With Dumbo’s star rising, it’s time for the inevitable inter-borough smack-talking to begin. And, as often happens when boosters for Manhattan and Brooklyn go toe-to-toe, things are starting to look a little heated.
Crain’s is just the latest to notice all the fuss across the river. Etsy has long been a neighborhood fixture; digital consulting firm Takeout just relocated; Loosecubes and Docracy are homegrown efforts. Why are startups flocking to a neighborhood with a mere 3 percent commercial vacancy rate? Surely there are roomier (and therefore cheaper) environs. Turns out, Manhattan lacks a certain spark. (Manhattan, are you just going to let them talk about you like that?)
So Long Staus Quo
Foursquare’s Naveen Selvadurai, Craiglist’s Craig Newmark, dotcom doyenne Esther Dyson and Nassim “I see black swans” Taleb walked into a Chelsea loft. No, it’s not a lead-up to some joke about how Wall Street is drowning the tech bubble. It was the scene of a dinner party hosted by Takeout, a budding consultancy that sloughs off the dated McKinsey model–train an army of MBAs to travel around the country consulting–for a fresh look more appropriate for the digital age.
Why ask an MBA to tell you how to fix your company when you can hire someone who runs their own? Hey, it could have saved Conde Nast somewhere in the six figures. Just imagine how their troubled iPad editions would look if they’d tapped the brains behind New York’s tech scene to figure out the internet instead.
Takeout, a reference to “taking out” the status quo (and not, say, Seamless deliveries), started in London in 2007, but recently ramped up its efforts in New York. By next month, it expects 75 percent of its business to be based out of its New York office. Microsoft, Gilt Groupe’s Jetsetter, and iVillage are already clients, along with a few other big players that prefer not to be named. But the proof is in the pounds.