Tech in the City
New York City has devoted a lot of time, effort, and money to fostering the local tech scene. Not one but two tech campuses; all those meetups and happy hours. But once we reach critical mass, it’s all gravy, right? Right? Nope. As a smart man once said: Mo’ money, mo’ problems.
As companies like Twitter start developing San Francisco’s downtown, the New York Times reports that their tech boom comes at a cost. One local business owner told the Times her landlord was raising her rent from $8,000 to $12,000 and asked, “Of course, Twitter is good for the city, but how about me?”
Meanwhile, the director of the San Francisco Tenants Union reports the trend has “driven up rents extremely” in the last year, while economist Kenneth Rosen predicted the boom would hurt “poor and middle class” while helping the “upper middle class.”
The end result:
Call Me Maybe
Mayor Bloomberg announced today at Google’s New York headquarters in Chelsea that the company has agreed to provide CornellNYC Tech with 22,000 square feet of free office space while the Roosevelt Island campus is built. The mayor joined Google CEO Larry Page, Cornell President David Skorton and Technion’s director Craig Gotsman at a press conference this morning to make the announcement. The value of the space is over $10 million, said Mr. Page.
The Tao of Steve
It happens to everyone, particularly since most cell phones have touchscreens now: it’s not a drunk dial, or a sext–it’s a butt dial, and apparently New York City is plagued by them.
The New York Daily News reports that the city receives four million 911 calls a year that are accidental, and probably dialed by someone’s butt:
Most of the calls — commonly referred to as butt calls — came from cell phone users who mistakenly dial 911 when making contact with phones in their back pockets, purses or elsewhere….The 911 system handled 3,910,373 butt calls in 2010, the report noted — even more than the 3,495,716 calls in which police cars were dispatched to actual emergencies.
Might we suggest locking your screen?
Teach Tech Teach
Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview is exactly as promised: an hour-long interview with Mr. Jobs from 1995 that was, until recently, thought to be lost to the world.
The interview was filmed as part of Robert X. Cringely’s TV series, “Triumph of the Nerds” about the birth of the PC. At the time, Mr. Jobs had been ousted out of Apple for a decade and was working on NeXT (which would go on to develop the heart of the iMac’s initial operating system). He spoke candidly about being pushed out of the company, early days with the Woz, and his vision for a digital future.
Codecademy, which just launched this summer, is an addictive website that teaches users how to code for free. The startup announced today that it had raised $2.5 million from a slew of top notch investors including Union Square Ventures, SV Angel, CrunchFund, Yuri Milner, Founder Collective and O’Reilly Ventures. The company told the New York Times that it hopes to establish its headquarters here in New York.
Jack Dorsey took the stage with Mayor Bloomberg this morning and officially opened Twitter’s first New York office, just in time for Ad Week. “I want to thank the Mayor for his vision on creating 21st century jobs. I know you have an engineering degree, Mr. Mayor, and you may be looking for a new job soon. We’re hiring,” Mr. Dorsey said.
Mr. Dorsey offered a number of facts related to Twitter and the Big Apple. “New York has the most Twitter users of any city in the world and the biggest community of Twitter developers outside of California,” Mr. Dorsey said
Twitter has an upcoming “tea party” scheduled for developers at Betaworks and is eager to tap into the big brand dollars that are based here in New York. “Half a billion dollars have been invested into the Twitter ecosystem in the past year. As big brands look for better tools to harness the power of Twitter, we hope this ecosystem can address this need,” Mr. Dorsey said.
Writer and illustrator Jesse Eisemann, of College Humor and Dorkly fame, meticulously recreated a playful 8-bit map of New York City. Consider this your reward for trying to follow Michael Arrington debacle. Scroll around a larger version on Mr. Eisemann’s blog. In case it isn’t already etched in your brain, here’s the Read More
Across the Border
Twitter is going crazy!
The U.S. Geological Survey is saying a 5.8 earthquake centered in Virginia.
The Washington post reports the quake was felt in Washington, New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Cleveland. The U.S. Geological Survey said an earthquake of a 5.8 magnitude hit Virginia near the town of Mineral.
First hand reporting: Read More
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.”