Much has been written about the growing tech presence in New York City over the last two years. Depending on what you read, the scene is “infectious”, “heating up” or it’s just flat out “exploded.” There is certainly an air of optimism here that is unlike many other cities, and a level of innovation that is ushering in a new era of digital media and online interaction. All of this is good news.
But I despise the phrase, “New York tech scene.” To me it sounds like an uber-pretentious party that everyone is clamoring to get in to. Our experience in starting Adcade has been much more communal than trying to make it on the “scene.” What I’ve found is this is much more of a helping community.
Reading about the NY tech community on blogs and in magazines doesn’t do it justice. The NY Tech Meetup recaps, hackathons and the parties (okay, yes, there are occasional parties) are really only a small part of the story. On a day-to-day basis, this is a community that works in close confines and we regularly see each other on the street, or pay a visit to other founders’ offices. We gripe over a beer and brainstorm over a coffee. Sure there is competition, but I’ve found that more often than not, other founders and investors are willing to lend a hand before stealing a great idea.
Our company, Adcade, is in it’s eleventh month of operation, and it hasn’t been easy going by any stretch. In that short amount of time we’ve seen the power of collaboration in full as two other portfolio companies have enabled us to pursue our vision. When we needed content to drive our new platform, our partners 500px were quick to lend a hand and provide us with the technical assistance we needed. Their team has been extremely helpful and regularly works with our dev team to ensure they have everything they need.
At the same time, Contently has provided us with our own workspace in their office, allowing us to host business meetings and receive investors and potential clients. Working alongside the Contently team and Wakefield teams has been invaluable, not only for blowing off a little steam every now and again, but also for industry talk and a fresh perspective when we’re stuck in the weeds.
So, is this just a feel good post about the NY tech community? A little bit. I think the larger message here is it’s easy to view others, even everyone, in the start-up world as an adversary. A lot of companies are backed by investors or VCs and never think to interact with their other portfolio sisters and brothers. There will always be a certain level of competition between companies, and yes there is a need to keep secrets safeguarded from others, but the end of the day, other founders are people too. We all lay awake at night with the same worries. We all second guess our decisions from time to time. We all want what’s best for our employees and our companies. We all want to succeed.
The start-up world isn’t easy. You need friends in times like these, and I’m happy to be a part of the vibrant, hot, exploding supernova that is the NY Tech Community. It’s a brilliant time to be innovating here, and if you’re not here, I hope you’re doing what you can to cultivate your community. To that end, if you’d ever like to brainstorm, feel free to drop me an email or give me a call. Rob@adcade.com
Contrubited by Rob Cromer, CEO and Co-Founder at Adcade.