The New York Times style magazine, T Magazine, ran a profile on Tumblr founder David Karp earlier this week. The assignment which quickly evolved into an essay on East Coast vs. West Coast design aesthetic, business sense and personal taste.
Karp, of course, was born and bred in NYC, and recently moved from the West Village to an absurdly cool loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Among other hip affects, Karp surrounds himself with vintage motorcycles, reclaimed oak and a classic clawfoot bathtub on the second floor balcony.
Things Karp doesn’t like: screens, ‘modernist’ glass architecture,’ and drywall.
Writer Tim Wu also points out how many of New York’s top-tier tech companies — Tumblr, BuzzFeed, Kickstarter, Etsy — all “either cater to creators, or depend on some tie to the creative or media industries as their comparative advantage.” Karp calls Facebook ‘restrictive,’ and views NYC entrepreneurs as building more synergistic, impactful companies than Silicon Valley.
Karp seems to embrace the Silicon Alley vs. Silicon Valley challenge.
Behance CEO Scott Belsky has also weighed in on the rivalry, noting that many Silicon Valley companies seem to build “technology for technology’s sake.”
Noteworthy San Francisco entrepreneurs have yet to respond, probably because they don’t view NYC as competitors. Keep fightin’, New York!