Silicon Alley’s Secret Weapon

I’m normally loathe to compare the New York tech scene with that of the Valley. The point many of us in the city have been making for years is not that we “are just as innovative” or can “compete for talent” with the West Coast, but that we have lots of natural advantages for start-ups, including access to advertising agencies, media companies, university talent, etc. Obviously Silicon Valley is a class of its own for technology, no one’s going to argue that point.

So what’s interesting to me lately is how many resumes I’ve seen from young engineers and product managers looking to move from the Bay Area to the City. What could a twenty-something go-getter in the tech field want that wasn’t available along 101?

In a word, women.

The first time I heard the complaint from an interviewee I thought, well, maybe he’s a bit of a playa. A playa needs a field to play in.

Then the second guy I talked to sheepishly mentioned that he was, you know, young, and dating, and well, the SF scene isn’t that great for heteros, and you know, the girls don’t exactly dress that nice, and New York, whoh, and SoHo on a warm afternoon, I mean, who needs Sand Hill road?

When I asked bachelor #3 why he was interested in moving to the East Coast and he mentioned a couple of innocuous “New York is so exciting,” “everyone should live in New York,” I knew what was up. I said, “so you’re moving here for the good looking women?” and he burst out laughing and admitted it was true.

But there’s hope! Coincidentally, today’s news brought word that H1B applications were being used to bring Eastern European models to the US, and that legislation was proposed to increase their numbers. Unfortunately, most of them will still end up in New York. Look on the bright side, once you’re rich on stock options its much easier to meet women.