postponing the inevitable. And who knows? Your sucky business might be made more awesome by the talent pool here and the massive amount of potential clients within walking distance. Sure, maybe Wall Street isn't going to be the place to go if you're a network provider, but pretty much every other business in the city is fair game, and there are A LOT.

If the physical presence makes no difference (software development, for example) -- then you want the CHEAPEST place you can build an office and still be able to hire good talent. I think what many companies would find if they actually thought "outside the box" a bit, is that there's a LOT of great computer talent in the small, rural communities. Kids growing up there don't have as much to do, so many gravitate towards the home computer and the internet, and spend a lot of time with it. The technical minded who don't envision themselves working the family farm like their parents did constitute a good hiring pool that's neglected.

If that's your company's deal, go for it. NYC is filled with young motivated talented charismatic individuals fueled on dreams and starbucks, all fighting to make their mark. Rural communities, from the way you describe them, have a few talented people that would really like to get out of their rural communities... Probably wishing to move to a place like NYC.

Re:What's the appeal? (Bingo!) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069693)

I see job postings all the time for NYC. I ignore them.

NYC? No thanks. I'm sure there are nice people there, but most of the exported NYC culture seems to say that is not the rule. People from NY and LA seem confused about the world to me.

I'm a polyglot for computer languages - master of a few key skills and knowledgable about a few thousand others as it relates to computers, networking, security, programming.

I currently work from home and honestly miss going into the office a few times a week. My old job (5+ yrs ago) was a 40-60 minute commute each way. I don't miss that, but a 5-10 minute commute would be fantastic. I live 45 minutes from a huge hub airport, so travel to client locations world-wide isn't too hard.

There might be enough money in the world to get me to move to the NYC area, but nobody would pay me that amount. Heck, I don't even like the downtown area of the city where I currently live. Haven't been there in at least 10 years. Move to NY area? Nope.

I suspect there are many people that would have ZERO interest in moving to where I currently live too. Completely understandable. It takes all sorts to make up the world.

Then there is the weather. I've lived where it snows and is cold most of my early years of life. Then I moved to where it was warm and found that too oppressive, so I moved a little north. Since 1996, I've lived in just about the ideal climate for my tastes. 3.5 seasons, cheap electricity, near mountains, not prone to flooding, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes .... Plenty of water and natural beauty with lakes for recreation. Gorgeous women. World class universities and world-class shopping less than 1 hr away. Amazon 2-day shipping always works. Heck, I've had things show up by 10am from an order 18 hrs earlier. Amazing. I am NOT in the boondocks.

I've lived in 9 different states and 15 different cities.
I've traveled to 35 different countries on 5 contentents - much more to see. The world is full of amazing places. Pohkara is amazing for 1 day, but the charm wears off quickly.

There are many very interesting places to see and visit, NYC is definitely a must-see location, but living there is a completely different things, alltogether. I've loved visiting Cape Town, Istanbul, Tokyo, Seoul, Beunos Aires, Amsterdam, Kathmandu, LA, Houston, Dallas, Fargo, Dayton, DC, Pilly, Atlanta, Salt Lake - but I wouldn't want to live in any of those places.

OTOH, I'd would move to London, Vienna, Sydney, Austin, and a few places in South America in a heartbeat. Currently, Vienna is the place I think I could be happiest. Amazing city. Amazing. Anyone hiring?

Re:What's the appeal? (Bingo!) (1)

mozumder (178398) | about a year ago | (#44069805)

But with public transportation, you're really limited in what you can carry.

My god what exactly do you carry to-from your office tech-job everyday that you need a car for?

And how did New Yorkers manage to build an entire city around public transit, while having a higher quality-of-life than the rest of the country? Do they somehow go without groceries or their furniture because they can't carry them via public transit?

They must have some kind of magic power.

Re:What's the appeal? (Bingo!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44070131)

and that's why you will never own a company. Some people just dont have the view for it.

Re:What's the appeal? (1)

nine-times (778537) | about a year ago | (#44069383)

I would think the appeal for tech companies wouldn't be too far off from the appeal for a lot of businesses. The short answer is, there's a lot there.

It's not a small thing that there are a lot of people there. This means a large talent pool to recruit from. It also means that there's a certain draw for recruiting people from elsewhere, if we assume that NYC is considered a cool and desirable place to live. It also means that there are a lot of potential business contacts nearby, lots of potential business to partner with, and lots of potential customers. This is a huge benefit.

If you do have to travel, NYC is very close to a series of other major cities, e.g. Philidelphia, Boston, Baltimore, Washington DC. It's location makes it a relatively short flight to major European cities. Speaking of that, it's has airports that are major hubs, which makes it fairly easy to fly in and out of. All things considered, the infrastructure is pretty available and reliable.

No doubt there are some downsides to being in NYC, but there are certainly upsides.

Re:What's the appeal? (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44069459)

california is expensive as well but they have ridiculous tax breaks for R&D which make starting a tech company profitable. i bet NYC and NY State have similar tax breaks.

Re:What's the appeal? (1)

JanneM (7445) | about a year ago | (#44069461)

NYC and other big cities are really big because there's a lot of people there. And there's a lot of people there because a lot of people want to live there, despite the high cost of living. Small places are small because they have few people; few people want to live there despite the low rents and open spaces.

And while "people" includes developers and engineers of course, it also includes startup founders. People will start new companies where they already live, or where they want to live. Which, for the majority of people, tend to be large cities. Especially if they have an education, already live in a large city (for attending university, for instance) or have any kind of special interests or lifestyle, or belong to some minority demographic that is better served in a large, diverse community than in a small, homogenous one.

So the "why" may have nothing to do with the relative cost of rent, network effect oar anything else. It may simply be because the founders want to live there, and enjoy mingling with like-minded people.

Re:What's the appeal? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year ago | (#44070039)

NYC and other big cities are really big because there's a lot of people there. And there's a lot of people there because a lot of people want to live there, despite the high cost of living. Small places are small because they have few people; few people want to live there despite the low rents and open spaces.

I disagree; it's not necessarily that simple. Lots of people would like to live elsewhere, but they live where they do because that's where their work is. Companies (in their industry) tend to cluster in certain places, so workers in those industries flock to thse places to get high-paying jobs. Some of them might really prefer to live in Bumfuck, Iowa, but the lower cost-of-living there isn't going to make up for having to give up their 6-figure job and take a job at the local feed-n-seed store, so they stay in the city they live in. Even if 80% of the workers wished they could live in some other place, they can't agree on that place (some people might like Iowa, but most wouldn't; some might like ND, but most wouldn't; some might like WV, but most wouldn't; etc.). So the city is a place where lots of people can agree it's "good enough", at least for the time being, though when they retire they may very well pack up and move out to one of those more rural places.

Re:What's the appeal? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069507)

Letsee, if one doesn't just factor in the high-zoot areas, NYC is a good place to get acute lead poisoning, although legit citizens will get a vacation to Riker's for a year if they pack, the fact the city has no plans to deal with a water level increase, the fact that there isn't anywhere to live at a reasonable cost, so a business would have to pay an entry level worker $150,000/year just so they can make it to work in 1-2 hours, office space is a premium, taxes are one of three areas that are the highest in the US, it isn't a good place in case of a disaster. Just a power power failure can turn into a riot (the 1977 blackouts).

If I were a rich lawyer or advertising exec and had my own heli pad, then yes, NYC is a posh place. However, there are plenty of other places that are just as net connected and don't have the issues. Even places in Deliverance country have pretty wide Internet pipes and CS students can be recruited from a local university that are ready/able/willing to learn.

No point in NYC/NYS, and trying to convince potential good employees that their family can live in a 300 square foot apartment for $2000/month. I can locate a company virtually anywhere else in the US and be far better off.

Re:What's the appeal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069643)

The city is a magnet for the best of the best in every area of human endeavor. In an industry that depends on brains, there is a certain advantage to be had.

Re:What's the appeal? (1)

djlemma (1053860) | about a year ago | (#44069645)

I'd say the two biggest things are employees and clients. In NYC, you'll have plenty of options for both. Real estate prices may be high, but I doubt that really factors in very much to most corporate budgets. The thing that's more of a concern would probably be expected salaries- employees cost more than office rentals, unless you only have one or two of them... and people expect to be paid a little more in NYC. But if I were starting a business, I'd want to consider a lot of factors, including how I was going to find people to buy my stuff... And lots of people in NYC have money and like to buy stuff. :)

Re:What's the appeal? -- you need to RTFA (2)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#44069715)

What's the appeal? -- you need to RTFA

You need to read the fine article. The locations in Brooklyn are subsidized, both through actual rent subsidy, and temporary tax exemptions being extended to tech companies: NYC wants these businesses moving in, and they want it in a rather large way, since they don't see bodegas, taxi companies, or a lot of other non-tech businesses as being a growth industry for increasing the tax base.

Without a huge investment in a redevelopment effort to knock down buildings and grow things up, about the only thing they can do is try to increase tax revenue by incentivizing higher income businesses to locate in the area -- and right now, that means tech companies.

The article specifically complains about these types of companies being preferentially subsidized.

About the only things worse that NYC could be doing to itself right now, besides reducing the caffeine intake for software engineers by limiting cup sizes, I mean, would be to be extending these subsidies to the Wall Street folks instead, or passing something like California's Prop 13, and having it apply to non-residential, non-parking structure commercial properties, as it does in California right now (thank you, Kaiser Family Trust -- NOT). There's a reason that San Francisco has built up huge numbers of un-rented high value per square foot commercial properties, and is knocking down older buildings an parking structures everywhere they think they can get away with it.

Laissez nous faire (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#44069155)

Why does the mayor of the city worry about 3d printers? How is a municipal government remotely qualified to try and operate like that kind of business? Unless... its just a bid to create yet another city organization. (Remember, these are the same people who filled up their personal vehicles at the "first responders" stations after the hurricane.)

With respect to the startup companies he's looking to bring in, his job should be to get out of their way - fast-track all the normal paperwork, exempt them from Mafia-style union rules ("no, you can't carry that server up from the loading dock, that's a union job, and the guy isn't here until Friday"), and maybe give them a tax break or two while they're in startup mode. Then he can sit back and rake in the tax dollars on the back end and from the (newly) rich employees.

provisioning 3d printers rather than building them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069179)

NYC - soon to be leading the world in 3d printed tschtockes techs

Re:provisioning 3d printers rather than building t (1)

djlemma (1053860) | about a year ago | (#44069741)

TFA doesn't even mention 3D Printers.. Although it is true that Makerbot and Shapeways are based in NYC, and there are multitudes of places to go play with a 3D printer if you so desire.

Doesn't centralizing IT firms seem just a bit... (2)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#44069191)

stupid?

In a day and age fairly decent telecommuting options are available, it appears that the IT industry is heading in exactly the opposite direction, towards physical concentration into technological hubs in a misguided attempt to recreate Silicon Valley.

Am I the only one who finds this ridiculous?

There's a lot of us that agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069415)

Then again, we're not morons like Herr Bloomberg who can swing our vast wealth and personal opinions around like a bag full of shit

Re:Doesn't centralizing IT firms seem just a bit.. (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year ago | (#44070085)

There seems to be a trend now of eliminating telecommuting. Yahoo infamously banned all telecommuting when Marisa Meyer took over as CEO. I was a telecommuter at my last company, and they were bought out by a much larger company that seemed to be quietly pushing out all the telecommuters and not hiring any new ones. Companies like the ability to have teams in disparate geographical locations, but they want all the workers in boring cubicles in corporate offices, where managers can watch over them.

What Startup in the Right Mind... (2)

sycodon (149926) | about a year ago | (#44069199)

...would set up shop in a locality that is designed to increase your cash burn rate by orders of magnitude?

What does that say about the management?

Re:What Startup in the Right Mind... (1)

DavidGMan (2921909) | about a year ago | (#44069315)

As this article seems to deal with Brooklyn, to answer your question, and as it is kind of a funny coincidence on name, there is a section called DUMBO http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DUMBO [wikipedia.org] that seems to have a reputation for being hip and I guess innovative. I would think the idea is that they just want to locate in an activity hub, though funny it should be Brooklyn rather than outside NYC (but inside greater NYC area) in somewhere like White Plains, NY or thereabout, northern New Jersey, or places like Stamford or Norwalk, Connecticut if the motive is huge commuter access and established infrastructure. As a Tri-stater (I live on the Connecticut side), it does seem funny of course to want to locate in a very high cost area.

Re:What Startup in the Right Mind... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069363)

Well that's the thing, if you don't make it, and fast, you're company fizzles away. Forgive the magic analogy, but for tech Silicon Valley is Standard MTG and NY is Legacy. If you don't have the force of will of investors, you ought to just stay home. I think the management of any company that tries to be located in NY is going to be off its rocker; and that decision in itself would keep me from working for that company; although I imagine there are a few that will make it.

I work for a wonderful company that isn't anywhere near any other major tech company, and while we can't hire people fast enough because the allure of living where we are isn't exactly superb, you can't beet a 5 minute drive to a place that pays you extremely well. But, we don't care about investors and never have.

I really don't think location matters unless you care about investors. And if you care about investors, then I guess that makes NY look a little better. But I also think that means you're about to be robbed by the most practiced of hands.

Re:What Startup in the Right Mind... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year ago | (#44070133)

I work for a wonderful company that isn't anywhere near any other major tech company, and while we can't hire people fast enough because the allure of living where we are isn't exactly superb, you can't beet a 5 minute drive to a place that pays you extremely well.

There's more than one reason you can't hire enough people: 1) lots of people probably don't care for your particular location. Where exactly are you located anyway? and 2) if you're the only tech company in the area, that's a stupid place to relocate for a job. What happens if you get laid off, or your boss sucks, etc.? In a tech hub (not just Silicon Valley, but any city with a healthy number of tech companies), you just go get a job at one of the other companies in the area. Where you are, you're screwed: you have to uproot your family, sell your house, and pay thousands of dollars to move somewhere else. Maybe your company should offer prospective new employees free relocation costs in case they ever want to move out, including for people who stay less than 90 days.

$location is the new silicon valley (1)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#44069209)

I hate to see politicians toss this phrase around. Silicon Valley is not just a place with a bunch of nerds working in an internet factory, its an ecosystem of cultural diversity built around technology, art and science. I understand everyone wants a slice of the Tech pie, but New Yorks industry centers on finance. everything im looking at is "large financial firm" [careerbuilder.com] , none of the startups or 3d printers in tfs. Whining about long term leases making it difficult for your city to be next->siliconvalley() is lik whining about the space under your desk being so insufficient as to preclude you from rewriting the linux kernel.

Re:$location is the new silicon valley (1)

korbulon (2792438) | about a year ago | (#44069269)

if that's true, then $flavor is the new hidden valley.

Re:$location is the new silicon valley (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44069437)

Silicon Valley is not just a place with a bunch of nerds working in an internet factory, its an ecosystem of cultural diversity built around technology, art and science.

Cultural diversity? You mean that not everybody in SV is white bread? Somewhere I heard a rumor that it's not the only place in the US like that.

Pray tell which art you speak of. I think there's a museum in SF. NYC's rumored to have more than one. Any other use of the word is hype.

Science is also not a biggie in SV. Tech yes, but not much science, other than what you'd expect to find at a couple of highly rated universities. Again, rumors abound of those places outside the province of SV.

P.S. This [wikipedia.org] is an ecosystem. You're using a threadbare metaphor beloved of Bill Gates when rationalizing why he doesn't hire hit squads to take out FOSS devs.

Re:$location is the new silicon valley (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#44069677)

Silicon Valley is not just a place with a bunch of nerds working in an internet factory, its an ecosystem of cultural diversity built around technology, art and science.

Sure it is. Here's what I heard when I was there. "Silicon Valley is a great place to work, but you wouldn't want to live there." That matches my experiences with the place.

San Francisco apparently has some sort of culture (since that keeps getting talked about on Slashdot), but the rest of the Valley is standard urban sprawl and copious office space though with unusual opportunities for used high tech equipment.

Sigh... when will people learn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069255)

joos can't be pirates.... or techies... or anything not resembling something really annnoooooyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyying.

What are they chasing (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | about a year ago | (#44069279)

The dot-com bubble, at least, was understandable: a "gold rush" in a new frontier. But what is everyone chasing now? Is it a bubble for its own sake? Or is it a legitimate unleashing of capital pent up from the 2008 global financial crisis?

I'm guessing the former. From xconomy.com [xconomy.com] (emphasis added):

In my view, this is the nastiest of all startup sins: failing to involve customers and their feedback from literally the first day of a startup's life, keeping the most vital opinions silent—those of the eventual customers--for far longer than necessary.

When I hear this comment, as I do far too often, I switch to pleading mode: "Please. Take a week. Get some feedback. Does anybody really care, or are they giving you polite nods and little more." This generally leads to the second biggest reason too many startups suck: they're solving a non-problem.

The nearest I can tell, these Brooklyn startups are not serving Wall Street or HFT, where it is known there is money. Honestly, I couldn't even find a list of Brooklyn startups.

Re:What are they chasing (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44069477)

I couldn't even find a list of Brooklyn startups.

Cause we don't bother telling the rubes. If ya ain't in da neighborhood, ya ain't worth talkin' to.

say thanks to the bail outs (1)

superwiz (655733) | about a year ago | (#44069381)

There is a lot of empty space occupied by banks which is not used. Half of the floors in the investment bank buildings are literally empty. And this is prime real estate -- midtown or even right down town Manhattan. If they didn't get the huge subsidy they got, they'd be forced to consolidate the floors and rent out the half of the floors in those buildings. As it stands, those prime buildings are acting as storage space for empty desks while small starts ups rent residential apartments as their places of business.

Re:say thanks to the bail outs (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#44069727)

If they didn't get the huge subsidy they got, they'd be forced to consolidate the floors and rent out the half of the floors in those buildings

Who is subsidizing their rent?

Re:say thanks to the bail outs (1)

superwiz (655733) | about a year ago | (#44070067)

Who is subsidizing their rent?

Their subsidies are not earmarked for rent. They are general-purpose subsidies. But they allow them this kind of wastefulness of (essentially public) resources.

Get calls all the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069401)

I get unsolicated calls and linked in messages from tons of startups and companies in NY practically begging for people. I live in South Jersery so a 3+ hour commute and the though of ever stepping foot in the nanny city of NYC sends shiviers down my spine, plus I have no wish to be double taxed anyway... I could care less that they are offering 50-70% more than what I make now nothing could ever offset the hassle and inconvience of working in NYC. If I was younger and single maybe but with a family and all of us abhoring a crowded city no thanks.

NYC Energy (5, Insightful)

Phoenix666 (184391) | about a year ago | (#44069481)

Another poster pointed out that access to a robust talent pool is a key reason why you'd want to locate a startup in NYC. There is another reason, too. It's not just the tech talent pool that factors into the success of your venture, it's the talent pool in other, closely related industries like design. In New York there's a lot of cross-over that leads to surprising and creative solutions. In every discipline you have the best professionals in the world pushing the envelope, and that both drives and inspires you beyond what you'd be capable of in a sparser, thinner environment. New York has an energy that I have never felt in any other world city, not in Paris, not in Tokyo, not in Shanghai.

"tech" sector? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069493)

Sounds more like a "hype" sector. 3D printing, really?

Plus they talk funny. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44069495)

Are flying cars available yet? 'cause I ain't driving thru that shit and ain't the subway or walking type. lus it just adds to economic success, making asses who wanna outlaw pop look good.

A big mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069651)

What makes NYC special is its history and ethnic diversity. There is an energy there which you don't find anywhere else.

But if you turn it into the "next silicon valley" a lot of that gets destroyed. In very short order it becomes a very expensive place to live. The ethnic and multicultural diversity goes away as those people move out because they can't afford to live there.

I'm sure a gazillionaire like Bloomberg could care less.

Come to Toledo Ohio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069655)

Toledo Ohio is located on the southern coast of Lake Erie and sits on the crossroads of America, I75 and I80/I90. [city-data.com]

The Toledo Museum of Art houses a world famous collection of rare works and has regular loan agreements with many museums around the world. The Toledo Zoo has a varied and interesting collection of exotic animals as well as a rich architectural history dating back to the Works Progress Administration of 1939.

We've got very low cost real estate and median household income sits at an incredibly low $32,000, enabling you to hire all the labor you want.

By contrast, NYC's median household income is a much more expensive $50,000. [city-data.com]

Re:Come to Toledo Ohio (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069779)

The University of Toledo enables startups to seek out talented young people that are willing and eager to work for a "super high", in their opinion, wage of $40,000 per year. Seriously, the kids here have incredibly low compensation expectations thanks to a century of Toledo being a working class town, and they're damned brilliant when it comes to making shit work. Ever heard of First Solar? That was a UT startup company.

This town is a labor gold mine, give us a shot.

Understatement of the century... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44069751)

"...yet there is far from enough space to meet demand."

You have people literally renting out what the rest of the country would call a closet for $1000/month(community bathroom is down the hall on your left, no masturbating please) in NYC, and Mayor Asshat-in-Charge wants to bring even more there in droves.

Glad to see you got your fucking priorities straight there Bloomberg. I mean, we wouldn't want to bother you while you fight to ban every receptacle capable of holding more than 16 fluid ounces within a 10-mile radius. Fuck trying to see how and where people might be able to live better than a cockroach, we've got real issues here.

Location location (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44070001)

Actually the second "Silicon Valley" is Boulder Colorado. NYC just wishes they looked this good. Anyone who goes on about the "network effect" has clearly never used the internet, NYC's real estate market is a joke heard round the world, and in terms of business continuity is far more statistically likely to suffer disruption than just about anywhere else in the country. This is before you factor in things like the cost of living, air quality and access to outdoor activities. All in all the only reason to locate your business in NYC is the tax incentives, and you have no guarantee those won't dry up the second they notice they're still funding the schools in NYC with peanuts.

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