Friday May 17th I took the day to meet some of the interesting tech companies present in New York. There are over 1,200 tech companies in NY (including CodeAcademy, KickStarter, Foursquare, MakerBot, ZocDoc, Guilt, AppNexus, Tumblr, Etsy, KickStarter, Automatic… and mine!), most between the Flat Iron and SoHo areas of Manhattan (Silicon ALley). So I chose a few that, for one reason or another, I was interested in meeting and talk to their founders.
- First I went to Harvest. Had a sandwich and some water while Danny Wen told me how they are a self-funded company (finally someone who is not living out of “raised capital” while diluting their ownership). Interesting and successful, if one-product, company. Nice loft office, piano included. Not “too cool”, not “too cold”.
- Since I had a bit of extra time, I walked to Animoto. Talk about “too cool for school”. Some very nice touches, but, really 6 guitars, 2 keyboards, fussball, XBox… (then again, at our NY office we have ping-pong, basketball, and hammocks; and at our Spain office we have ping-pong, and a PlayStation). I use their very nice service, and their “themed meeting rooms” (particularly MarioLand) are great. But the need to prove goofiness, and indie, and gamify, and storify, and… you get the point. Too much. Forced. Not believable. Trying too hard (the PR story about this guy and his wedding was just unnecessary, absurd and unrelated).
- On my way to the next meeting I had to do a teleconference with Uruguay, and another one with Peru, so I walked again (when will we have cell coverage in the subway?).
- Second Market was next. Nice design for a financial services company. Strange the number of desks and computers without anyone using them. And a surprisingly high number of young Jewish males wearing their kipa working there. I thought it might be interesting but I realized neither the service nor the technology was of too much interest to me.
- Then I went to one I really wanted to see: Artsy (formerly Art.sy, now Artsy.net). The best views of all of the offices I visited. Such amazing views that somebody wrote in FourSquare “If I had those views I would not get any work done” and somebody else replied “I have those views and I don’t get any work done!”. I liked their office, their attitude, and their technology (Open Source).
- My last stop (actually, I went back to Harvest to ask a question to their tech support director, but his answer is definitely not worth blogging about) was HookLoop, the $500 million Ny bet of Infor on app refresh. Huge company. Really huge. Awesome mentality (eyecandy like I like it). Had a nice conversation with Dan (PR Director) at the CEO’s desk. Found some synergies. Will continue the talk with one of their VPs hopefully next week.
26,605 steps later (according to the app in my phone that tracks my movements), I got back home. Exhausted, but exhilarated. I love Silicon Alley.