Alley vs. Valley

The Great Thing About the New York Startup Scene Is All The Broadway Types Hanging Around

Of course, that's also the terrible thing.
(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

You know what really makes Silicon Alley special? Bloomberg News has a theory: Broadway. Well, that, and the fact that this city is basically swarming with people who weren’t quite talented enough to make it onto the stage professionally but are perfectly capable of killing “Hello, Dolly!” at karaoke night.

Bloomberg talked to Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson, whose company’s monthly all-hands includes a performance by a house band. He’s pretty sure New York’s position as cultural mecca is an important part of what makes Silicon Alley special:

“Nothing against the Silicon Valley talent pool, but we will take them on in a battle of the bands any day,” he said in an interview this month. “The way to make New York a great tech scene is to use the things that are great about New York, like the creative culture.”

Nor are we merely talking about hiring people who’ve washed out of their chosen artistic field. ZocDoc, for instance, “has hired former Broadway performers to sing the praises of the company’s service to physicians and patients.” Not to mention the opportunities for startup outings are just way better, so you’re not reduced to bouncy castles in the parking lot.

If it’s virtually impossible to get that one receptionist to quit singing Wicked, well, that’s just the price we have to pay.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com