New York City is attracting a growing number of IT companies, and both public and private initiatives are in place to develop a vibrant tech scene in the city. While many have talked about the potential of one day turning New York into a hub that can compete with Silicon Valley, at least one influential investor believes that the Big Apple is already finding its own unique identity with a focus on software over hardware.
Eric Hippeau has served on the boards of directors of companies including The Huffington Post and Yahoo!, and is now a partner at a New York-based angel fund that specializes in IT investment. He recently spoke with Internet forum Big Think about the similarities and differences between the two coasts, and noted that New York, despite lagging behind California in major tech companies, still has the highest demand for consumer technology.
"The big difference is that New York focuses more on the software layer, on the application and the services layer so that we're really good at software in New York," he said. "We're good at platforms. We're good at consumer facing applications. We're good at enterprise software, software as a service. We're good at a variety of different domains."
"The big difference is that New York focuses more on the software layer"
Software developing companies can serve myriad other industries where New York is second to none. Although Hippeau believes that technology has evolved to the point that a company's physical location does not determine success, he notes that New York, because of its abundant and diverse population, is a natural target for venture capitalists.
New York may never match Silicon Valley in the hardware design sector, but its software potential is unlimited.