A few days ago I went to hear Ron Conway, Fred Wilson, and Michael Bloomberg speak about investing, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement. At a few moments during the event, the conversation turned to the current state of business (specifically startups) in New York City, a topic I've been thinking a lot about recently.
I feel passionately about working in New York. So much good work - across such a wide range of disciplines - has been and is being done here. And between the vast feeling of cross-pollination, and the fact that people come here specifically to do stuff of historic proportions - to make the most of their lives - is unlike anywhere else I've ever been (outside of urban China).
On a daily basis I look up and feel these pangs of energy, and wonder, and appreciation. I feel it talking to the Burmese cab driver bringing me back down North Conduit Ave from JFK. I feel it walking off the A/C train, and out through the old AT&T Long Lines headquarters, and onto Canal St and the morning in lower Manhattan. I feel it when I'm walking my dog around Bed Stuy at night and look up, through streetlights dappled by sycamores, to nod at someone smoking a joint on their stoop.
And I feel it in my work. As Bloomberg said this evening: If you want to make a business that serves the world, you need to go where the world is. And I believe that it is here more than anywhere that the many aspects of human life and work coexist best.
NYC has proven time and again that it's capable of spinning up and maturing fully fledged industries. And while many cities tend to go from one primary industry to another with little overlap, NYC somehow manages to grow and sustain many world-class operations at once. This is perhaps the most powerful part of working here: the ability to cross from industry to industry on a daily basis, and to develop long term relationships with people operating in totally different time scales.
I'm enriched by it. It's a world class place to work, and there's no better city to spend your life in.