The entire world is now a rival to Silicon Valley. No country, state, region, nor city has a lock on innovation in technology anymore.
The Internet has made this so, and there’s no going back. We will see Apples and Facebooks get built in China, India, Brazil, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and plenty of other places.
New York City has benefited enormously in the past decade from this trend. In technology, it has become the second most active start-up market in the U.S. Sadly, this is not yet true for biotech and energy tech start-ups.
Until recently, “technology” was largely about “moving electrons on wires.” Now, “technology” is about building all kinds of interesting applications on top of the Internet. An increasing number of engineers and entrepreneurs are applying their ideas and energy to creating compelling services on the Internet.
Given New York City’s cultural diversity, it has always attracted creative people. Amid intense global competition for innovation, it is well positioned to draw more talent.
The Bloomberg administration is wise to get behind the emerging technology sector and support it. The effort to build a world-class science and engineering campus is smart. Of course, we already have a number of great universities in the city, and these institutions are not sitting still. They are producing talented scientists and engineers in greater numbers every day.
The Bloomberg administration should also consider investing in science and engineering education in our public schools — particularly high schools — and the existing universities. We should be supporting what’s already working here in addition to building new institutions.
We’d love to give Mayor Bloomberg a tour of the “factories” in NYC – MakerBot, Adafruit, Hackerspaces… It’s all part of it!