This is a guest post from Tarikh Korula, founder of Uncommon Projects, and originally appeared at his blog, unprojects.
I’m often asked what the difference is between NYU’s ITP and MIT’s Media Lab. Sometimes from prospective students, but mostly from high-powered executives or important writers who have heard of the program or The Show. I had one friend once who left Media Lab disappointed, so I’m super-qualified to speak about it.
MIT kids are smart. Really smart. They probably have been studying violin since they were, like, two. Then they wrote software algorithms when they were 10 to approximate a symphony that could play along with them in real time while they played Bach concertos. If these kids were a rock band, they’d be Emerson, Lake and Palmer with a laser show and a 360 major label deal.
ITP kids are… resourceful. We didn’t invent hacking or email or lasers and shit. We invented QTVR, PComp, Gurl, Arduino and Foursquare. Instead of beautiful John Meada visualizations, we’ve got a lot of wooden tiles that move in concert to show you a picture of yourself and we think that’s art. It’s not really, but we never studied art so we don’t really know any better. If we were a rock band, we’d be the Ramones with their shitty recording contract and Laurie Anderson playing midi controlled tambourine.
Across the Border
Any venture capitalist worth his preferred stock will get a hangdog look on his face when he remembers the one that got away, especially if “the one” was a chance to invest in Facebook. Now Bloomberg is reporting that the shame of turning down Zuck in 2004–sending him straight to Palo Alto’s all too willing arms–has jolted New England firms awake.
Despite Boston’s claim as the birthplace of venture capital, its share of U.S. VC investments dropped to 11 percent last year, down from 15 percent in 2003. And, as the numbers show, Boston’s loss has been New York’s gain. Seven years ago, New York’s share of the nation’s venture capital was half of Boston’s. But in Q1, venture investments around NYC totaled $580 million, representing 10 percent nationwide, compared to Boston’s 11 percent share with $639 million in deals.
Not to mention New York’s been logging some quality time on the Bolt Bus to raid Boston’s engineers.
So what are New England investors gonna do about it? According to Bloomberg, they’re circling the wagons and heading back to the city.
Charlie Kim knows how to woo young engineers: with war stories of the bubble days!
“During the dot-com boom we went from myself to 150 people,” Kim told students from Harvard, Brown and MIT last week. “By January of 2002 we were down to four people. Should died, but instead bloody noses every day for 90 days, pushed on and grew the company up, we’ll be close to 300 people by the end of this year.”
As part of its blossoming love affair with innovation, the city’s Economic Development Committee is sending an elite squad of start-ups and venture capitalists to Boston this Thursday to try and poach as many talented engineers as possible.
Touchy residents of the beleaguered Boston technology community are up in arms over remarks by entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa, who heretofore has been known mainly for splitting his time across gigs at a handful of prestigious universities and for writing provocative headlines on TechCrunch.
Mr. Wadhwa’s crime? Trash-talking Boston’s tech scene in a Read More