Alley vs. Valley

Branch Cofounder Josh Miller Returning to NYC Because ‘San Francisco is Just Too Nice’

Hard to be heads down in a sweet town.
josh miller Branch Cofounder Josh Miller Returning to NYC Because San Francisco is Just Too Nice

Mr. Miller (joshm.co)

Attention, everyone. Josh Miller, Princeton dropout and cofounder of Branch–a curated discussion platform backed by some big name financiers–would like you to know that he has decided to return to New York (cue thunderous applause).

In an earnest missive penned for PandoDaily, Mr. Miller explains that he has decided to leave the Obvious Corporation’s San Francisco HQ to move back to New York, where Branch first started. Jason Goldman, COO of the Obvious Corporation and ex VP of product for Twitter, is heading to New York with him, where they can continue to work on Branch with the help of that sweet $2 million they just pocketed.

So what’s the big reason for Mr. Miller’s New York return? Turns out San Francisco is ‘just too nice.’

“The nature is too accessible, the architecture is too Victorian, and the weather is too perfect. The quality of life here is unrivaled. But I feel like I haven’t earned that yet. One day, I’ll bike across the bridge and meet my family at Mill Valley Beerworks.

For now, I miss the grit and grime of New York. It is real and raw, and the commotion of the city is contagious. Startup life is characterized by constant motion and tenacious tinkering, not hikes on Mt. Tam and brunch in the Mission, and the pace of life and breadth of humanity in New York is invigorating. I like to tell people: New York is like coffee. You know it’s not good for you, and you don’t really like the taste, but you just can’t get enough. The rush, the jitters, they’re addicting, as are startups.”

Listen. We get it. The temperate climate, the ubiquity of startups, the stench of a SoMa alley turned again into a homeless man’s bathroom: San Francisco just isn’t for everyone. Even this reporter is admittedly dumping the keys to her breezy San Francisco apartment for a dark box somewhere in the nether-reaches of Brooklyn. San Francisco is majestic, healing, unfettered–but for some people, these qualities only make it more difficult to hunker down and get to work. There’s only so many hours you want to spend on a computer when the blue gash of the Pacific is just a bus ride away.

Underfunded underdogs proudly waving “Made in NYC” pom-poms are eagerly awaiting your arrival, Mr. Miller. So we welcome you back to New York, a place that has never, not once, been described as “too nice.”

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com