Teach Me How to Startup
Earlier today, Betabeat dropped by WeWork, a coworking space filled with techies diligently laboring away, to watch as Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer debuted a new report titled, “Start-up City: Growing New York City’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for All.” As you can probably tell from the name, it’s an attempt at cracking how the city can broaden access to the city’s booming tech economy and make sure everybody’s boats are still bobbing away on the rising tide.
“I think it’s important that government officials don’t get stuck in the century we’re in, but rather think about the century of the future,” Mr. Stringer told Betabeat.
Teach Me How to Startup
The starchitect-designed Roosevelt Island campus won’t be ready ’til sometime in 2017, but that doesn’t mean the embryonic staff of Cornell NYC Tech plans to sit around for the next half decade, twiddling their thumbs. A rolling stone gathers no moss! Time and tide wait for no man! Haven’t you heard there’s a tech talent crisis on?
Today Cornell University (with Mayor Bloomberg, naturally) announced that applications are now being accepted for the “beta class” of the school’s one-year Master of Engineering in computer science program. Classes commence in January 2013, in space borrowed from Google. So if you’ve been kicking the tires on a graduate degree, today could very well be your moment of glory.
Turns out Twitter’s mobile ads are more engaging than Facebook’s. [VentureBeat]
Amazon is opening a new “digital media development” office in London, which is likely to focus on streaming TV. Naturally, it is located in techie Shoreditch rather than the traditionally bookish environs of Charing Cross. [Telegraph]
The company arrives just in time for the tech talent wars to hit Europe. [TechCrunch]
“One industry party I attended had a jungle theme. This included a real, 600-pound tiger in a cage and a monkey that would pose for Instagram photos.” [New York Times]
Lots of users are less than thrilled about Google’s acquisition of Sparrow. [GigaOm]
Meanwhile, in cleantech: Researchers at UCLA have developed a transparent solar cell. Dare we dream of window-unit solar panels? [Engadget]
Tech Talent Crunch
Its hard to attract great coding talent in Silicon Alley. Hunch threw together this rocking video. Devs give testimonials about how everyone is so cool and laid back. Hunch’s VP of Engineering Tom Pickney explains that if they weren’t getting paid to come program at Hunch, staffers would probably just be kicking back in a Read More
“If I’m not the most well-connected guy in New York, I’m one of them for sure,” Dave Carvajal told The Observer, leaning back into his chair at the Park Avenue South headquarters of Dave Partners, the executive search firm he founded in 2009. It was the Friday before the Fourth of July and Mr. Carvajal, olive-skinned and trim, was already dressed for the long weekend in salmon-color khakis and a snug white shirt.
Mr. Carvajal was discussing the finer points of recruiting developers—a skill suddenly in great demand, as Google, Wall Street and top media companies battle an army of starry-eyed young co-founders for technical talent, raiding a local labor pool better known for its dreamers than its doers.
After all, those mobile apps, data-mining algorithms and high-frequency trading applications aren’t going to build themselves.
“I love it! It’s the age of the recruiter,” Mr. Carvajal said. “In New York City the only thing hotter than tech people are tech recruiters.”
Silicon Alley U
The city will be revealing the RFP tomorrow for its new engineering campus, and if history is any guide the mayor will name drop Stanford at some point during the proceedings. The world’s best known computer science university has been playing public footsy with New York during the ongoing bidding process to build a huge new outpost in the Big Apple. But it seems like Stanford’s student body has other ideas. “West Coast, best coast,” writes Kristi, a sophmore who loves hi-tech, swing dancing and walking backwards talking loudly about how great Stanford is to a bunch of sweaty overweight strangers (ahhh, the student tour guide type).
Yes, admits Kristi, New York is a center for finance, media and fashion, but Stanford epitomizes California’s natural beauty and entrepreneurial spirit. “Why mess with that?” asks Kristi incisively. “Were money, time, and resources no object, this might represent an interesting academic experiment. However, in my opinion this is an unnecessary venture that is at best an altruistic publicity stunt and at worst an expensive and distracting dilution of the international prestige of our wonderful University.”
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.
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.”
Brand new start-up Hyperpublic is taking a novel strategy to wooing tech talent by gamifying the process with a two-part programming challenge.
“We just felt like there is so much noise out there,” founder Jordan Cooper told The Observer. “Tons of companies with no real engineering culture begging for engineers to come work with them.”
The Read More