New York City Will Eclipse Silicon Valley's Tech Scene: Survey
Silicon Valley will no longer be the technology innovation center of the world in four years, according to the results of a survey by analyst firm KPMG. Some 60 percent of the 740 technology-industry leaders queried in the survey believe that it is likely or very likely that Silicon Valley will cede that role to New York City, with other cities rapidly catching up. After New York, the respondents’ highest-ranking U.S. cities were Boston and Austin (tied in ninth place) and Washington, DC in 13th place. San Francisco placed 17th, and Los Angeles and Chicago both landed in twentieth. While billions of dollars’ worth of investment by tech giants into new workspaces and tens of thousands of new positions vaulted New York into the top ranking, the survey also underscores the continuing decentralization of technology innovation. “As we’ve looked at cities, we’ve asked: ‘Why is the innovation economy drawn to certain places?’ It all starts with universities that have some research-based programs in areas that feed the tech economy,” Tim Zanni, global and U.S. technology sector leader for KPMG, told Dice. In New York, for example, you have Columbia University and Cornell functioning as great drivers of local talent. “You’ve also got a lot of folks going to NYC—as someone born and raised there, I know I always tell people if you’ve got a year to live somewhere in your life it should be New York,” Zanni said. “It’s just a great location for young folks.” As Zanni noted, New York City’s government has also been very proactive with incentive programs to help startups and tech incubators and foster entrepreneurial talents. “I think another factor you’ve got to have are some success stories—success breeds success,” he said. “Entrepreneurs don’t tend to stay with the same company, they will move around and start new things, and New York has great successes with digital media, with financial tech—it’s got all the ingredients to be more successful.” Despite Amazon deciding to abandon New York City as one of the locations for its “second headquarters,” the online retail giant still has 7,000 employees in the city… a number that’s growing. “Apple and Google are there and growing as well, so I think New York is well positioned in the future,” he said. “One of things I see in the TMT world—technology, media, and telecom—as it comes comes together, New York is always going to be attractive for the media component, and as a result of that, you’re going to have tech elements there—but it’s the talent pool companies are going to be after.” In Silicon Valley, factors such as cost-of-living and outdated infrastructure are fueling the perception that the area might not continue to dominate tech innovation. In short, it’s an expensive place in which to live and work, which makes other tech hubs seem more enticing by comparison.