Alley vs. Valley

Alley vs. Valley

Pair, Y Combinator’s ‘Perfect Sexting App,’ Sure Doesn’t Sound Very Sexy


By the tweets of it, everyone, their mom, and Jennifer 8. Lee showed up for Y Combinator’s biggest Demo Day evah last night to watch the parade of hoodies try to convince folks they have the next Airbnb. To make sure no one got bored, the thoughtful editors of the Daily Muse even put together a BINGO card of expected phrases (that could also work well as a Mad Libs): “We make it easy to disrupt the future of ________. Please ignore the label-less Y axis on our chart of ______. So if you’re _______ come talk to us. ”

But one company that seems to have emerged from the fray is Pair, an app built for two that lets couples send each other messages, pictures, and thumbkisses, which is when both users press their thumb to the screen at the same time, making the phones vibrate. It sounds like a mobile version of OurSpot, the social network (population: 2), we told you about in January, minus the good vibrations, of course. Read More

Alley vs. Valley

Branch Cofounder Josh Miller Returning to NYC Because ‘San Francisco is Just Too Nice’

Mr. Miller (

Attention, everyone. Josh Miller, Princeton dropout and cofounder of Branch–a curated discussion platform backed by some big name financiers–would like you to know that he has decided to return to New York (cue thunderous applause).

In an earnest missive penned for PandoDaily, Mr. Miller explains that he has decided to leave the Obvious Corporation’s San Francisco HQ to move back to New York, where Branch first started. Jason Goldman, COO of the Obvious Corporation and ex VP of product for Twitter, is heading to New York with him, where they can continue to work on Branch with the help of that sweet $2 million they just pocketed. Read More

Alley vs. Valley

Commitment Fear No More: Accel Partners Finally Hires in New York

Mr. Eisenberg.

Accel Partners, which is invested in all the companies you’ve heard of from BitTorrent to Facebook, as well as all the ones you haven’t, from Chakpak to YuMe, announced a year ago it had picked up a New York office in the Google building at 111 Eighth Ave. But apparently the venture capital firm was holding back.  “The early plan was to use a rotating case of Accel investors from other offices— including Jim Breyer and Theresia Gouw Ranzetta. A sort of professional flophouse, if you will,” reports Dan Primack at Fortune. Read More

Alley vs. Valley

Same Same, but Different: 15 Parallels Between Silicon Alley and Silicon Valley

15 Photos

The go-to burger joint

For all the playful sparring between America’s bi-costal tech hubs, the Alley and Valley of Silicon have a lot in common. The venture capitalists who ride the red eye are doing their part to unite East and West, poaching talented startups for their favorite incubators and dangling technical co-founders like carrots on a stick.

There are stark contrasts between the two hubs: Bay Area companies favor reception desk NDAs, as Fred Wilson recently pointed out, while New York companies don’t bother; Silicon Valley-ers are on California time, while New Yorkers prefer punctuality.

However, Betabeat’s favorite part of the SATs was definitely the analogies (we’re bloggers, not coders, remember). So let’s put aside all the talk of whether New York will ever catch California as a tech mecca and reflect on the striking similarities between the two. Read More

Alley vs. Valley

YouAre.TV Moves Back to New York After Fallout With Flaky Co-Founder-to-Be in Palo Alto

Young Weinstein

YouAre.TV founder and General Assembly alum Josh Weinstein is back in New York after an ill-fated adventure in Palo Alto, taking with him his hockey pads and leaving behind a flaky coder who was supposed to become YouAre.TV’s CTO.

Mr. Weinstein penned a tell-all-blog post in which he explains how Palo Alto was fun at first, what with all the hanging out at Facebook and Google, and how he got to play hockey with Guy Kawasaki (more than once!) and had a stand-up desk. Of course, it was superangel Peter Thiel who convinced Mr. Weinstein to move to the Valley–Mr. Thiel regards the bright young founder as an accolyte–so Mr. Weinstein was able to be close to his mentor. “At first, we wondered if Mr. Thiel just wanted to have someone to play chess with. But YouAre.TV just recruited a new CTO, so we guess there are still plans to build a company,” Betabeat wrote in a rumor roundup at the time.

Sadly, things quickly went sour. Mr. Weinstein discovered Palo Alto was understimulating. “As a city kid, I started to feel the isolation of living in Palo Alto and not working in a coworking space,” he wrote. To make things worse, his CTO wasn’t working as much as promised–and kept pushing back his start date. Read More

Alley vs. Valley

Quora’s Biggest Userbase Is In New York City


Quora, the Palo Alto-based question and answer site, launched its first mobile app today, with some nifty features like the ability to filter by nearby topic. Quora co-founder Charlie Cheever told AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes that the app was developed to try to tap into local by inspiring more location-based Q&As.

But the biggest reveal was the fact that most of its users are based right here in New York.  According to Ms. Gannes, “That’s important because Quora is often dinged for its Silicon Valley-centricity, a criticism people at the company said is becoming less valid.” But Betabeat has a different theory. Read More

Alley vs. Valley

It’s Cheaper for Engineers to Live Well In New York City vs. the Valley

NY night

The folks at Focus have put together a handy infographic about earning potential in Silicon Valley where the number of jobs at internet companies (currently clocking in at 48,000) has surpassed the excesses of the dotcom boom. As Business Insider points out, the salaries listed (product and marketing managers make more than web developers and software engineers; Google engineers make more than those at Facebook and Twitter), don’t account for stock-based compensation.

But the chart does delve into cost of living, typically an area where New York City loses out, although apparently not compared to the Valley. Read More

Alley vs. Valley

Twitter Latest Silicon Valley Darling to Open New York Office

We wonder if any start-up hustlers will try to move in downstairs? Twitter just became the latest Silicon Valley (well, technically San Francisco) darling to open a New York office, Peter Kafka reports at AllThingsD after noticing a Twitter employee frequenting the Home Depot on 3rd Ave. and W. 59th just a few blocks from Central Park. The location of the “second mothership” as culture director Elizabeth Weil, who based on her last six days of tweets appears to have single-handedly decorated the new digs, suggesting the start-up eschewed the start-up happy Flatiron District, avoided the Google-shadowed jungle streets of Chelsea, steered clear of Foursquare’s territory in the East Village and will have to hop a train to see Twitter buddies at Pivotal Labs in Union Square. Read More

Alley vs. Valley

Nodejitsu Has Competition from Y Combinator Darling Heroku

charlie robbins

It sounds like a Mortal Kombat match-up: Heroku vs. Nodejitsu! The former, one of Y Combinator’s biggest exits, recently launched support for node.js app hosting–the gold rush that New York-based Nodejitsu jumped in on a year ago.

Nodejitsu knew this was coming, it was just a matter of when. But node.js is still relatively unknown, and the highly-visible Heroku could end up sucking up the air before the younger start-up can get its own lesser-known, albeit catchy, name out. We asked CEO Charlie Robbins how he plans to handle competition from the Silicon Alley giant.

Is Heroku’s product a direct competitor to Nodejitsu?

Yes, Heroku’s offering directly competes with our personal and small business node.js cloud hosting offers. I have used Heroku in the past when I did some Ruby development, and their workflow doesn’t change switching over to node.js. I’ve heard feedback from some of their customers in the IRC room(s) that it is still somewhat rough around the edges, but clearly their new stack is a big step forward for them. On the lower-level, the work they’ve done with LXC process virtualization is very interesting when one considers trying to fully utilize available resources.

Did you guys expect Heroku to come out with node.js support?

Heroku’s experimental Node.js support came out in April 2010, and their first beta support was released at Node Knockout last year. We’ve known about it from the beginning thanks to our friends in the community. Read More