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New York Beats Out San Francisco to Be World’s Best Tech City

By Bloomberg

Amazon.com Inc. might have the right idea: A new study shows New York City is the best place on the planet for technology

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  • Bradley Tusk
    Bradley TuskproCEO at Tusk Ventures

    The biggest risk to NYC is if we don’t develop enough great engineering talent. The new Cornell/Technion campus on Roosevelt Island should help but it’s still the biggest hole in the ecosystem (we have loads of financial capital and every other conceivable type of human capital).

  • Interesting analysis, but I challenge the notion that there’s any one “best” place for tech. The question for founders is where should you build YOUR tech? For many, the “best” answer isn’t near the top of this list. For example, Israel sees more VC investment per capita than any other country, and Tel Aviv is home to many of the top cybersecurity firms. Paris has the world’s largest startup accelerator in Station F. And, while I’m certainly biased, I’d point out that the top two cloud companies

    Interesting analysis, but I challenge the notion that there’s any one “best” place for tech. The question for founders is where should you build YOUR tech? For many, the “best” answer isn’t near the top of this list. For example, Israel sees more VC investment per capita than any other country, and Tel Aviv is home to many of the top cybersecurity firms. Paris has the world’s largest startup accelerator in Station F. And, while I’m certainly biased, I’d point out that the top two cloud companies in the world are in Seattle, with a thriving startup ecosystem around them.

  • Ian Myers
    Ian MyersFounder at Country House Enterprises

    I have always believed that New York’s greatest strength is it’s diversity. Pound for pound there is no more diverse place on the planet than a rush hour subway car in NYC.

    Why focus on diversity? Because diversity of background, industry, education, and class is what leads to collision of ideas—the prime ingredient in creating new and interesting technologies and businesses.

    That being said, I completely agree with Peggy.

  • Michael Coren
    Michael Corenreporter at Quartz

    Questionable analysis. The Bay Area has serious problems (housing crisis and delusions of saving the world among them). But I've just had several conversations with startups and investors in NYC who say the opposite: it is far harder to find tech talent and money in NYC than SF and the Bay Area. If your tech startup is growing and not yet profitable (in which case, why raise VC), you'll probably struggle to raise money in NYC. The first questions many founders hear are: Have you tried to raise money

    Questionable analysis. The Bay Area has serious problems (housing crisis and delusions of saving the world among them). But I've just had several conversations with startups and investors in NYC who say the opposite: it is far harder to find tech talent and money in NYC than SF and the Bay Area. If your tech startup is growing and not yet profitable (in which case, why raise VC), you'll probably struggle to raise money in NYC. The first questions many founders hear are: Have you tried to raise money in Silicon Valley? If you didn't, why should we invest? There are exceptions, of course, but that seems to be the general sentiment. This applies to earliest stage. Later stage will find a far friendlier environment.

  • John Battelle
    John BattelleproFounder at NewCo

    I dunno. When real estate agents are responsible for choosing ' the best city for....' ....watch yer wallets.

  • Peggy is right to say that you have to find the right environment for your startup. But how do you tell that in advance, as a first time founder? Here is the argument for NYC over SF in a nutshell (and Israel and many other tech mono cultures). Tech is, and will continue to be, the only real industry in SF. And as a consequence, it eats itself alive - it competes more than cooperates and breeds the toxic white male culture that has pervaded the area. But tech will never be the biggest industry in

    Peggy is right to say that you have to find the right environment for your startup. But how do you tell that in advance, as a first time founder? Here is the argument for NYC over SF in a nutshell (and Israel and many other tech mono cultures). Tech is, and will continue to be, the only real industry in SF. And as a consequence, it eats itself alive - it competes more than cooperates and breeds the toxic white male culture that has pervaded the area. But tech will never be the biggest industry in NYC. Finance, fashion, media...the list goes on and on. And as a consequence, NYC remains somewhere that you actively choose, every day, to be part of the startup ecosystem. You could always be paid more to join a big company. And this downward pressure creates the most cooperative tech ecosystem where all kinds of companies, and founders, can thrive.

    Do we have shortcomings? Of course. And we will best fix those by not comparing ourselves to SF or anywhere else and always trying to be better. But make no mistake: unless you have a specific reason to choose another ecosystem, this is the place to start.

  • Anthony Duignan-Cabrera
    Anthony Duignan-CabreraCEO at ADC Strategy

    I think there is some confusion with regards to "tech application/implementation" versus "tech innovation". There are still very few world-changing tech startups in the Tri-state area, despite access to capital, know how and education. Blue Apron? Etsy? But all other "tech" companies are based on either legacy media or native digital media (Vice, BuzzFeed, etc.). The Bay Area carries with it the legacy of digital innovation and the access to capital, as well as that powerful transience and bohemian

    I think there is some confusion with regards to "tech application/implementation" versus "tech innovation". There are still very few world-changing tech startups in the Tri-state area, despite access to capital, know how and education. Blue Apron? Etsy? But all other "tech" companies are based on either legacy media or native digital media (Vice, BuzzFeed, etc.). The Bay Area carries with it the legacy of digital innovation and the access to capital, as well as that powerful transience and bohemian flare (not as powerful as it once was, but still a simmering presence). Ideas, no matter how crazy, still have value in the Bay Area, while NYC is still very "bottom line" and wants the economic value and revenue built-in.

  • Yusuke Umeda
    Yusuke UmedaFounder and CEO at Uzabase

    ↓ interesting comparison: NewYork vs San Francisco ↓

    “The Difference Between Living in New York and San Francisco”

    https://thecooperreview.com/difference-between-living-in-new-york-and-san-francisco/

  • The question is not “What is the world’s best city for tech?” The question is “What is the world’s best city for ME in tech?” Yes, the fight for talent is real, but so is startup burnout. For any individual founder or employee, finding an environment where you have a close social network and feel safe and at home are just as important as anything else.

  • I’m surprised to see Boston is ahead of Singapore and Los Angeles.

  • Maggie Chan Jones
    Maggie Chan JonesproFounder & CEO at Tenshey, Inc.

    Great to see #NYC topping the Best Tech City list. Having lived and worked in the Bay Area, Seattle and NYC, NYC has the best diversity, in terms of culture and types of tech from big tech to adtech, fintech, health-tech, martech and the list goes on.

  • I love the correlation between degree of diversity in these top 3 cities and being the best tech cities. A solid data point that justifies how important diversity is to innovation!

  • Eric Artisan
    Eric ArtisanManaging Director at Artisan Venture

    Interesting as my colleagues in SF would be to differ. The engineering talent out west seems to be second to none, right now. That said, recruiting talent to NY is not too tough, especially when you pry to attract candidates from SF. With the emergence of Brooklyn an Queens, NYC is no longer just Manhattan. The cultural and entrainment options in NYC are first class too. Two questions: does NYC have the infrastructure in place to meet the demands of its growing workforce? Can the finance-centric

    Interesting as my colleagues in SF would be to differ. The engineering talent out west seems to be second to none, right now. That said, recruiting talent to NY is not too tough, especially when you pry to attract candidates from SF. With the emergence of Brooklyn an Queens, NYC is no longer just Manhattan. The cultural and entrainment options in NYC are first class too. Two questions: does NYC have the infrastructure in place to meet the demands of its growing workforce? Can the finance-centric culture of NYC coexist with tech’s approach to organizational behaviors and tendencies? Let’s see where NYC ranks in 3 years time. The opportunity is enormous for this great city if it can hold onto this top spot.

  • Lee Jones
    Lee JonesChannel Account Manager at Odoo

    Interesting read... I think tech has grown across the board in many different cities, not only in the US, but in many other countries as well. In LATAM tech is becoming a very strong economic sector.

  • “New York can keep generating its own talent and, I think more importantly, recruiting it from around the world.” There is something about New York - keeps it a destination for top talent!

  • David Yakobovitch
    David YakobovitchAI Professor at Galvanize

    This is incredible news for Silicon Alley!

  • “The best place for tech is where I live, not biased, I promise it’s true.” -Bloomberg

  • Now this not fake news. Way to go NYC!

  • This surprised me - but maybe it should not have: “New York got points for its venture capital investment, which was billions of dollars greater than in San Francisco over the past three years”. Follow the money...

  • Arjun Sambyal
    Arjun Sambyal

    I think you make a fantastic point Peggy!

    I believe it would all depend on your idea. There are tech startups in India for example that have grown exponentially such as OYO rooms.

  • jack smith
    jack smith

    New York is a city of the original history of america ,a city of the gorgeous future of america ,and always a symbol of the great well being of america ,i am serious...

  • That may bring the same problems. Businesses being priced out of their brick and mortar because the cost is too high. Even living there. I hope the Manhattan learns from California’s mistakes there.

  • As a lifelong and very proud New Yorker, I'm not surprised.

  • Marc P.
    Marc P.product marketing

    New business is attracted to the state of New York (not the city) because they have restructured their tax system and removed barriers to entry. The West coast is falling apart because of progressive principles that progressively complicate business code, taxes, and regulations. These attitudes and simple-minded laws are responsible for closing small business and promoting barriers to entry for new business. The image of big tech success is secured by political connections, lobbying, and cronyism

    New business is attracted to the state of New York (not the city) because they have restructured their tax system and removed barriers to entry. The West coast is falling apart because of progressive principles that progressively complicate business code, taxes, and regulations. These attitudes and simple-minded laws are responsible for closing small business and promoting barriers to entry for new business. The image of big tech success is secured by political connections, lobbying, and cronyism. In addition, West Coast cities have turned into dangerous cesspools because of the same mismanagement infused with progressive principles. If triggered by these comments, investigate the facts. They speak for themselves.

  • Yukina Tsutsumi
    Yukina Tsutsumi

    Japan is getting down maybe... anyway I didn't know San Francisco had been above New York.

  • Paul O'Brien
    Paul O'BrienCEO at MediaTech Ventures

    This is appropriate use of, "dude..."

  • Dan Snook
    Dan Snook

    A lot of interesting ideas and analysis. Can they all be right? Yup.

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