“Where the best and brightest come to shine…”

April 2nd, 2012

Made in New York from NASDAQ on Vimeo.

The two hour interview I did for this piece was a nice culmination of the last 4 years I’ve spent thinking about what makes the New York tech scene different and special. In retrospect editing it down to 7 seconds was even better. In the words of the mayor, “NYC is where the best and brightest come to shine”.

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3 Responses to ““Where the best and brightest come to shine…””

  1. Julien says:

    Pretty cool interviews! Almost forgot that I need a visa to live there :)

  2. Tim says:

    You’ve come a long way.

  3. Today is catch up on Kellan day. This plus your laundromat post — I think I get what you are talking about now.

    At the time you moved back to NYC, I had a conversation with Jasmine at Toronado, and I think she said something about how at any given party in NYC, she could meet a hedge fund manager or an emerging artist. I don’t know if I said it at the time, but I kind of felt like that was SF for me. I enjoy the hardcore geek stuff, but I can’t live on that alone. So I found friends who did other things — largely weird artistic/political stuff that was tech and startup-adjacent, but at least it wasn’t as deeply introverted. We had a community of people that defined their life around creating together, and not just in the startup sense.

    But, even at its best, San Francisco is a nerd annealing process. You might bounce around a lot but you settle in a group of similar nerds. You can seek people out, but you will never be forced to deal with people who don’t already share your values.

    I had a similar discussion with Aaron Straup Cope about this too. He detested certain areas of SF which were more suburbanized, but I didn’t feel comfortable condemning people who just wanted a quiet place to walk their dogs and push a baby carriage around. He responded that it the insularity that bothered him. So I challenged him to tell me what part of his life was so urbanized and community-focused, and he could only tell me that there was a guy who shared a balcony with him, and that he used that balcony to smoke.

    There’s an implicit assumption I see now there; community in this sense is not about who you choose to be with, it’s who you can’t avoid. And what that brings out of you.

    What I get from your post is an acid rain dissolution of the boundary of public and private. In your example, New York’s density literally denudes you to people who are not at all like yourself. And this digs something out of you, something more dangerous, that in SF, might be bottled up and safe.