Book Short: Tales of Two Cities
Return Path is basically dual-headquartered in New York City and Broomfield, Colorado, so two recently published books which provide history and insights into the tech industry in those two cities were both of interest to me.
Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City, by Brad Feld (book, kindle) came out a few months ago and is part of Brad’s Startup Revolution series which will also include my upcoming book Startup CEO, to be published this fall. In the book, Brad uses the example of the Boulder/Denver area and a few different sectors to demonstrate a blueprint to creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem – the kind that are popping up all over the world of late.
Tech and the City: The Making of New York’s Startup Community, by Alessandro Piol (kindle only) hits on many of the same themes and topics as they relate to New York City, although the book is more of a history of the New York tech scene than a framework with examples. The book draws heavily on quotes from Fred Wilson, like Brad, a long time friend and Board member. One of the things the book left me thinking about was what the New York tech scene will look like in 30 years after the new Cornell-Technion campus is up and running. That plus the current momentum of the tech industry in New York, plus the sheer commercial scale of the city, could really produce an interesting environment down the road that actually starts to rival Silicon Valley, though rival probably isn’t the right word.
All in, these two books do a good job of chronicling the industry I work in, in the two cities where I work, but they also abstract nicely to broader principles about public-private collaboration as well as sector development.