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War for Tech Talent Hits ‘White Hot’ New York


Although the unemployment rate in the Big Apple remains over 9 percent — roughly double what’s considered healthy — the demand for programmers and engineers to work in the city’s burgeoning internet startup scene is stronger than it’s been in a decade. New York-based startups like Gilt Group, Etsy, Foursquare, Tumblr, Intent Media and Rent-the-Runway, among others, are all fighting for the best talent. So are old media titans like NBC Universal, News Corp., Time Warner and AOL (my previous employer.)

Meanwhile, West Coast tech giants like Google are increasing their footprint in the city. The web search leader just closed a nearly $2 billion dollar deal to purchase 111 Eighth Avenue, the gargantuan, high-tech mega-building in the Chelsea neighborhood.

In short, experienced programmers and engineers based in New York City have a virtual smorgasboard of companies seeking their talents. The competition is so fierce that some of the top New York startups, like Foursquare, are actually opening Silicon Valley offices to gain access to the wealth of talent there.

“We’ve been lucky in New York to build such a great team, but we don’t have it easy because there’s a lot of competition between different startups and the big guys like Google and big finance,” said Dennis Crowley, the founder and CEO of Foursquare…

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