Behance CEO Scott Belsky on NYC Tech vs. Silicon Valley: “The Fix vs. The Dream”


Since selling Behance to Adobe for more than $150 million, Scott Belsky has become one of NYC tech’s hottest evangelists. In an essay on LinkedIn, Belsky notes that start-up culture in NYC differs significantly from Silicon Valley in everything from vibes to overall goals.

Belsky explains that NYC has a tendency to keep founders “grounded” in reality, as opposed to Silicon Valley, where companies sometimes build “technology for technology’s sake.” According to Belsky, NYC firms often make a point to prove business models before scaling, and are more focused on the “fix versus the dream.”

The NYC tech community is currently slightly lower on the totem pole then NYC finance, fashion and media, as opposed to the tech alpha dogs of Silicon Valley. The somewhat humble nature of NYC startups means a tighter-knit culture, and more intermixing based on problem-solving interests, rather than fame. According to Belsky, NYC teams “assemble for more of the right reasons,” compared to the occasional bandwagon loyalties of Silicon Valley.

Of course, Belsky is a diversified investor in numerous West Coast ventures – including Pinterest – and encourages entrepreneurs to create companies in whatever geography they may land. But it’s clear that Belsky is a fan of the Big Apple: “For our team at Behance, these ‘concrete jungles where dreams are made of’ made all the difference.”