“What’s a joke about Hoboken?” we mused aloud upon sitting down to write this post. “What isn’t a joke about Hoboken?” shot back our news editor, without missing a beat.
“Fast Company thinks Hoboken has its own tech scene on its hands,” we responded.
“When have they ever had anything on their hands?” retorted The Observer‘s real estate reporter.
“If I write this I’ll never be able to go to Hoboken,” we considered.
“As if you’d want to,” spat the same reporter.
We weren’t just soliciting jokes about Hoboken for the fun of it. In fact, we were doing so for a very important reason–namely, a Fast Company piece published recently that rallies around Hoboken as a burgeoning “hip and young and hungry” tech beacon.
As evidence of the Garden State’s growing startup presence, the author offers up the popularity of the New Jersey Tech Meetup, which has swelled to almost 2,000 members, as well as the recent successes of New Jersey startups like Audible and Diapers.com.
Hoboken is just a 15 minute train ride into the city, which means residents can have easy access to Manhattan’s amenities while enjoying roomier apartments and the myriad comforts of the suburbs (Chili’s!).
But not everyone was thrilled with Fast Company‘s quick and dirty write up of the New Jersey Tech Meetup event. “You seem to have missed the ‘heart’ of this meetup. Innovation!” wrote a commenter named Susan Newman. “From the mingling, to start-ups to guest speakers, what we are all learning is what each other is doing in New Jersey and what the coolest new ideas are out there being developed.”
New Yorkers have a tendency to look down their noses at Hoboken, which has probably been described somewhere at some point as Manhattan’s red-headed stepchild. But–due to their proximity to industries like, according to Fast Company, “pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and manufacturing”–the New Jersey Tech Meetup offers a different breed of entrepreneur, one that those used to attending the massive New York Tech Meetups might find refreshing. Betabeat even attended a New Jersey Tech Meetup in Hoboken a few months ago, and found it quite delightful.
“What’s another joke about Hoboken?” we asked the thinning newsroom.
“I don’t know, my friends from high school live there,” replied one Betabeat reporter.
Hoboken: The Kind of Place Your High School Friends Live™