Tech and the City

6a00d83451b2c969e2017d41fb28df970c-200wiThe first time I met Alessandro Piol, the author of Tech and the City: The Making of New Yorks Start-up Community was probably 18 years ago.  Fred took me and the kids ( Jessica and Emily were the only two around then ) to Esther Dysons conference in Arizona.  I was truly an at home Mom at that point.  It was a memorable trip.  Emily literally fell asleep in her tuna fish salad and Fred caught her head right in the knick of time.  I saw Bill Gates who happened to be wearing an old stained Polo shirt with polyester shorts, tube socks and Wallabe shoes.  I also got to meet Alessandro and his wife.  It was my indoctrination into the beginnings of the tech world. 

Of course I went on to join the tech community working with Jason Calacanis at Silicon Alley Reporter and the rest is history.  I was delighted when Alessandro and Maria Teresa Cometto (co-author) asked if he could come by to interview me about what the history of the tech community.  Fred was their first interview and I was the last. 

The book is worth reading.  Some of the information in there has already changed which is kind of fitting considering they have written about technology.  Chris Dixon is no longer living and investing as an angel in NYC but in SF working as a VC for Andreessen Horowitz.  Yet Alessandro captures the essense of the explosion of the tech industry in NYC in the mid-90s to the unfortunate implosion and the eventual rebuilding of the industry which we now call Web 2.0. 

Aaron Cohen is teaching the history of the Internet to kids at NYU.  Alessandro has put the information down on paper (per se) for everyone else and I for one am glad to see that he did.

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    I think this book can be a great example for other cities that want to get ahead with their tech ecosystem. Truth is most other big cities are more like New York than they are like Silicon Valley.The obsession with copying Silicon Valley is like a mirage. Learning from New York is more realistic.

    1. Gotham Gal

      totally agree. Silicon Valley is another planet.

    2. realposter

      Well that’s true to an extent… but other large cities would have a hard time “copying” NY as well. For one thing – a lot of the reason for the tech explosion in NY is because there are several industries that are centered in one place. That’s not easy to replicate either… In the same way there is no farm land ripe for defense and university spending like Silicon Valley was.

      1. Gotham Gal

        True true

  2. Christine

    Fun title for the book. Nice play on another famous NYC cultural product. Also love the image of the little girl falling asleep and Daddy catching her head before it hit the tuna salad. Priceless.

  3. daryn

    Sounds like a fun book, just picked a kindle copy.By the way, I saw Bill G walking around the Washington State Fair with his kids several years ago — I think he was wearing that same outfit 🙂

    1. Gotham Gal

      that’s hilarious

  4. Rohan

    Couldn’t help but smile at Bill G’s description 🙂

  5. Lally Rementilla

    You had me at New York. Just downloaded the book. Thanks for the reco! Happy spring..