Silicon Alley

So Just How Big Has New York’s Tech Sector Gotten?

Almost feeling nostalgic. (Photo by Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Just in time to hand the whole dog-and-pony show off to his successor, Mayor Bloomberg finally has some new numbers to rattle off at those chipper press conferences he’s always holding at startup offices.

Today, pegged to the closed-door Bloomberg Technology Summit, hizzoner’s foundation dropped a big report on the state of the city’s tech business. And, well, would you believe it? They found that it’s grown prodigiously since 2007. Read More

Music 2.0

Spotify Is Expanding Its New York Presence, Plans to Staff Up to 200 Engineers

CEO Daniel Elk. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Today, Spotify made a big announcement: The company is expanding its local presence, with plans to hire an additional 130 engineers by the end of 2014. That’ll make New York home to the company’s largest office outside of Stockholm, with the bulk of the employees being engineers.

Rather than simply sending a press release or flying in Frank Ocean, the company had Mayor Bloomberg deliver the news at their current home in the Google building.

“The right engineering talent is here in New York. More and more that’s going to be true,” the mayor whistled his familiar refrain. He also announced that his office now has its own Spotify profile, which he personally approved. (Enjoy the mental image of Bloomberg bopping along to B.I.G.’s “Juicy.”) Read More

Teach Me How to Startup

New York, San Francisco Mayors Team Up to Form Unholy Axis of Disruption

Just a couple of mayors, mayoring out.

Today, after a day of bopping around Silicon Valley, with stops at Y Combinator and Yahoo, Mike Bloomberg headed to the Square HQ to meet with San Francisco mayor Ed Lee for an announcement: They’re teaming up to co-host the second annual Bloomberg Technology Summit.

(Not that they bothered renaming the event.)

Would-be mayor Jack Dorsey introduced the pair. How he managed not to pass out from sheer childlike excitement is anyone’s guess. Read More

Ride or Die

Court Rules the E-Hail Program Is A-Okay, Again

Whee! (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

It was a big day for the TLC. First, the state Supreme Court Not upheld the city’s five-borough taxi scheme. An appeals court also ruled that the e-hail pilot program can proceed. That means the temporary restraining order put into place when the livery business appealed the dismissal of their suit against the program has been lifted, and you can now e-hail your little heart out.

In a press conference in front of City Hall, an apple-green five-borough taxi parked on the cobblestones behind him, Mayor Bloomberg called the ruling, “another great sign that taxi riders are winning.” He added, “special interests are always afraid of new things.” Read More

I'll Tumbl For You

With Tumblr in the Bag, a Triumphant Marissa Mayer Takes a Victory Lap

Couldn't miss it.

Chief Yahoo Marissa Mayer looked pretty damn chipper as she took the stage in a small room overlooking Times Square, late yesterday afternoon.

Technically, the press had gathered for the announcement of a revamped Flickr. (It’s biggr! It’s spectaculr!) An entire lounge had been papered over with giant images pulled from the service, and in the square below a mob of T-shirt-wearing fans/paid actors were jumping up and down and hollering and waving Flickr signs in celebration.

But with David Karp slouched in the front row, it was clear this was about more than the addition of full-bleed photos to a decade-old service.  Read More

Mayor Mike

Mayor Bloomberg Goes Full Nerd, Actually Wears a Hoodie in Public

Cozy! (Photo Credit: Spencer T Tucker)

Yesterday was Mayor Bloomberg’s final Inner Circle dinner, an annual gathering of politicos and a chance for the city’s chief executive to indulge his inner vaudevillian. Every year, the mayor participates in a parody of a popular Broadway show, recapping the year’s events.

This time, though, Bloomberg went a bit over the top. The New York Times reports that he hired (with his own money) the casts of several Broadway musicals to lend a hand. And perhaps as a nod to his role as Godfather to the New York tech scene, he traded his usual slacks for jeans and a blue hoodie (perhaps the gift from Yext?). Read More

On the Town

Mayor Bloomberg Stops By Yext, Picks Up a Hoodie

That's a lot of lanyards.

“Mr. Mayor, I know you’re wearing a suit on the outside. But this industry is all about hoodies, and I know based on who you are you’re a hoodie on the inside,” CEO Howard Lerman told Mike Bloomberg, presenting the mayor with his very own honorary pullover–Yext branded, of course.

As he took it, Mayor Bloomberg informed the shaggy entrepreneur that, “My mother would have said you needed a haircut.” A room full of techies held up their smartphones for a digital souvenir of the moment. Read More

Moving Pictures

Ring in the New Year With a Livestream of the Times Square Ball Drop — and also GIFs!


Back in November, Livestream partnered with Tumblr for a “live-GIFing” of the final presidential debate. Seems the experiment was successful enough for a return engagement: The company’s bountiful stream of coverage tonight from Times Square will include not just the usual interviews and musical performances, but also GIFs. Glorious GIFs!

This officially solidifies 2012’s place in the Internet history books as the year even your 80-year-old nana learned what “those little moving pictures” were. Read More

After the Storm

Via Airbnb, You Can Now Host New Yorkers Displaced by Sandy


Hurricane Sandy drove many New Yorkers out of their homes and, given the impending Nor’easter, at the worst possible time. Something like 20,000 to 40,000 people need somewhere to stay. Hoping to help alleviate the situation: Airbnb. Thanks to a partnership with the mayor’s office, the displaced can now turn to the site for places to stay, free of charge.

The hub for the effort is this page, which greets visitors with the guilt-trip-inducing message, “It’s time to help each other.” Anyone with a place to stay, be it spare bedroom or humble couch, can list it for free.

In a statement, the company told Betabeat:  Read More