You got to hand it to these real estate reporters. For the last two decades they’ve been discovering a budding tech scene in the real estate around Union Square. Call it Silicon Alley if you like, but this start-up hamlet never seems to get old.
“The emergence of Union Square as a destination for technology firms got its start several years ago. But the neighborhood’s tech community received a boost this year with the arrival of household names such as computer giant Apple Inc. and the impending arrival of user-review site Yelp,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
Are you kidding me? Apple and Yelp are about the least important pieces of the tech scene around Union Square that you could think of, despite being national names. Hysterically, the map of the tech scene which accompanies the story, entitled “Silicon Square,” can’t seem to find a single tech spaces integral to the area, like Dogpatch, Pivotal or General Assembly.
The story does manage to mention these places in the text, but its lack of historical awareness is jarring, especially for a beat as tectonic as real estate. “Many in the tech community say the arrival of venture capital firm Union Square Ventures in 2003 deserves credit for jump-starting the neighborhood’s momentum.”
Right, except Flatiron Partners, Mr. Wilson’s first venture fund and the one that really kicked off New York as a center for investing in web start-ups, was in practically the same location as Union Square Ventures, just seven years earlier.
Memo to real estate reporters at the big dead tree publications. This is not a new or interesting story, don’t assign it unless you’re truly desperate, or Facebook opens an office inside Shake Shack.